Uh… The Astros may re-sign Willy Taveras

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Taveras Ivy.JPGUPDATE: It looks like this thing might actually happen.  Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle reports that Astros assistant GM David Gottfried contacted Taveras’
agent, Barry Praver, soon after the outfielder’s release on Tuesday.  A minor league contract was indeed discussed.

7:41pm: According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, Astros general manager Ed Wade is open to the idea of bringing back outfielder Willy Taveras on a minor league deal.

Taveras (and the $4 million remaining on his contract) was released by the A’s this afternoon after garnering zero interest on the waiver wire.  The 28-year-old batted .240/.275/.285 in 404 at-bats last season for the Reds and, as Aaron noted earlier, has hit just .246./.293/.291 in 235 games over the past two seasons.

“Willy brings the
speed element and he’s a very popular guy in town and with our
organization,” Wade told Crasnick on Tuesday.

Taveras played for the Astros from 2004-2006 and never finished with an OPS over .675 or more than 25 extra-base hits.  It doesn’t seem like a wise pickup for an organization that should be handing any available playing time to youngsters, but this is Houston we’re talking about.  Wade and Co. have a long history of questionable moves, which is why the club is in such a poor state heading into the 2010 season.

Come to think of it, the perennially disappointing Taveras should fit right in with the Astros’ crop of aging, overpaid veterans.  It’s going to be a long season in oil country.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.