UPDATE: Blalock picking between Marlins, Rays

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UPDATE: Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times confirms that the Rays have interest in Blalock on a minor league deal.
4:44pm: Two weeks ago Matthew named Tampa Bay and Florida as the best remaining fits for Hank Blalock, and sure enough now SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the 29-year-old free agent is indeed deciding between the Rays and Marlins.
In their quest for another left-handed hitter the Rays previously missed out on Russell Branyan and would likely use Blalock to split time at designated hitter with Pat Burrell while also providing some depth behind Carlos Pena at first base and Evan Longoria at third base. For the Marlins he’d be a potential alternative to prospects Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez at first base.
At this point Blalock is probably choosing between low-money deals or perhaps even minor-league offers, so he might as well take the best opportunity for significant playing time and that’s likely Tampa Bay unless Florida is willing to hold Morrison back at Triple-A for most of the season.

Former major league pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez dies in traffic accident

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Former Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez died in a traffic accident in Havana on Thursday, per reports from the El Nuevo Herald and CiberCuba. No other deaths or injuries have been reported in connection to the accident. Gonzalez was 34 years old.

The Cuban righty defected from his home country in 2013 and signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Phillies. A bout of right shoulder tendinitis compromised his bid for a major league role, but he finally broke through to the big leagues at the tail end of the 2014 season and turned in a 6.75 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in just six outings. Another case of shoulder inflammation derailed any progress he might have made in 2015, however, and he recorded just five innings in Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the team officially released him prior to the 2016 season.

The Phillies released a statement following news of Gonzalez’s death: