Rangers reportedly still interested in Mike Lowell

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According to Jim Reeves of ESPNDallas.com the Rangers are “scouring other camps to try to find that right-handed hitting role player … to fill the role of backup first baseman/third baseman” and “keep coming back to” Mike Lowell.
Reeves quotes a “club source” as saying that the Rangers “believe they can still basically get Lowell for the player they were willing to give up over the winter, Max Ramirez.” The deal that would have sent Lowell and $9 million from Boston to Texas for Ramirez was nixed when a pre-trade physical exam revealed that he needed thumb surgery.
Lowell also has hip problems and is currently sidelined by a bruised knee, so the Rangers are also said to be monitoring veterans like Kevin Millar, Fernando Tatis, and Wes Helms for the same backup/platoon job. At the time of the initial trade they hadn’t yet signed Vladimir Guerrero, so Lowell likely would have been in line for a more prominent role.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.