Adrian Gonzalez to the Braves? No thanks!

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Adrian Gonzalez is going to be the biggest story of the trade deadline this year. Everyone assumes that the Red Sox will be the front runners for him. And if they continue to stink, they may push even harder for him than they otherwise would. But they’re not the only team in baseball who could use a cheap awesome first baseman. Jon Paul Morosi suggests the Braves could be in on AG.

The basis: well, not even a rumor really. Just the realization that (a) the Braves need offense and could use a first baseman; and (b) Adrian Gonzalez is a first baseman.  Trades have materialized from less, of course, but at the moment that’s all there is. No word from a Braves source. No word from a Padres source.

And I sort of hope it stays that way. As I wrote earlier in the week, the Braves are not new to this trade-for-a-stud-first baseman thing. They did it with Mark Teixeira a few years ago, and it was fairly disastrous in terms of the young talent the Braves had to give up. Given that Gonzalez is even cheaper and under team-control longer than Teixeira was, the price in prospects would likely be even higher.

And it would be an overpayment no matter what Gonzalez does while signed for 2010 and 2011, because there is no conceivable way that the current owners of the Braves — Liberty Media — would approve the $180 million+ or whatever it would take to sign AG long-term.

If the Braves traded for Adrian Gonzales it would be like a guy making $40K a year leasing a BMW. Maybe the monthly payments are technically affordable in the short term, but it’s gonna cost too much regardless and at the end of the day he’s not even gonna own the thing.

In short: nice attempt to stir the sauce pan on the hot stove, Jon Paul, but I don’t think anything is cooking here.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.

Angels demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

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Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.

Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).

While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.