The Mariners release Eric Byrnes

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Eric Byrnes 2.jpgThe Seattle Mariners released outfielder Eric Byrnes after yesterday’s game against the Rangers. Partially due to ineffectiveness, partially due to plain old weirdness.

The ineffectiveness: Byrnes was three for 32 on the season.

The weirdness: the play on Friday night in which he pulled his bat back on a suicide squeeze, causing Ichiro to get nailed at the plate in the Mariners’ 2-0 loss. He bolted the clubhouse on his bicycle mere minutes after that game, avoiding the media and his general manager, Jack Zduriencik. Also the fact that he didn’t take the bat off his shoulder for three straight pitches with the bases loaded in the
fourth inning yesterday. He’s basically been like Richie Tenenbaum at the U.S. Nationals out there.

I have to guess that the weirdness is why he was released. I mean really, the Mariners are putting up with near-zero in terms of contributions from Ken Griffey and Mike Sweeney, so it’s not like they have an official requirement that their DHs and backup outfielders actually be able to hit or anything. 

But if you’re gonna be useless at the plate, you had better be a good citizen and at least look like you’re trying out there.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.

Report: Phillies making Maikel Franco available in trade discussions

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Phillies are making third baseman Maikel Franco “more than available” in trade discussions.

Franco, 24, is having an abysmal season after showing promise in 2015 and ’16. Through 289 plate appearances, he’s hitting .221/.280/.365 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. His hitting has tanked and his already below-average defense hasn’t shown any improvement.

It’s a bit surprising that the Phillies would be so eager to move Franco with his value about as low as it can go. Franco is also under control of the rebuilding Phillies through the 2021 season, so the team doesn’t have to rush into moving him. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.

Furthermore, the Phillies don’t have an immediate replacement for Franco at third base. Andres Blanco would likely get everyday starts at the hot corner in the short-term, but as far as prospects go, there are no third baseman banging down the door. If the Phillies were to trade Franco, it would likely have to be in return for a young, talented third baseman who will be under team control for several more years.