Orioles might be close to cutting bait on Garrett Atkins

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MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli speculates that the Orioles could designate Garrett Atkins for assignment Saturday when they need a roster spot to call up scheduled starter Brad Bergesen.
This offseason Atkins signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with an $8.5 million team option or $500,000 buyout for 2011, which struck me as a bad investment for the Orioles given his rapidly declining numbers and particularly questionable production away from hitter-friendly Coors Field.
Sure enough Atkins has hit just .219 with one homer and a .574 OPS in 43 games, with his yearly OPS since a career-year in 2006 now looking like this: .965, .853, .780, .650, .574. Atkins also hit just .233 with a .302 on-base percentage and .394 slugging percentage away from Coors Field combined during the previous three seasons, so the move was doomed from the start.
Acquired from the A’s yesterday, Jake Fox is one-tenth as expensive with vastly more defensive versatility and likely more offensive upside at this point. Atkins was a bad signing and now he’s just a sunk cost.

Report: Mets, Brewers continue discussing Jonathan Lucroy

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 20:  Jonathan Lucroy #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers walks back to the dugout in the eighth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 20, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.

Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.

Homer Bailey will make his 2016 season debut on Sunday

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 7: Homer Bailey #34 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the third inning of the game against the Cleveland Indians at Great American Ball Park on August 7, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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The Reds announced that starter Homer Bailey has been activated from the 60-day disabled list and will make his 2016 season debut on Sunday against the Padres. To make room on the roster, the Reds optioned outfielder Kyle Waldrop to Triple-A Louisville and transferred pitcher Caleb Cotham to the 60-day disabled list.

Bailey, 30, underwent Tommy John surgery last year, taking about 14 months to recover. He made only two starts last season and 23 starts in 2014. The right-hander has three more guaranteed years and $63 million remaining on his contract as well as a $25 million mutual option for the 2020 season with a $5 million buyout.

In six rehab appearances with Louisville dating back to June 27, Bailey has a 5.75 ERA and a 13/7 K/BB ratio in 20 1/3 innings. The stats from rehab stints don’t mean too much as long as the Reds feel he’s healthy enough to pitch.