No progress in extension talks between Brewers, Fielder

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Brewers GM Doug Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt on Saturday that his club has made little progress toward a contract extension with slugger Prince Fielder and his agent, Scott Boras.

Melvin and Co. had been in talks with Boras during spring training, but it sounds like the two sides have very different opinions on the big man’s value.  Fielder is in the midst of a down year, batting a pedestrian .260/.392/.473 by his high standards.  Of course, there is plenty of baseball yet to be played this season and Cecil’s son is certainly capable of turning things around.  He does have 15 home runs and a 968 OPS in June.

The Brewers may hang onto Fielder until the offseason and then try to trade him for a batch of young prospects, but Melvin acknowledged that he will listen to offers from other clubs in the meantime.

“Whenever a deal feels good, you make it,” said the general manager.  “There’s no
timetable for that. Somebody could call up and say, ‘Hey, would you do
this?’  A
lot of guys snoop around to see what’s going on. If somebody asks about
a player, I’ll say, ‘You’ve asked about him. What will you offer?'”

Fielder, who turned 26 in May, is under contract through the 2011 season.  He is a .281/.382/.542 career hitter with 175 home runs over his first five-plus professional seasons.

Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young dies at 51

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Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young died on Tuesday at the age of 51, the team said. Young was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February.

Young, 51, pitched parts of six seasons in the majors from 1991-96. He began his big league career with the Mets in 1991 and stayed with the team through ’93. He famously failed to win a game between April 24, 1992 and July 24, 1993. During that span of time, he went 0-27. It was a great example, even back then, of the uselessness of won-lost records. Young posted a respectable 4.17 ERA in ’92 and 3.77 in ’93.

Former pitcher Turk Wendell, who was Young’s teammate with the Cubs in 1994-95, called Young “a true gentleman.”

Blue Jays designate Jason Grilli for assignment

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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that the club designated reliever Jason Grilli for assignment as part of a handful of roster moves. Outfielder Dwight Smith was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was activated from the 10-day disabled list, and pitcher Chris Smith was recalled from Buffalo as well.

Grilli, 40, struggled to a 6.97 ERA with a 23/9 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings of work this season in Toronto. The right-hander similarly struggled in the first half last year with the Braves before being acquired by the Jays but Grilli’s role had diminished and most of the rest of the bullpen has been pulling its weight.

Grilli should draw some interest — perhaps from the Nationals — as his peripheral stats suggest he’s not nearly as bad as his ERA suggests.