Pirates demote 2007 fourth overall pick Daniel Moskos to AA

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Many fans and prospect analysts mocked the Pirates for selecting Clemson reliever Daniel Moskos with the fourth overall pick in the 2007 draft when Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters was still available.
Wieters has been a disappointment so far, hitting just .267/.331/.393 in 188 games for the Orioles after arriving in the majors last May with an incredible amount of hype, but he remains a potential star and Moskos is still in the minors at age 24. In fact, he’s struggled so much that the Pirates just demoted him from Triple-A to Double-A.
Moskos earned a midseason promotion by posting a 1.45 ERA and 30/9 K/BB ratio in 31 innings at Double-A to begin this year, but went 0-5 with an ugly 10.38 ERA in 19 appearances at Triple-A to get a quick trip back to the lower level.
His overall numbers in the minors are sub par, although he spent the past two seasons struggling as a starter before moving back to the bullpen full time this year. Still, in a draft that has already sent Wieters, David Price, Jason Heyward, Madison Bumgarner, Mike Stanton, Matt LaPorta, J.P. Arencibia, Rick Porcello, Brett Cecil, Tommy Hunter, and Julio Borbon to the majors Moskos sticks out like a sore thumb.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.

It’s not known yet what kind of contract the two sides are negotiating. It could be a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, a non-guaranteed major league contract, or a guaranteed major league contract.

President Obama pardons Willie McCovey

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 06:  San Francisco Giants legend Willie McCovey  waves to the crowd while seating between Jeff Kent (L) and Willie Mays during a ceremony honoring Buster Posey for winning the 2012 National League MVP before the Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.

Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.

President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.