Angels' Mike Napoli claimed by Red Sox, deal unlikely

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UPDATE:  Joe McDonald of ESPN.com is reporting that the Red Sox have claimed Napoli off waivers from the Angels but are unlikely to
trade for him by Monday’s deadline.

The Red Sox may have put in the claim to block the power-hitting Napoli
from reaching the Rays, Yankees and Twins, who could all use a little
pop.

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12:33 AM:  The Manny Ramirez negotiations aren’t very active at the moment.  But there might be another major waiver deal in the works.

According to FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, an unknown team has claimed Angels catcher Mike Napoli off waivers.  The Angels have until Monday afternoon to work out a deal with that claiming club.

Who might it be?  Well, probably a club from the American League.  Those teams get first pick and Napoli has a fairly high amount of value as a hitter.  In just 369 at-bats this year for the Angels he boasts a team-leading 21 home runs, 60 RBI and a .480 slugging percentage. 

Morosi notes that Napoli would make sense for Red Sox, Rays, Twins, White Sox and Rangers as a first baseman or designated hitter.  And he would also fit in Detroit, where the Tigers are seeking a starting catcher for 2011. 

It will take a decent prospect, that’s for sure, but a deal involving Napoli could most definitely happen either Sunday or closer to the Monday afternoon deadline.

Ronald Acuña batting sixth, playing left field in his Braves debut

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The Braves have made it official, announcing that they have called up top prospect Ronald Acuña. He’ll bat sixth in tonight’s game against the Reds and will start in left field.

Acuña will be wearing number 13, no doubt to honor past Braves luminaries like Adonis Garcia, Nate McLouth, Ozzie Guillen, Juan Eichelberger and Jerry Royster, all of whom have worn the fabled 1 and 3. Feel like he stands a pretty good chance of besting their exploits.

The 20-year-old Acuña was 11-for-his-last-33 with a homer, a double, four walks, and three stolen bases at Triple-A Gwinnett following a slow start. He tore it up in spring training, however, and hit .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs, 82 RBI, 44 stolen bases, and 88 runs scored in 139 games last season across three levels of the Braves’ minor league system.

The future was delayed a bit, but it’s here now for the Atlanta Braves’ phenom.