Fredi Gonzalez turns down interview for Cubs' manager job

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Fredi Gonzalez is apparently so confident the Braves will choose him as their new manager when Bobby Cox retires at the end of the season that John Hickey of AOL Fanhouse reports he turned down a chance to interview for the open Cubs’ job.
Last month I was in Atlanta for the annual Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) convention and Gonzalez was also in attendance. He hung around the hotel and sat in on some presentations. Not coincidentally Cox participated in a Braves panel and former GM and current team president John Schuerholz was the convention’s keynote speaker.
All of which struck me as a pretty strong indication that Gonzalez was more or less already in the Braves’ family (or back in, since he was a Braves coach for years) and just waiting his turn to replace Cox at season’s end, particularly since Schuerholz made it very clear at one point that he felt the Marlins made a mistake in firing Gonzalez.
Under normal circumstances I’m sure Gonzalez would join Bob Melvin, Ryne Sandberg, Mike Quade, Eric Wedge in going after the Cubs job, but these aren’t normal circumstances. He has a better gig lined up.

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.