Let me preface this with a calming word: Josh Hamilton is not going to move from the outfield to first base, at least not by next season.
But it has been discussed.
Hamilton told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday that he would be open to — but is not requesting — a position change.
The current Rangers left fielder has been out since September 4 due to rib fractures that he suffered while running into an outfield wall and has struggled to stay healthy throughout his professional career. But he is one of the top defensive outfielders in the game and a move to first base would hurt his value to the Rangers in the present and his value as a potential free agent in the future.
“I’m open to playing anywhere,” Hamilton told the Morning News. “I think I’m a pretty good
outfielder and I just always thought I’d play the outfield as long as I
could, and if one day somebody wanted to move me to first or DH, then
I’d do that.”
Rangers GM Jon Daniels echoed that he is in no rush to make a move, even given Hamilton’s injury struggles. The MVP candidate biked for 20 minutes Tuesday and is hoping to play around three or four games before the end of the regular season.
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.
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.