Astros won't bring back Geoff Blum, picking $150,000 buyout

Leave a comment

Geoff Blum was Houston’s Opening Day first baseman, but yesterday the Astros informed the 37-year-old utility man that he will not be back in 2011.
Rather than exercise their $1.65 million option the Astros will give Blum a $150,000 buyout and he’ll go in search of another bench job after hitting his usual .267/.321/.356 in 218 plate appearances.
Houston’s remarkable turnaround this season is obviously represented plenty well by their 17-34 start followed by a 59-52 finish, but going from thinking Blum was a viable replacement for Lance Berkman at first base to not even wanting him back next year at the relatively lost cost of $1.65 million also tells a pretty convincing story of the team’s in-season improvement.

Report: Blue Jays and Royals making progress on a Francisco Liriano trade

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and Royals are making progress on a trade involving starter Francisco Liriano. Morosi notes that other teams are still involved with the Jays on Liriano as well.

Liriano, 33, has struggled mightily this season. He carries a 5.99 ERA with a 70/42 K/BB ratio over 76 2/3 innings. By most metrics, this is one of the worst seasons of the lefty’s career.

The Royals acquired a trio of pitchers earlier this week from the Padres: Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter, and Trevor Cahill. Adding Liriano would bolster the team’s rotation depth but might not do much beyond that.

Despite a sluggish start to the season, the Royals went 17-9 in June and are 14-8 in July to put themselves right back in the thick of things in the AL Central. They’re just one and a half games behind the first-place Indians, which explains their aggressiveness leading up to Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

The Marlins are open to trading starter Dan Straily

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Miami Marlins are “now open to trading” starter Dan Straily.

Straily is controllable through 2020 and is a solid mid-to-back rotation starter, so you’d think the Marlins would want to hang on to him, but given that all of the starting pitching available right now comes with a high price tag, the Marlins could probably get a lot in return if they were to deal him.

Straily has a 3.84 ERA and a 107/33 K/BB ratio in 117 1/3 innings this season.