The Yankees are talking to Carl Crawford

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I’ve been skeptical of any real Yankee interest in Carl Crawford because (a) their outfield seems quite nice as currently-constructed; and (b) even if we scoff at the Yankees “budget,” they do claim to have one and it’s hard to see how Crawford would fit in it if they’re also going to extend Jeter, re-sign Pettitte and get Cliff Lee.

But Buster Olney tweeted a few minutes ago that “the Yankees are very much engaged in conversations with free agent outfielder Carl Crawford.”  Perhaps this is more Red Sox-Yankees drive-the-price-up-for-the-other shenanigans — and if so, I applaud it because that is great fun — but if we learn anything each and every offseason it’s that we can’t discount anything until a guy is actually committed someplace.

I mean, when we woke up yesterday we didn’t figure on Adam Dunn landing in Chicago before dinnertime did we?

The Reds are on pace to break their own record for home runs allowed

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The Reds got shelled by the Diamondbacks on Thursday afternoon, dropping the game 12-2. The pitching staff gave up four home runs, including two to Jake Lamb. Gregor Blanco and Ketel Marte also went yard.

That brings the Reds’ total on the season up to 166 through 95 games. That prorates to 283 over 162 games, which would shatter their own major league record for home runs allowed by a team in a season. Last year, the Reds’ pitching staff yielded 258 dingers.

After Thursday’s action, the Reds’ pitching has a major league worst 5.31 ERA, which is exactly in line with its major league worst 5.31 FIP. According to FanGraphs, the pitching staff is worth 0.2 Wins Above Replacement, which is by far the worst in baseball. The Twins’ staff is next-worst at 2.7 WAR. It’s been a rough year in Cincinnati.

Report: Twins close to acquiring Jaime Garcia from the Braves

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Update (7:33 PM ET): There’s a deal in place, per Jon Morosi. The Braves will be receiving a minor leaguer from the Twin, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports.

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The Twins are close to acquiring starter Jaime Garcia from the Braves, Ken Rosenthal reports.

Garcia, 31, is owed the remainder of his $12 million salary for 2017 and can become a free agent at season’s end. Through 17 starts with the Braves, the lefty has a 4.33 ERA with an 81/40 K/BB ratio in 106 innings.

The 48-46 Twins find themselves just a half-game behind the Indians for first place in the AL Central, so this is certainly an attempt to gear up for the stretch run.

Aaron Blair was scratched from his start with Triple-A Gwinnett, so he could be on his way up to the majors to fill Garcia’s spot in the Braves’ rotation.