Nationals send one-time catcher of the future Jesus Flores back to the minors

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With concerns about his surgically repaired shoulder likely limiting the potential trade market and two catchers ahead of him on the depth chart, the Nationals sent Jesus Flores to the minors today.

Flores was once the Nationals’ catcher of the future, but suffered a shoulder injury after getting off to a great start in 2009 and hasn’t played since, as the Nationals signed Ivan Rodriguez to be their short-term starter behind the plate and traded for Wilson Ramos to be their new catcher of the future.

Flores is still just 26 years old and showed a lot of promise before the injury, so if he can stay in the lineup at Triple-A, prove that his arm strength is back, and put together a couple good months there should be quite a bit of trade interest as the July 31 deadline approaches.

Dodgers designate Sergio Romo for assignment

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The Dodgers announced on Thursday that the club activated pitcher Grant Dayton from the 10-day disabled list and designated pitcher Sergio Romo for assignment.

Dayton, 29, went on the disabled list earlier this month with neck stiffness. He’ll resume with a 3.63 ERA and a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings.

Romo, 34, signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Dodgers in February. It didn’t really work out, as the right-hander posted a 6.12 ERA with a 31/12 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. His peripherals are still decent, so it wouldn’t be surprising if a team in need of a bullpen arm makes a deal with the Dodgers within the week.

Nate Karns underwent season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that Royals pitcher Nate Karns underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome on Wednesday. He’s expected to be ready for spring training next year. Karns went on the disabled list in May with an elbow injury and didn’t make much progress.

The Royals acquired Karns from the Mariners in January in exchange for outfielder Jarrod Dyson. Over eight starts and one relief appearance, the 29-year-old right-hander compiled a 4.17 ERA and a 51/13 K/BB ratio in 45 1/3 innings.

Karns will enter his first of three years of arbitration eligibility after the season, so he’ll be under the Royals’ control through 2020.