Michael Cuddyer cares so much about the Twins that he’ll accept a trade

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Talking to CBSSports.com’s Scott Miller, Michael Cuddyer said he’d be OK with waiving his limited no-trade clause and accepting a deal out of Minnesota if it’d help the franchise.

As Cuddyer himself admitted, his no-trade clause really isn’t an obstacle in the first place.  It blocks trades to just three teams, and Cuddyer wasn’t even positive which teams they are.

“Can’t remember,” he told Miller. “I think Oakland is one. Toronto. And … I’m not sure.”

Cuddyer, who hopes to stay in Minnesota in 2012 and beyond, is in the final year of an extension he signed back in 2008.  That contract included $24 million guaranteed, but since the Twins picked up the 2011 option, the deal ended up being worth $33.5 million over four years.

After a very slow start — he didn’t drive in a single run until his 17th game of the season — Cuddyer is up to .282/.347/.449 for the year.  He has five homers in June and 10 overall.

Plus, while Cuddyer doesn’t have a lot of defensive value, his ability to step in and serve as a stopgap anywhere other than shortstop or catcher makes him a nice guy to have around.  He’s started 30 games in right, 17 games at first and 13 games at second this year.

The Braves, Mariners, Phillies, Reds and Diamondbacks are a few of the contenders that he might be able to help.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.