Michael Cuddyer

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.

Jose Fernandez’s high school jersey was returned

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09:  Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on July 9, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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Yesterday it was reported that someone stole Jose Fernandez’s high school jersey, which had been hanging in the Alsonso High School dugout in Tampa for a vigil. That was pretty vile stuff indeed.

Thankfully, however, someone’s conscience got the best of them: the jersey has been returned. School officials say that a family found a large envelope outside of the high school with the words “Jose’s jersey” written on it. They took the envelope into to the school this morning and the jersey was found inside.

Bad form taking it, whoever you are, but in most cases it’s never too late to make a better decision and fix your mistakes.

The Tigers have an interesting weekend ahead of them

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 08:  A general view of outside the stadium ahead of the Philadephia Phillies versus Atlanta Braves during their opening day game at Turner Field on April 8, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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In late August, when everyone started looking at the schedule in an effort to see who had the easiest road ahead of them to the playoffs, the Tigers stood out as particularly blessed. The end of their season featured several games against the lonely Twins and, if things were tight heading into the final weekend, a three-game series against the lowly Braves.

Problem: the Braves have not been very lowly lately, and that could cause the Tigers all kinds of grief.

Atlanta has won 10 of 11 games. They’ve scored 66 runs in those games and their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.28 over that span. Oh, and remember how, earlier in the season, the Braves were hitting like a deadball era team, being outhomered by multiple individual players? Well, they’ve hit ten during this neat little run. Really, though, the run isn’t that little. They’ve won 19 of 30 and have been a solid team, offensively speaking, since late July. They’re hot as heck now and haven’t been pushovers for some time.

So enter the Tigers, who have been seesawing through August and September and who have to play in Atlanta this weekend without their DH, Victor Martinez. Oh, and who stand a halfway decent chance of having to fly out of Atlanta Sunday evening for a makeup game in Detroit that could then cause them to play a tiebreaker game in Toronto or Baltimore which could then have them travel to the other city for a Wild Card game. And that’s if things break decently.

If they break poorly? It’ll be a long, season-closing flight home from Atlanta. A city that was supposed to provide respite for them when it first appeared on the schedule.