Dee Gordon was given a brief reprieve yesterday when Casey Blake was placed on the disabled list with an arthritic condition in his neck, but Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that the Dodgers sent the speedy shortstop back to Triple-A Albuquerque today.
Rafael Furcal started at shortstop in his return from an oblique injury yesterday and figures to play there on a regular basis as long as he can stay healthy, so Gordon is much better off playing everyday in the minor leagues. The Dodgers briefly discussed moving Furcal to second base, but those plans have been put on the backburner for now.
Furcal has been limited to just 18 games with the Dodgers this season, batting .214/.247/.271 over 73 plate appearances. He’s still owed roughly half of his $12 million salary for this season, but the Dodgers will surely attempt to shop him in the coming days and weeks. The 33-year-old has a limited no-trade clause in his contract.
Gordon, 23, batted .232/.250/.280 with two doubles, a triple and four RBI over his first 85 major league plate appearances. He went 8-for-11 in stolen base attempts.
The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Ryan Raburn from the Chicago White Sox. Raburn had been playing at Triple-A Charlotte. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization. The Nationals will send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox to complete the deal.
Raburn has yet to play in the majors this season. Last year he hit .220/.309/.404 with nine homers in 113 games for the Colorado Rockies. The year before that he hit an excellent .301/.393/.543 in part time play for the Indians. Over the course of his 11 year career the 36-year-old has hit .253/.317/.436, which breaks down to an OPS+ of exactly 100, which is league average. Primarily an outfielder, Raburn has played every position except shortstop and catcher in his career. He’s even pitched twice.
The Nats plans for him aren’t entirely clear, but depth it depth.
Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.
This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.
So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.
The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.