Braves “could be close to making deal for right-handed bat”

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David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets that the Braves “could be close to making a deal for a right-handed bat.”

He doesn’t offer any further details, but guys like Josh Willingham, Ryan Ludwick, and even Hunter Pence could be potential fits. Carlos Beltran is a switch-hitter, so presumably the “right-handed” part rules him out.

Jeff Francoeur would obviously be the most amusing option, if only because of Calcaterra’s reaction to his return, but even if the Braves wanted him back it’s tough to imagine Dayton Moore living without him in Kansas City. Once you find a love like that, you don’t let it go.

Atlanta ranks dead last among NL teams with a measly .622 OPS versus left-handed pitchers this season and no other team in the league is below .650, so without knowing any details the pursuit of a right-handed bat certainly makes sense in theory.

UPDATE: Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com adds Jonny Gomes to the list of potential Braves targets.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.