Aaron Cook will talk to the Padres and Reds in free agency

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Aaron Cook is a free agent now that the Rockies have declined their $11 million option on him for 2012.  And like a lot of recently-injured or ineffective starting pitchers, he said that he’d talk to the San Diego Padres.  You know the pattern by now: it’s a big, pitcher-friendly park and it’s a great place for a one-year prove-yourself contract. The only downside: you don’t get to face the Padres offense several times a year.  Still get the Giants, but no Padres.

But Cook told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he’d talk to another team too:  the Cincinnati Reds.  Not exactly an obvious choice given that they play in a bandbox, but as Armstrong notes, Cook has always pitched well in Great American Ballpark.

But let’s also be realistic: he’s pitched six games in that joint. Six.  While, sure, he’s only pitched 11 in Petco Park, at least his results match up roughly with what a lot of pitchers do there (i.e. pitch better).  Is he really confident that he’d continue to buck the trend of pitchers getting blown up on Cincinnati?

Call the Reds once and see what they’d do for you, Aaron.  But go see the Padres in person.  You may find your efforts in that direction more richly rewarded, at least in the long term.

Report: Athletics to acquire Stephen Piscotty from the Cardinals

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Athletics and Cardinals have agreed on a trade involving outfielder Stephen Piscotty. The Cardinals will receive two as yet unknown minor leaguers in return.

Piscotty, 26, hit .235/.342/.367 with nine home runs and 39 RBI in 401 plate appearances for the Cardinals this past season. He dealt with injuries and with his mother’s ALS diagnosis, so it was a rough year, but very excusably so. The Cardinals had signed him to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension in March. He’s under contract through 2022 at a total of $29.5 million and has a club option for 2023 worth $15 million with a $1 million buyout.

The Cardinals had an outfield spot open up after agreeing to acquire Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins on Wednesday so the Piscotty trade doesn’t come as a surprise.