Logan Morrison would have to be part of the return for Gio Gonzalez

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A quick take on the story Craig relayed earlier. I thought the last paragragh of David Villavicencio’s piece on a possible Gio Gonzalez-to-Florida deal was the most interesting one:

The source says three different players have been discussed as potential pieces for the deal. All three players played significant time with the Marlins last season. It is unlikely that all three would be involved in the deal.

So, we’re talking major leaguers. And that makes it pretty much a given that Logan Morrison is someone being talked about. Mike Stanton has to off-limits, and it’s doubtful that Hanley Ramirez is on the block just yet (even if he is, it’s doubtful the A’s would be a strong suitor there). It’s Morrison.

Morrison would add to Oakland’s crowd of first basemen, but he’s enough better than all of the rest to secure the position immediately. The A’s could also leave him in left field for another year, but first is where he belongs for the long haul and they might as well get started on the transition now, even if it leaves Daric Barton and Brandon Allen without much of a role in Oakland’s plans.

Morrison is the kind of potent bat that the A’s will need to deal Gonzalez. It doesn’t come with premium defense, but he should threaten to make an All-Star team or two before he qualifies for free agency in five years.

Some other names likely being discussed:

Chris Coghlan – The current guess is that Coghlan, the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year, will open next year in the minors after hitting .230/.296/.368 in 269 at-bats last season. He seems primed for a rebound, though, and it would make sense for the Marlins to hang on to him if they trade Morrison.

Ricky Nolasco – The rumor lately is that the Marlins have decided to keep Nolasco, whose trade value is down after seasons of 5.06 and 4.51 ERAs. He’s also on the hook for $22 millon over the next two years. The A’s might be willing to take a shot on him anyway, but only as a secondary piece of the deal.

Chris Volstad – Volstad seems more likely than Nolasco to be part of a deal with the A’s. He probably won’t have a rotation spot anyway if the Marlins bring in another starter. The former first-round pick has been an annual disappointment, but his strikeout rate was up and his walk rate was down last year.

Melvin Upton released by the Giants

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Jon Heyman reports that the Giants have released outfielder Melvin Upton. He requested his release.

Upton, who turned 33 yesterday, signed with San Francisco in early April after the Blue Jays released him. It was a minor league deal. After recovering from a rash of minor injuries, Upton batted .244/.306/.333 in 12 games at Triple-A Sacramento. There was no indication that the Giants were going to call him up. I presume that, back when they signed him, they figured they’d be contending and could maybe use a veteran bat. That’s obviously not the case anymore.

I suppose it’s possible that someone gives Upton a look when rosters expand in eight days, but I figure it’s more likely that we’ll next see him as he fights to make a team on a minor league deal next spring.

Carlos Santana left last night’s game with back tightness

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Andrew Miller leaving last night’s Indians-Red Sox game got all the press, but the Indians lost another key player in the game as well: Carlos Santana. He was forced to leave after going 0-for-3. There was no followup announcement after the game, so he’s likely being reevaluated.

Santana is hitting .250/.355/.446 on the year, but he’s been pretty hot of late, hitting .375 with a couple of homers in the past week.