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.

Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young dies at 51

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Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young died on Tuesday at the age of 51, the team said. Young was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February.

Young, 51, pitched parts of six seasons in the majors from 1991-96. He began his big league career with the Mets in 1991 and stayed with the team through ’93. He famously failed to win a game between April 24, 1992 and July 24, 1993. During that span of time, he went 0-27. It was a great example, even back then, of the uselessness of won-lost records. Young posted a respectable 4.17 ERA in ’92 and 3.77 in ’93.

Former pitcher Turk Wendell, who was Young’s teammate with the Cubs in 1994-95, called Young “a true gentleman.”

Blue Jays designate Jason Grilli for assignment

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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that the club designated reliever Jason Grilli for assignment as part of a handful of roster moves. Outfielder Dwight Smith was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was activated from the 10-day disabled list, and pitcher Chris Smith was recalled from Buffalo as well.

Grilli, 40, struggled to a 6.97 ERA with a 23/9 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings of work this season in Toronto. The right-hander similarly struggled in the first half last year with the Braves before being acquired by the Jays but Grilli’s role had diminished and most of the rest of the bullpen has been pulling its weight.

Grilli should draw some interest — perhaps from the Nationals — as his peripheral stats suggest he’s not nearly as bad as his ERA suggests.