Yankees shift veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia to bullpen

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As first reported by MLB.com beat writer Bryan Hoch, the Yankees announced early Sunday morning that right-hander Freddy Garcia has been removed from the starting rotation and will operate as the long man in the bullpen going forward.

David Phelps, who has posted a 3.57 ERA through 17 2/3 innings of relief this season, is expected to take over the Yankees’ vacant rotation spot.

Garcia was shelled for six earned runs in just 1 2/3 innings Saturday in a 7-5 loss to the Tigers and is sporting a hideous 12.51 ERA in 13 2/3 total frames this year. It’s feasible that he could pitch well enough out of the ‘pen to earn his way back into the rotation mix, but he’s dug himself quite a hole.

The Yankees hold an 11-9 record heading into Sunday’s action, which has them in third place in the AL East.

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.