Rockies “aggressively trying to trade” Jeremy Guthrie

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Jeremy Guthrie has been a mess for the Rockies with a 7.02 ERA and league-high 15 homers allowed in 13 starts after they acquired him from the Orioles in February, and Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that they’re “aggressively trying to trade” the veteran right-hander.

According to Renck the Blue Jays are among the teams interested and are willing to take on most of Guthrie’s bloated $8.2 million salary while giving up an undisclosed prospect. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com names Double-A first baseman Mike McDade as a possibility.

Guthrie was a decent enough mid-rotation starter in Baltimore, throwing 983 innings with a 4.12 ERA in five seasons, but between his $8.2 million salary and tendency to serve up tons of homers he was an odd fit for the Rockies and Coors Field.

To make matters worse the Rockies traded Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom to get Guthrie. Lindstrom has been on the disabled list for a month, but Hammel has come out of nowhere to rank among the top starters in the league with a 2.87 ERA and 77/29 K/BB ratio in 82 innings.

Toronto has lost Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, and Drew Hutchison to injuries this month, so the Blue Jays’ interest in Guthrie as an innings-eating rotation reinforcement makes some sense even if their reported willingness to pay $5 million and a decent prospect for a guy with a 7.02 ERA doesn’t.

If the Tigers are sub-.500 at the end of June it’ll be fire sale time

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Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.

This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.

So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.

The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.