Not just Adrian Gonzalez: The Dodgers have claimed Josh Beckett too

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Claiming Adrian Gonzalez is one thing, but claiming Josh Beckett too?  Yep, the Dodgers have done that, Sean McAdam of CSNNE confirms.

This is a little different than the Adrian Gonzalez claim.  For one thing, the Red Sox may very well just want to be rid of Josh Beckett. The fan base has turned on him and, depending on how much blame you put on him for the clubhouse problems in Boston — probably nowhere near as much as some folks claim, but in Boston everything sucks right now — it’s not like you have to sell the fans on letting him go.  The fact that he’s pitched like butt this year makes it easier too.  He’s due $35 million through the end of 2014 too, so losing him saves a lot of money.

But it’s also different in that Beckett has 10/5 rights, and a player with 10/5 rights has the right to block waiver claims too.  Beckett has given no indication that he’d waive his no-trade protection in the past, although things have gotten way worse in Boston lately so maybe he’s of a different mind about such things now.  Added incentive: pitching in the NL West could really help him rebound between now and 2014 when he’ll likely want to cash in on one last big free agency deal.

One final possibility: maybe the Dodgers claim of both Gonzalez and Beckett is the precursor to a gigantic mega-trade/player dump involving the two teams.  Again, the Dodgers don’t have that much to offer besides salary relief, but weirder things have happened. I think.

Stay tuned!

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.