Rays designate Reid Brignac and Elliot Johnson for assignment

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Tampa Bay has designated Reid Brignac for assignment, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, dropping the one-time top prospect from the 40-man roster ahead of a potential trade or trip to the waiver wire.

Brignac ranked among Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, but has hit just .227 with a .586 OPS in 256 games as a big leaguer and spent most of last season at Triple-A.

He’s a good defensive shortstop and still just 27 years old, but Brignac has never really even produced much at Triple-A. It’ll be interesting to see if the Rays can find a team willing to give up a little something in trade or if they’ll end up simply waiving him.

UPDATE: Tampa Bay also DFA’d Elliot Johnson, another good-glove, no-hit infielder who’s played quite a bit for the past couple seasons.

The Marlins made an empty threat. Giancarlo Stanton made an empty promise.

Associated Press
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I covered the main press conference about Giancarlo Stanton earlier, but afterward he and his agents fanned out to various TV shows, radio shows and reporter scrums from which some new, fun things have spun out. Part of what they’ve talked about is silly and meaningless, part of it just meaningless.

Here’s the silly and meaningless, from a Marlins official, apparently, trying to bully Stanton into accepting either the Giants or the Cardinals trades despite the fact that he told them beforehand that he was not willing to go to either of those teams:

This is silly because it comes off like a threat. Like the worst possible thing that can happen to a guy is to stay with the very team that is making the threat. It’s like telling your wife that if she does not leave you, she’s stuck with you forever.

It’s meaningless too, in that Stanton has an opt-out clause after 2020. If the Marlins could not make a trade Stanton would approve, he’d simply collect close to $90 million and then leave at age 30. Oooh, don’t throw me into that briar patch, Mr. Jeter!

Not that Stanton’s people are offering statements of serious gravitas. His agent was asked about Stanton’s opt-out rights, which he retains even though he’s now with the Yankees:

That may very well be true! He just got here and everything is going great so far. It’s totally empty, of course, because anything can happen between now and the fall of 2020. If the big time free agents of the next two years sign for the sort of money that makes Stanton look underpaid, he’ll certainly opt-out, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees. Ask Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia how that works. The opt-out clause is pure, unadulterated leverage for a player and unless he totally craters over the next three seasons he’ll most certainly use it, regardless of present desires.

Which, hey, that’s how things work when a big trade or free agent signing happens. Everyone who has lost looks bad and everyone who won sounds happy. Then, later, the baseball happens.