Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
Associated Press

Pirates designate Michael Morse for assignment

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The Pirates announced that they have designated Michael Morse for assignment. Morse is making $8 million this year. Pittsburgh was were paying about $5 million of it.

Morse has traveled a bit since leaving Washington following the 2012 season, having made his way from Seattle to Baltimore to San Francisco to Miami and then to the Pirates last year. He was with the Dodgers for a millisecond too, though he didn’t appear for them. His 2014 with the Giants was good but hit a mere .231/.313/.336 with Miami and Pittsburgh last year in 98 games. This year he was 0-for-8 in six games with the Pirates.

Now that he’s being cut loose, assuming he clears waivers and doesn’t accept a minor league assignment, both of which seem likely, he’ll be a free agent. And can ask any team in baseball to take him on.

The Blue Jays call up switch-pitcher Pat Venditte

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The Toronto Blue Jays just announced that they have called up reliever Pat Venditte from Triple-A. You may recall that, last fall, Toronto signed him to a contract after claiming him off waivers from Oakland.

Venditte was no great shakes in the bigs in his first season last year, posting a 4.40 ERA in 28 and two-thirds innings while striking out 23 and walking 12. But he’s always going to draw attention, even when being called up to fill some middle relief/cannon-fodder role given that he’s ambidextrous and throws with each arm. As we’ve noted in the past, if only he threw with each of them or even one of them a bit better, he’d have a better chance to stick someplace. For now, though, he’s fun.

Toronto Blue Jays' Pat Venditte pitches to the Philadelphia Phillies during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game Friday, March 25, 2016, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Toronto Blue Jays’ Pat Venditte pitches to the Philadelphia Phillies during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game Friday, March 25, 2016, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

The Orioles and Tigers are interested in Kyle Lohse

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Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles are among the teams interested in Kyle Lohse, who is still a free agent.

The O’s are undefeated but given the unlikelihood of them going 162-0, depth is always important. It’s an open question whether Lohse has anything left in the tank. He’s 37 and posted a 5.58 ERA in 152 1/3 innings last season for the Brewers, but dudes go down and known quantities tend to get chances, even if they don’t break camp with a team.