Link-O-Rama: Brewers, Dodgers looking at Padilla?

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* Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Dodgers and Brewers are “kicking the tires” on Vicente Padilla, who was designated for assignment by the Rangers.
* Picking up Russell Branyan on the cheap was one of rookie Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik’s first moves and has turned out brilliantly, as the perennial part-time player has hit .255/.354/.535 with 27 homers through 99 games in a full-time role. Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes that the Mariners face a decision on whether to re-sign Branyan now that his value is rising.
* Bill Chastain of MLB.com has a very interesting article about the Rays allowing B.J. Upton to play the shallowest center field in all of baseball.
* Now that he’s starting to hit better and play more Magglio Ordonez is closing in on the 540 plate appearances required to trigger his $18 million option for next season. Obviously the Tigers want to avoid paying him that much in 2010, but benching him down the stretch in a pennant race may prove tricky.
* Daniel Herrera is 5-foot-6 on a good day and is one of the few pitchers to regularly throw a screwball, so it’s easy to see why he’s among my favorite players.

Giants making Brandon Belt available

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Giants have made first baseman Brandon Belt available in a trade and says that several teams have expressed interest in him.

Which is kind of weird, really.

Belt turns 31 early next season. He hit .253/.342/.414 with 14 homers over 112 games last year due to a knee injury and time lost to an appendectomy. He has a history of concussions and has averaged only 115 games over the last five seasons. Oh, and makes $48 million over the next three years.

Yes, he could be a very useful player if healthy, but taking on that kind of money, even a part of that money, when many very affordable first base/DH options are out there on the market makes little sense to me. Matt Adams. Justin Bour. Lucas Duda. As good as Belt? No, I don’t think so. But way cheaper and requiring less of a commitment.

But hey, rumors are rumors. Let a thousand flowers bloom.