Rangers official says 3-team deal 'not happening'

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Various rumors have been swirling around today about a potential three-team trade that would supposedly send Kevin Millwood to the Mets, Luis Castillo to the Cubs, and Milton Bradley to the Rangers.
Even at first glance that seems like a “which one of these things doesn’t belong” test question, because while the Mets and Cubs would like nothing more than to dump Castillo and Bradley the Rangers have a whole lot less incentive to give up Millwood.
He’ll make $12 million in 2010, which is certainly pricey, but that’s the same amount the Mets still owe Castillo and Bradley is due $21 million over the next two years.
Millwood is likely to regress in 2010 because his secondary numbers weren’t nearly as good as his 3.67 ERA, but the notion of paying a decent mid-rotation starter $12 million for one year is downright appealing compared to Bradley or Castillo for two years.
Not surprisingly, when MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan actually asked a high-ranking Rangers official about the rumored swap, the response was simple: “Not happening.”
It’s possible that Texas may be open to reuniting with Bradley, who had the best season of his career with the Rangers in 2008, but there’s no reason for them to give up anything of value to make that happen and the idea that the Mets could deal a completely unwanted player in Castillo for a decent starting pitcher is awfully wishful thinking.

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.