A’s acquire David Purcey from Blue Jays for Danny Farquhar

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Last week the Blue Jays designated David Purcey for assignment and today they traded the former first-round pick to the A’s for Danny Farquhar, who originally went from Toronto to Oakland in the Rajai Davis trade back in November.

Once upon a time I thought Purcey had a chance to be a solid mid-rotation starter after posting strong strikeout numbers in the minors, but his control never shaped up enough for that to happen and now he’s trying to make it back to the majors as a 28-year-old reliever.

Farquhar was a 10th-round pick in 2008 and, much like Purcey, has posted good strikeout numbers with poor control, but it probably doesn’t say much for his long-term potential that he’s been traded 2-for-1 for a mediocre outfielder and then traded back to his original team for a DFA’d reliever in the span of six months.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.