Rockies in talks with Red Sox for Marco Scutaro … maybe

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UPDATE: Not so fast. Less than an hour after his original report Renck says “talks are now fizzling.”

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Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies “are close to acquiring” Marco Scutaro from the Red Sox.

Colorado has been looking for a veteran second baseman and Scutaro would be a nice addition, but the deal doesn’t make much sense for Boston unless the Red Sox have another move up their sleeve for a new shortstop.

They already traded Jed Lowrie to the Astros last month and prospect Jose Iglesias, while a slick fielder, hit just .235 at Triple-A last season as a 21-year-old. Parting with Scutaro would leave Nick Punto or Mike Aviles atop the shortstop depth chart for now, so it’s pretty safe to say there would be another move coming.

And by clearing Scutaro’s $6 million salary off the books the Red Sox might also be in stronger position to pursue a free agent starting pitcher like Roy Oswalt or Edwin Jackson.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.