The Red Sox have inquired about Michael Morse

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Red Sox are one of the clubs that have spoken to the Nationals about the now-available Michael Morse.

The idea is that Morse would be a fallback/alternative to Mike Napoli who, amazingly, still doesn’t have a finalized contract with Boston despite reaching a general agreement with them over a month ago.  It’s logical to conclude that those negotiations have turned difficult, and that the Red Sox are looking for other options.

Morse, if signed, would become the Sox’ first baseman and, because David Ortiz is hanging around, wouldn’t have to do much in the way of DH duties which he loathes.

Morse has hit .296/.345/.516 over the past three years and hit 31 home runs in 2011. His defense may be shaky at first, but if he can handle it, that bat would play quite nicely, one would think.

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.