Diamondbacks talking to Brewers about Yovani Gallardo

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Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has the big scoop:

The Diamondbacks and Brewers have been talking about possible trades involving Milwaukee veteran righthanded starter Yovani Gallardo, and one of the Arizona names that’s surfaced in discussions is top pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs.

But a person familiar with the talks told Heyman that “there’s no traction at this point” toward a trade.

FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reported earlier this evening that the D’Backs have also expressed interest in Brewers relievers John Axford, Jim Henderson and Francisco Rodriguez, so this thing could grow.

Gallardo has posted a 4.78 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 101 2/3 innings this season, but he boasts a 3.75 career ERA and a 1.31 career WHIP. The 27-year-old is making $7.75 million in 2013 and is owed $11.25 million in 2014. He carries a $13 million club option for the 2015 season which can be bought out for $600,000.

Arizona is currently leading the National League West. Milwaukee is in last place in the NL Central.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.