Acquisition of Arodys Vizcaino makes Braves likelier to trade a set-up man

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The Braves made a deal with the Cubs on Friday evening, sending second baseman Tommy La Stella and international signing slot No. 4 to Chicago in exchange for pitcher Arodys Vizcaino and the Cubs’ No. 2, 3, and 4 international signing slots.

While the inclusion of the international signing slots has its own implications — such as the pursuit of free agent Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada — David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution adds that, with Vizcaino now in the mix in the Braves’ bullpen, the club is even likelier to trade a set-up man. Odds are on Jordan Walden or David Carpenter being shopped.

Walden put together a great 2014 campaign for the Braves, finishing with a 2.88 ERA and a 62/27 K/BB ratio over 50 innings. Carpenter was decent as well, putting up a 3.54 ERA with a 67/16 K/BB ratio in 61 innings. Walden is eligible for arbitration for the second time after earning $1.49 million this past season, while Carpenter is arbitration-eligible for the first time after taking home $532,500.

Brad Ausmus interviewing for Astros manager job

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I did the Handsome Managers list in December. Thought I had moved on. Thought I’d never have to think about him again. But here is, walking right back in my door: Brad Ausmus is interviewing for the vacant Astros manager job. So reports Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.

Ausmus played for the Astros longer than he played for any other team in the bigs, notching ten years of service in two stints and playing on the 2005 NL Pennant-winning club. As a manager, you know, that he led the Tigers for four seasons and was the Angels’ skipper last year.

Houston has already interviewed Dusty Baker for the job. They’ll presumably want someone in place before spring training begins in a few weeks.