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Scott White chat transcript (2/19)

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Player News
Astros now open to trading young starters
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:59 pm ET) Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow indicated earlier this season that young starters such as Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh were not going to be used as trade chips because they were too valuable for the team's future. But times have changed, according to Fox Sports.

A shortage of starting pitchers among some contenders could result in strong packages offered for Keuchel and/or McHugh. And the Astros have become open to exploring such a deal.

"We do seem to have an excess of pretty good young starters so we wouldn't rule out anything," Luhnow said. "We'd have to get back a big-league piece, preferably a bat, in a package that makes sense for the future and present."

Both Keuchel and McHugh, however, have cooled off as the weather has heated up. The former is 0-4 in his last six starts with 57 hits allowed in his last 36 2/3 innings. McHugh has lost his last six starts, though a lack of run support has played as big a role in that misery as poor performance.


Tony Gwynn sent packing by Phillies
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:39 pm ET) Veteran outfielder Tony Gwynn has been released by the Phillies.

Gwynn, whose legendary namesake father died earlier this season, had been designated for assignment last week after compiling a .163 batting average in 98 at-bats.


Miguel Cabrera struggling - comparatively speaking
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:34 pm ET) Brilliant numbers are not necessarily typical numbers for Tigers stud first baseman Miguel Cabrera. He's batting .309 with 16 home runs, 81 RBI and .895 OPS. But he is scuffling in comparison to the stats he compiled before being slowed by abdominal issues in the second half of last season that required surgery.

Brad Ausmus recognizes that. "He's scuffling a little bit right now," he told the Detroit News. "I think he's been a little frustrated all year. Post-surgery - everything's not in sync. I think surgery is the root cause of it. It can take time. I think there are side effects from all of that."

Cabrera is hitless in his last nine at-bats and has just 16 home runs this season after slugging 44 in each of his last two years. His .531 slugging percentage is more than 100 points off what he compiled in 2013.


Chris Denorfia placed on trading block by San Diego
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:16 pm ET) Sources have told mlbdailydish.com that the Padres are seeking to trade outfielder Chris Denorfia "sooner rather than later." Among the interested teams are the Giants, Mariners, Blue Jays and Royals.

Denorfia owns a stat line of .244/.295/.321 and is a free agent after this season. He would likely be a two-month rental for any team that trades for him.


Dustin Ackley finally reaching potential for Seattle
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:07 pm ET) The Mariners have finally been seeing glimpses of the Dustin Ackley they have envisioned since 2011.

Ackley slammed three more hits Sunday in his second straight start in the second hole in the lineup. He ripped two doubles on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Ackley boasts a .375 batting average in July. His .251 season mark is at its highest pointe since May and represents a 37-point rise since June 30.

"That's what we've been looking for all year," Lloyd McClendon told the Tacoma News-Tribune. "He's aggressive, he's attacking the baseball and he's using the entire field to hit. If he does that, he's a dangerous guy. I think he can sustain that."

Ackley, however, has not homered since blasting off twice on May 11.


Several issues could keep Phillies from trading Cliff Lee
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:56 am ET) Recent struggles on the mound, an injury history and a bulky salary will likely conspire to keep Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee from being traded, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Lee has yielded nine runs on 21 hits in just 10 2/3 innings in his last two starts. Contending teams will be hard-pressed to trade top prospects for Lee until he regains the dominance that has marked much of his career. Lee will turn 36 on Aug. 30. His contract still calls for him to earn $45.5 after the trade deadline.

Equally disturbing is that Lee has surrendered 99 hits in 78 2/3 innings this season.


Report: Pirates interested in LaTroy Hawkins
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:44 am ET) Rockies closer LaTroy Hawkins is being eyed by the Pirates, according to MLB.com. It would remain to be seen if he maintains that role in Pittsburgh or is utilized as a short reliever looking to maintain the lead for Mark Melancon.

Hawkins hasn't had many save opportunities for a high-scoring, injury-plagued Colorado team that owns the second-worst record in the National League. But he has nailed down 17 of 18 save opportunities this season.


Yangervis Solarte moves across infield to third base
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:35 am ET) The return of Jedd Gyorko to the lineup has forced Yangervis Solarte to move from second to third base for the first time for the Padres. Solarte is playing that corner position Monday in Atlanta.

Solarte has been tearing it up at the plate since the trade that brought him from the Yankees. He has seven hits in 21 at-bats with five runs scored, one home run and one RBI in each of the five games he's played.


Ian Kennedy set to start Saturday after being skipped
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:30 am ET) What was expected has been confirmed - Ian Kennedy will start for the Padres on Saturday against visiting Atlanta. He was scratched Monday against the same team with left oblique soreness.

Kennedy can only hope the time off doesn't derail his momentum. He is 3-0 in his last five outings with four quality starts and nine runs allowed in 32 innings.


Jonny Gomes: I'm braced to leave Boston
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:22 am ET) Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes is taking trade talks with a grain of salt. He has experience to help himself emotionally after having been dealt to Washington from Cincinnati in the midseason of 2011.

Gomes is attractive to teams seeking to bolster their lineups against left-handers, against whom he boasts a .315/.410/.450 stat line. He is not eager to be shipped out, but is better prepared for it than he was earlier in his career.

"The first time I got traded, it was extremely mised emotions of a team, not necessarily giving up, but feels like you're replaceable," he told WEEI.com. "At the same time, out of all the guys available in the trade market, this other team picked you. You never want to be given up on. But there are situations where you're not being given up on but the business side stands out."


 
 
 
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