MLB notes: Morales returns to Mariners in trade with Twins

Minnesota Twins designated hitter Kendrys Morales (17) hits a double in the fifth inning against...

Minnesota Twins designated hitter Kendrys Morales (17) hits a double in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Jun 10, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, CAN. (Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports)

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The Seattle Mariners acquired first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Stephen Pryor.

Morales, 31, is scheduled to report to the Mariners on Friday, at which time a 25-man roster move will be made.

Morales rejoins Seattle after a brief stint with the Twins. Morales, who signed as a free agent with Minnesota on June 8, appeared in 39 games and batted .234 with 11 doubles, one home run and 18 RBIs. He had a 12-game hitting streak snapped on Wednesday when he went 0-for-4 in the Twins' 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians.

In 156 games with the Mariners last season, Morales led the team in batting average (.277), hits (167), doubles (34), RBIs (80), multi-hit games (46) and extra-base hits (57). The 23 home runs established a club record for a switch-hitter.

The Cuban native is a career .277 hitter with 141 doubles, 103 home runs and 363 RBIs in 659 games with the Los Angeles Angels, Mariners and Twins.

Pryor, 25, made one appearance for the Mariners this season after opening the season on the disabled list due to surgery to repair right latissimus dorsi muscle. He appeared in 34 games with the Mariners from 2012-14, recording a 2.81 ERA.

LESTER TALKS ON HOLD

Contract talks between the Boston Red Sox and left-handed starter Jon Lester will be tabled until the end of the season.

Lester asked the team to halt the ongoing negotiations so that he can focus solely on pitching, and since the calendar turned to June he has never been better. He is coming off his best month of the season in which he went 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA in June, and has allowed only one earned run in his past 23 innings.

"Doesn't mean anything," Lester said of the paused contract talks, reports the Boston Globe. "There's been plenty of guys who have taken less to come back. Mikey Lowell had more years and money with the Phillies, and he came back. It's not the end-all for everybody. I've expressed to them I want to be here."

Lester, 30, is in the final year of his contract and if the two sides cannot reach a new deal, he will become a coveted free agent at the end of the season.

The Red Sox initially offered Lester a four-year, $70 million deal.

ORIOLES ACQUIRE PAREDES

The Baltimore Orioles acquired infielder/outfielder Jimmy Paredes from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations on Thursday.

Paredes was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk following the trade.

Paredes, 25, hit .305 with five home runs and 36 RBIs in 65 games for Kansas City's Triple-A Omaha club this season, and he was 17-for-18 in stolen-base attempts. Over eight minor league seasons, he has 183 stolen bases.

In 127 major league games with Houston and Kansas City, Paredes has batted .233 with three home runs, 31 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.

YANKS ADD LEFTY CAPUANO

The New York Yankees added a left-handed arm to their pitching staff Thursday by acquiring Chris Capuano from the Colorado Rockies for cash considerations.

The 35-year-old Capuano signed as a free agent with the Rockies on July 4 and started four combined games with Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Colorado Springs. He had a 1-0 record with a 2.79 ERA.

In 28 relief appearances for the Boston Red Sox earlier in the year, Capuano posted a 1-1 record with a 4.55 ERA before his release on July 1.

Capuano, a former National League All-Star, has spent 10 years in the major leagues, logging a 74-84 record with a 4.28 ERA. His career stops include the Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Red Sox.

RANGERS INK WILLIAMS

Right-hander Jerome Williams will start for Texas on Friday night against the American League West-leading Oakland Athletics after signing with the Rangers.

The addition of Williams to Texas' depleted pitching staff was announced after the Rangers lost 4-2 to the New York Yankees on Thursday afternoon. The 32-year-old was released by the Houston Astros this month after posting a 1-4 record with a 6.04 ERA in 14 relief appearances.

In nine major league seasons with the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels, Williams has a 43-51 record with a 4.45 ERA.

At 40-62, the Rangers have the worst record in the major leagues and their 4.84 staff ERA is the highest in baseball. Injuries forced Texas into using a record 30 pitchers before the All-Star Game break.

A'S CAUTIOUS WITH CESPEDES

The Oakland Athletics kept Yoenis Cespedes on the bench Thursday, a day after he flashed his Home Run Derby form against the Houston Astros.

Cespedes, who won the all-star slugfest for the second consecutive year, snapped a career-high-tying 25-game homerless streak, but he sprained his right thumb in his third at-bat on Wednesday.

Manager Bob Melvin called it "good news" that Cespedes was available off the bench, and implied he was out only as a precaution.

"That is good news. The swelling was minimal. It was more just the soreness in the joint."

Cespedes was injured during an at-bat in the fifth inning Wednesday when he was jammed on a pitch, fell awkwardly and braced himself with his hands.

KNOBLAUCH HONOUR SCRAPPED

Former major leaguer Chuck Knoblauch was charged with assaulting his former wife, and as a result of the incident the Minnesota Twins cancelled the team's Hall of Fame induction ceremony scheduled next month.

According to K-HOU television in Houston, the 46-year-old Knoblauch was charged with assault of a family member, Cheri Knoblauch, whom he divorced in 2012. He was released on a $10,000 bond.

Knoblauch was previously convicted of hitting then-wife Stacy Stelmach in 2010 and received one year of probation in that case.

Knoblauch had been scheduled to be inducted on Aug. 23 at Target Field.

Knoblauch retired in 2002 following a 12-year career with the New York Yankees, Twins and Kansas City Royals. He was the 1991 American League rookie of the year with the Twins.

BRIEFLY

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz suffered back spasms during his at-bat in the ninth inning Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays and is listed as day to day ... The New York Yankees are still hopeful pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will return to the mound this season even though a platelet-rich plasma injection 10 days ago has marginally alleviated the discomfort in his right elbow ... Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, suffering from a mild strain of his lower left lat, missed his fourth straight game Thursday and could be heading for the disabled list ... The Oakland Athletics designated reliever Jim Johnson for assignment and recalled right-hander Evan Scribner from Triple-A Sacramento to fill his roster spot.


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