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    FRIDAY: Barreto obtained a $1.45MM bonus, ESPN.com's Keith Law reports (on Twitter).  Luis Castillo obtained an $800K bonus from Toronto, Law adds. MONDAY: The Blue Jays have signed Venezuelan shortstop/centerfielder Franklin Barreto, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.  The 5'9", 175-pound prospect is Baseball America's top-ranked international prospect in the July 2nd class.  Terms of…

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    The Blue Jays have decided to shut down ailing outfielder Michael Saunders for the remainder of the season, manager John Gibbons told reporters, including Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi (Twitter link). Acquired in a one-for-one swap that sent J.A. Happ to Seattle this winter, Saunders tore the meniscus in his knee when he tripped over a sprinkler…

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    The Padres benefited from the qualifying offer system this winter, writes Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. When Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy declined their qualifying offers, it earned the Friars the 25th and 26th picks in the next amateur draft. The experiences of players like Ian Desmond and Dexter Fowler have led many…

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    The Athletics optioned highly touted shortstop prospect Franklin Barreto to Triple-A on Friday, though it seems he could enter the picture in Oakland sometime this year. “I think we’d all like to see him up here at some point and that’s our anticipation,” executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said of Barreto, who…

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    As expected, the Indians have activated righty Corey Kluber. He’s back on the hill today for Cleveland after missing a few weeks resting his lower back. The 31-year-old will be looking to improve upon a tepid start to the season. Over his first 37 1/3 innings, he has managed only a 5.06 ERA with 9.9 K/9…

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    The market for starting pitchers has more question marks than certainties this summer, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports observes. Rosenthal runs down a number of potentially available arms, noting that injuries and/or significant contracts make many of them tough sells. Regarding Zack Greinke, Rosenthal notes that while his contract always made an in-season trade seem…

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    It now seems likely that the Athletics will end up moving Sonny Gray this summer, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. There’s likely to be plenty of interest in the righty, who is showing improved form after a forgettable 2016 season; indeed, he just placed fourth on MLBTR’s list of the top 50 trade candidates. The full scope…

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    12:11pm: Barreto was not in the initial lineup, with Adam Rosales penciled in at short and Lowrie at second. But he’s now taking the latter’s place, with the club announcing that Lowrie “has been scratched.” It’s just a slight knee sprain for the veteran, skipper Bob Melvin tells reporters including Susan Slusser of the San…

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    The Athletics have announced a series of roster moves, including the demotion of top prospect Franklin Barreto to Triple-A.  Catcher Ryan Lavarnway has also been designated for assignment.  The two moves create roster space for Josh Phegley (back from the paternity list) and right-hander Chris Smith, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A so he…

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    It seems increasingly plausible that the Athletics may not only keep second baseman Jed Lowrie for the remainder of the season, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle suggests, but also for the 2018 campaign. It seems a foregone conclusion that the club will exercise the veteran’s $6MM club option, though he could still be traded over…

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    Here are highlights of the latest from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe: The Athletics have a $6MM option or a $1M buyout on Jed Lowrie’s services for 2018, and Lowrie says he hopes the A’s retain him. “I love playing here,” he says. “I think being here surrounded by the good young players we have has…