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National League

CHICAGO CUBS
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Released RHP Shawn Camp. [7/9]

Camp is 37 years old, and while he's likely to find another gig, his career is closer to its end than not. That's good enough reason to reflect on what he accomplished. He broke into the majors in 2004 and threw 66 2/3 solid innings with the Royals, earning himself a leash. He then spent the next few years pulling the leash as thin as he could: From 2005 to 2007 he threw 164 innings and posted a 78 ERA+. Yet Camp kept finding work because of his peripherals and groundball rate. Sure enough, Toronto got a few years of decent production, and the Cubs liked Camp's work in 2012 enough to re-sign him. Now he's on the open market. Batters weren't expanding their zone for Camp as often as they did in the past, which may indicate his tricks are about figured. Of course, nobody would've bet on Camp lasting as long as he did, so who knows. Maybe he's got another few years in him.

COLORADO ROCKIES
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Acquired RHP Mitchell Boggs from the Cardinals for International Bonus Slot 4. [7/9]

Designated RHP Joe Gardner for assignment. [7/9]

Here's a nice gamble for the Rockies. Prior to this season Boggs looked on his way to becoming one of the top set-up men in the National League. He's battled his mechanics all year, however, and hasn't found success regardless of the level. The Rockies are putting about $200,000 in international spending money on the line in order to get their hands on him, which is more than an outright waiver claim, though not enough to sink their own international efforts. If they can straighten out his mechanical (and possibly confidence) issues, then they have a quality reliever under team control for a few more seasons. If not, it was worth the effort.

NEW YORK METS
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Designated RHP Brandon Lyon for assignment. [7/9]

When the Mets signed Lyon it looked like a prudent move. They were getting a veteran arm with recent success on a cheap one-year deal. Through the early portion of June, Lyon lived up to some of the billing. He entered June 12 with three strikeouts per walk issued and a 3.12 ERA; his strikeout rate underwhelmed but he seemed to be getting along okay. Lyon made eight more appearances for the Mets and allowed 17 hits, walked three more than he struck out, and raised his ERA to 4.98. Is it a bad stretch or the beginning of the end? The Mets weren't interested in finding out. This is a world where Kevin Gregg could go from unemployable to trade deadline asset, though, so expect Lyon to get another chance.

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
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Signed OF-R Jeff Francoeur to a minor-league deal. [7/9]

This might work. Francoeur, for all his faults, has still managed a .774 OPS against lefties since 2011. Nothing against Kensuke Tanaka, who is the Giants' reserve right-handed outfielder right now, but Francoeur figures to be an improvement there. In order for it to work, Bruce Bochy needs to buy into the idea that Francoeur is a platoon outfielder. And so too must Francoeur. He has to understand his big-league chances are running out. Perhaps spending a few days, weeks, whatever in the minors will help. Right now his ability to hit left-handed pitching is his most marketable attribute, and going forward it could prove vital for him if he wants to hang around the majors beyond short stints here or there.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
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Released INF-R Ty Wigginton. [7/9]

Recalled C-R Rob Johnson from Triple-A Memphis. [7/9]

Acquired International Bonus Slot 4 from the Rockies for RHP Mitchell Boggs. [7/9]

A rare step by the usually unerring Cardinals. Wigginton signed a two-year deal, worth $5 million, this winter to serve as a bench bat. Although his recent history suggested he'd be okay, Wigginton looked miserable at the plate, and struggled to make contact. Sometimes this happens with players in their mid-30s. Still, look for another team to sign Wigginton to a minor-league deal with the same design as the Cardinals. Just don't expect it to be a multi-year deal worth $5 million.

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harderj
7/12
As a minor note, Kensuke Tanaka throws right-handed but bats left-handed (and has hit .364/.417/.364 in his first 12 plate appearances against righties), and would presumably be the short-term platoon partner in left with Francouer.

Also perhaps of note is that Francouer has only had two career MLB games in left field (with a .500 fielding percentage ;-), but I assume that's not a huge concern.

He's playing left exclusively in Fresno as he tunes up, and while he has an outfield assist already in three games, he's also only two for thirteen (both singles) with two RBI, two strikeouts, no walks, and one GIDP.
nschneider
7/12
Wait, Francoeur was a free agent? How did I miss this? Why was there not a major Transaction Analysis to cover his release by Kansas City?
timber
7/12
The Royals were using Francoeur almost exclusively against lefties since May. The problem with the "Frenchy as a platoon player" meme is that he really hasn't even hit lefties since 2011.

2011 .302/.363/.570
2012 .225/.307/.388
2013 .242/.288/.306

Ick.

Stick a fork in him.
McCaffery
7/16
Why is this article not linked to Jeff Francoeur's card? I didn't find it until I looked up Ken Tanaka.

This is not the first time I've been frustrated by BP's search function. There are Top Ten prospects who are not linked to their team's Top Ten list, and some rather important players with links to no articles later than 2009.