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7/31/2011: Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, Tsuyoshi Nishioka

by on Jul.31, 2011 @ 2:43 pm, under MLB

Games from the 30th:

Seattle Mariners 3 - Tampa Bay Rays 2
Ichiro Suzuki started in right and batted first.  He went 1-for-4: infield single (run scored), strikeout swinging, ground out to second, line out to first.

Oakland A's 8 - Minnesota Twins 3
Hideki Matsui started in left and batted third.  He went 2-for-3: walk, walk, single to right (run scored), reaches on fielder's choice, infield single.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka started at short and batted ninth. He went 1-for-3: single to left, foul out to the catcher, ground out to first.

Cleveland Indians 5 - Kansas City Royals 2
Kosuke Fukudome started in right and batted sixth.  He went 0-for-3: fly out to left, fly out to left, ground out to third, sac fly to left.

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Koji Uehara has been traded to the Texas Rangers.  A snip from MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan:

The Rangers' quest for bullpen help has led them to acquire right-handed reliever Koji Uehara from the Orioles for pitcher Tommy Hunter and first baseman Chris Davis. An official announcement is expected either Saturday night or before Sunday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Uehara joins Mark Lowe in giving the Rangers two proven right-handed setup relievers in front of closer Neftali Feliz. Uehara has pitched in 43 games for the Orioles and is 1-1 with a 1.72 ERA while holding opponents to a .152 batting average. Left-handers are hitting .136 off him, while right-handers are batting .171.

In 47 innings, Uehara has allowed 25 hits and eight walks while striking out 62. The 36-year-old, in his third season pitching in the United States, has not allowed a run in 11 July innings.

And a snip from the Fort Worth Star Telegram's Jeff Wilson:

They landed right-handed reliever Koji Uehara from Baltimore late Saturday afternoon for infielder Chris Davis and right-hander Tommy Hunter.

Uehara isn't just a two-month rental. The deal also includes $2 million to cover the rest of his contract, which pays him about $1 million this year and vests for 2012 at $4 million if he makes 12 more appearances or finishes six more games.

General manager Jon Daniels said that work will continue ahead of today's 3 p.m. deadline, but it's possible that no other reliever will be joining the Rangers for their pursuit of a second straight American League West crown.

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The lastest on Hiroki Kuroda, from MLB.com's Ken Gurnick:

Hiroki Kuroda, one of the prime targets for clubs needing starting pitching, took himself off the market on Saturday when he told the Dodgers he would not waive his no-trade clause.

"I told [Dodgers GM Ned Colletti] through my agent that I'll be wearing the Dodger uniform through the season," Kuroda said. "I'm not going anywhere."

...

Kuroda was approached by Colletti almost two weeks ago and was told the club was willing to trade him if he wanted. He asked to be kept informed, but apparently was never presented a specific deal to approve.

...

Why was Kuroda apparently willing to consider a deal then and not now?

"I had to think about it," Kuroda said. "Any player would like to win. I know how it feels to pitch in the playoffs, how exciting it can be. I had to fight to come to the conclusion. That's my decision."

And a reaction to the decision, from the LA Times' Steve Dilbeck:

Loyalty or selfish move? The smart thing or did Hiroki Kuroda just stick it to the Dodgers?

Kuroda was the one potential deadline prize the Dodgers had to tangle, the only player who might bring a good prospect in return.

And he told them, no thanks.

...

Hey, that’s great. That’s certainly his right. And exactly why he negotiated the no-trade clause in his one-year contract.

Of course, if he was truly so loyal to the Dodgers, he would have permitted a trade that allowed them to actually get a prospect in return, a player to have for their future.

But try to think of it this way: By staying, the Dodgers will have to pay him the full $4 million remaining on his contract. And that’s $4 million weaker it will leave Frank McCourt.