Oakland Athletics general manager Sandy Alderson said there’s a 50-50 chance he’ll trade American League home run leader Mark McGwire.
McGwire, who has been with the A’s since he was named Rookie of the Year in 1987, becomes a free agent after the season, and his salary demands might be too much for Oakland.
Alderson said he’s discussed a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals, Florida Marlins and Anaheim Angels, all playoff contenders.
Controversy dogs Robinson coin
In a ceremony on the Treasury steps, officials trumpeted commemorative coins honoring Jackie Robinson, with proceeds going to scholarships for poor inner-city kids.
What they didn’t mention - and what none of the U.S. Mint’s glossy brochures say - is that $1 million, nearly 20 percent of the expected total, will instead help expand the U.S. Botanic Garden at the foot of Capitol Hill.
Former Sen. Bennett Johnston, a Louisiana Democrat whose wife Mary is a vice chairwoman of The National Fund for the U.S. Botanic Garden, got the money diverted late last session.
Nine months afterward, bitterness lingers.
“We felt the overwhelmingly greater priority was educating young men and women who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend college,” said N.L. president Leonard Coleman, the chairman of the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Sale of the coins is expected to raise $3.5 million for the foundation if all are sold.
Royals, Reds swap players
The Kansas City Royals and the Cincinnati Reds have made a four-player trade.
Cincinnati sent reliever Hector Carrasco and minor-league reliever Scott Service to the Royals for outfielder Jon Nunnally and minor-league utility player Chris Stynes.
Carrasco was 1-2 with a 3.68 ERA in 38 appearances.
Valenzuela put on waivers
Fernando Valenzuela was placed on unconditional release waivers by the St. Louis Cardinals, forcing the pitcher to look for another team to prolong his career.
Valenzuela, who claims to be 36, leads the major leagues in losses with a 2-12 record. He opened the season with San Diego and was part of a six-player trade on June 13.
Rockies acquire Castillo
Frank Castillo was traded to the Colorado Rockies by the Chicago Cubs for minor-leaguer Matt Pool.
Castillo, 28, was 6-9 with a 5.42 ERA in 19 starts for the Cubs this year.
No. 2 pick seeks ruling
Major League Baseball is expected to rule next week whether the No. 2 overall choice in the sport’s free agent draft, outfielder J.D. Drew, will be allowed to sign with any team he chooses.
Drew’s agent, Scott Boras, has filed a grievance with baseball, saying the Philadelphia Phillies, who drafted Drew, broke baseball rules by not offering the outfielder a contract within 15 days of being drafted. The Phillies say they sent Boras’ client an offer.
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