– According to NBC Philadelphia’s Howard Eskin, Phillies’ LHP Cole Hamels has told the team that he wants a 7-year deal. The 28-year-old impending free agent has a spectacular 2.28 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 49/9 K/BB ratio across 47 1/3 innings this season. He earned Cy Young Award votes in 2011 after posting a 2.79 ERA and 194/44 K/BB ratio in 216 frames. If Philly won’t give him a deal of that length, he’ll surely get that via free agency.
– Nationals’ OF Michael Morse (lat) is scheduled to take dry swings on Tuesday. Manager Davey Johnson said that Morse also threw from 50-60 feet on Monday. Morse was shut down for 6 weeks after aggravating his lat strain in early April. His goal is to return as the DH when the Nationals begin an interleague matchup against the Red Sox on June 8.
– Nationals’ manager Davey Johnson said that RHP Drew Storen (right elbow) threw Monday and “felt great.” Storen is currently working his way back from minor surgery on his right elbow in early April. Johnson previously said that Storen could begin a minor league rehab assignment later this month, so he could potentially return in the early part of June.
– Twins’ 1B Justin Morneau (right wrist) took 30-40 swings Monday in batting practice. Morneau took swings off a tee over the weekend and hasn’t reported any issues. He’s eligible to return from the DL on Wednesday.
– The Royals have placed LHP Danny Duffy (left elbow) on the 15-day DL. Duffy underwent an MRI on Sunday night and is considered out indefinitely. The 23-year-old has been dealing with elbow tightness for over two weeks and had to make an early exit from his start Sunday against the White Sox.
– Mets’ manager Terry Collins said Monday that RHP Frank Francisco will continue being used in the closer role. Francisco blew two saves over the weekend and has a 8.56 ERA on the year.
– Nationals’ manager Davey Johnson said Monday that RHP Henry Rodriguez is still his closer. Rodriguez has blown two saves in his last four chances, including a walk-off grand slam on Sunday, but Johnson said Rodriguez will continue to close for the time being. “He’s still my closer. As far as I’m concerned, he’s been great. I have confidence in him.”
– Kings’ F Simon Gagne (concussion) has been given clearance to participate in contact drills. Gagne is still a “long way from playing,” however, according to GM Dean Lombardi. Gagne’s availability for the rest of the playoffs is unknown–he’s currently skating with the Kings’ prospects/Black Aces and does not have a timetable for returning to full practice. LA has a 1-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals. The 32-year-old signed a 2-year/$7M deal last summer. In 34 games this season, he has seven goals and 10 assists.
– Capitals’ F Alexander Semin is likely to test the free agent market rather than re-sign with the team, according to ESPN. According to his agent, Semin’s priority is still to stay in the NHL rather than sign with a KHL squad. His agent also said that Semin’s role was “unacceptable” and he “wants to be a full-time player” after averaging just 16:47 minutes of playing time last season. Semin has lots of talent with questionable work ethic, so somebody will likely end up gambling on him over the summer.
– Clippers’ F Blake Griffin (knee sprain) reiterated that he will play in Tuesday’s Game 1 against the Spurs even though his knee is “about 75-80%.” The Clippers beat the Grizzlies in Sunday’s Game 7 even though Griffin gave them just eight points and four rebounds in a meager 28 minutes.
– Patriots’ unsigned franchise WR Wes Welker said Monday that he will not let a holdout extend into the season. Welker may sit out OTAs and minicamps, but likely won’t miss any games. “There’s $9.5M reasons why I won’t miss any regular season games.”
– Jaguars’ coach Mike Mularkey reiterated Monday that QB Blaine Gabbert will enter training camp as the Jaguars’ clear-cut starting quarterback. ”No, it’s not (a competition). Blaine’s our starting quarterback. … I’m a big body-language reader, and on the practice field, the cafeteria, in meetings, he has a confidence about him. We feel good about him.” Chad Henne will enter training camp as the backup.