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Baseball Notebook

Nationals trade fiery Morgan to Brewers

Associated Press / March 28, 2011

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The Nationals traded hot-tempered outfielder Nyjer Morgan to the Brewers yesterday for minor league infielder Cutter Dykstra, son of former major leaguer Lenny Dykstra, and cash.

Morgan stole 34 bases last year during a season in which he drew a pair of weeklong suspensions from Major League Baseball. He appealed those penalties and eventually sat out for eight games. Last week, he was restrained by a Nationals coach as Washington scrapped with St. Louis. Morgan appeared to upset the Cardinals by running into Albert Pujols as the star first baseman handled a tailing throw.

Morgan became expendable once it became clear that Rick Ankiel and Jerry Hairston Jr. would platoon in center field.

“It wasn’t really what he didn’t show as what Ankiel did show,’’ Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. “Ankiel showed us he can go get the ball in the outfield. His arm is really a weapon. When he’s put there, very few players are going from first to third or second to home. He can create a lot of damage with one swing of the bat.’’

Cubs release Silva Carlos Silva was released by the Cubs, one day after they told the veteran pitcher he would not make the Opening Day roster.

The move leaves the Cubs on the hook for Silva’s $11.5 million salary this season. The 31-year-old righthander made it clear Saturday he would not accept a minor league assignment.

The Cubs informed Silva Saturday that he would not break camp with the club. They said they would try to trade him, but if they couldn’t, they hoped he would go to the minor leagues. Silva, however, said “no chance’’ to a Triple A assignment and then criticized first-year pitching coach Mark Riggins for not “being straight’’ with him about the team’s plans. Andrew Cashner won the final spot in Chicago’s rotation, leaving Silva without a job.

Willis heads to minors The Reds assigned lefthander Dontrelle Willis and former Red Sox outfielder Jeremy Hermida to their minor league camp. Willis, 29, who agreed to a minor league deal in November, was trying to win a spot in Cincinnati’s bullpen, but walked 11 in 9 2/3 innings with a 9.31 ERA this spring. Willis has struggled since he went 22-10 for Florida in 2005 . . . The Astros acquired infielder Joe Inglett from the Rays for a player to be named or cash. The Astros also returned reliever Lance Pendleton, a Rule 5 pick, to the Yankees . . . Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson, out with a strained muscle in his right side, will take batting practice today . . . National League Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay tuned up for his Opening Day start with three scoreless innings and had a two-run single as the Phillies beat the Braves, 6-1, in Kissimmee, Fla. . . . Fausto Carmona wrapped up an excellent spring by pitching the Indians past the Dodgers, 6-1, in Glendale, Ariz. Carmona did not allow an earned run in five crisp innings, giving up five hits while striking out three. The righthander went 5-2 with a 3.72 ERA this spring and led the majors in wins and innings (29).

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