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Torreyes grateful to be back with Yanks

Infielder starts at second base to give slumping Torres a rest
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The last two months have been an emotional roller coaster for Ronald Torreyes. But after making it through a stint in the Minors and helping his wife through a health issue at home, the Yankees infielder is excited to be back in pinstripes.

Torreyes was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on June 18, and he played five games there before being placed on the temporarily inactive list so he could be home with his wife, who was experiencing an undisclosed health problem. Although Torreyes did not say what his wife was dealing with, he did say that she is much better now.

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NEW YORK -- The last two months have been an emotional roller coaster for Ronald Torreyes. But after making it through a stint in the Minors and helping his wife through a health issue at home, the Yankees infielder is excited to be back in pinstripes.

Torreyes was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on June 18, and he played five games there before being placed on the temporarily inactive list so he could be home with his wife, who was experiencing an undisclosed health problem. Although Torreyes did not say what his wife was dealing with, he did say that she is much better now.

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"The most I want to say about that is thank God that everything's fine, she's fine," Torreyes said. "I'm happy that things worked out very well. Just happy that nothing bad happened to her, because she's been there for me throughout my career. Just happy that she's fine."

Torreyes was then assigned to Class A Advanced Tampa a month later for a brief stint before returning to the RailRiders on July 30. He has hit .252 with nine RBIs in 30 Minor League games this season and had a .323 batting average with six RBIs in his first 24 games with the Yankees.

"I just want to keep doing what I've been doing for this team," Torreyes said. "Being there for the team in any way possible, being there for my teammates, bringing a little bit of energy and joy to the clubhouse and team, but that's it. That's something that I've been doing since I got here ... and I just want to be able to continue to do that."

When Torreyes was sent down to Triple-A, Yankees fans were disappointed in losing one of their favorite players for an unknown amount of time. Torreyes said those fans continued to show their support for him over the last few months.

"Fans have a loud voice, so when I was down there, I received a lot of messages from a lot of fans of encouraging words saying, 'Keep doing your thing, you'll be back,'" Torreyes said. "And now that I'm up here, the messages are still coming. They are saying, 'Hey, you're finally back.' It serves as motivation to see that somehow you matter to so many different people, some people that you don't even know."

Torreyes made his first big league start in just over two months on Wednesday to spell a slumping Gleyber Torres, who has hit .145 in 19 games since returning from the disabled list on July 25.

"I just wanted to give [Torres] a day," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I feel like he's just pressing a little bit up there, chasing that hit if you will. I don't feel like he's far off. I feel like physically he's in a pretty good place. Just felt like he's been grinding pretty hard at the plate right now, so just a day to kind of catch his breath and hopefully find that good timing that I know is right around the corner for him. And it's a day to get Toe in there and get him involved."

Roster move
To make room for Luis Cessa on the 25-man roster for Wednesday's start against the Rays, the Yankees designated right-hander George Kontos for assignment.

Kontos was acquired in a trade with the Indians on Aug. 4, and the Yankees selected his contract from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday. Kontos made just one appearance in pinstripes, tossing 1 2/3 scoreless innings in Monday's 8-5 loss to the Mets.

This date in Yankees history
Aug. 15, 1955: Mickey Mantle homered from both sides of the plate for the second time in his career in a 12-6 victory at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium in Game 2 of a doubleheader sweep of the Orioles.

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

New York Yankees, Ronald Torreyes

Pannone optioned to Triple-A, Mayza recalled

Special to MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- In an effort to get left-hander Thomas Pannone ready for possible duty as a starter, the Blue Jays optioned Pannone to Triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday and recalled well-traveled left-hander Tim Mayza.

Pannone left the Jays on a high note. Summoned from the bullpen to face lefty-hitting Alex Gordon in the seventh inning Tuesday, Pannone recorded a strikeout. The Jays trailed the Royals 5-4 at that point, but rallied for a 6-5 win.

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KANSAS CITY -- In an effort to get left-hander Thomas Pannone ready for possible duty as a starter, the Blue Jays optioned Pannone to Triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday and recalled well-traveled left-hander Tim Mayza.

Pannone left the Jays on a high note. Summoned from the bullpen to face lefty-hitting Alex Gordon in the seventh inning Tuesday, Pannone recorded a strikeout. The Jays trailed the Royals 5-4 at that point, but rallied for a 6-5 win.

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"We just wanted [Pannone] to go back down and start again," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "Build him up a little bit. He may get a couple of starts in September."

Mayza has been in a shuttle pattern this year between Buffalo and Toronto. The latest callup marked the seventh time this year he has joined the Blue Jays.

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.

Toronto Blue Jays

Royals bid adieu to Gore with trade to Cubs

MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Terrance Gore will be forever remembered in Royals' lore as the team's designated pinch-runner, mostly in September and during the team's playoff runs in 2014 and '15.

The speedy Gore, though, ran out of options after 2017 and the team designated him for assignment last fall, before signing him back to a Minor League deal. Gore never made it back to the 40-man roster this season and was traded on Wednesday to the Cubs for cash considerations.

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KANSAS CITY -- Terrance Gore will be forever remembered in Royals' lore as the team's designated pinch-runner, mostly in September and during the team's playoff runs in 2014 and '15.

The speedy Gore, though, ran out of options after 2017 and the team designated him for assignment last fall, before signing him back to a Minor League deal. Gore never made it back to the 40-man roster this season and was traded on Wednesday to the Cubs for cash considerations.

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Gore certainly made an impact on the Royals' fan base. He never got a hit in 14 big league plate appearances, but he stole 21 bases in 25 attempts and created a thrill every time he came in late in games to pinch-run.

Video: AL WC: Gore steals second base in the 8th inning

Gore also stole four bases in five attempts during the team's 2014 and '15 postseason runs.

"He was great," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was a big weapon, as bona fide as a big pinch-hitter. You get in the eighth or ninth inning and to have him and [Jarrod] Dyson on the bench, it pretty much assured you that you would get someone in scoring position.

"He was a big part of our team back then. It was a nice luxury to have, someone like [Gore] who could steal tough bases."

Another speedster, Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, enjoyed his time with Gore.

"He was a great guy," Mondesi said. "I really liked playing with him."

Who is faster, Mondesi or Gore?

"They talked about that a lot at Triple-A," Mondesi said. "I think he was faster. Maybe I was when it came to baserunning, first to third. But in a straight line, he was the fastest."

Boyer released

To make room on the 25-man roster for right-hander Jorge Lopez, the Royals put right-hander Blaine Boyer on unconditional release waivers Wednesday.

Boyer impressed Royals coaches with a strong Spring Training, but he struggled throughout the regular season and posted a 12.05 ERA in 21 outings, the last of which came Tuesday when he squandered a 5-4 lead in the eighth inning against Toronto by giving up a two-run homer in a 6-5 loss.

"It was a battle for him all year long," Yost said. "Then he had the [back inflammation]. But he always worked hard. Was a great teammate.

"But on the mound, he could never get on a roll. Never got it going. Just a struggle."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Terrance Gore

Paxton goes on DL with left forearm bruise

Gordon moving back to center field with Cano at second base
MLB.com

OAKLAND -- Mariners left-hander James Paxton was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday after being knocked out of Tuesday's start in the first inning with a bruised left forearm, courtesy of a line drive off the bat of the A's Jed Lowrie.

Seattle recalled right-hander Christian Bergman from Triple-A Tacoma to take Paxton's roster spot. Bergman provides a long-relief option, with Felix Hernandez having pitched 5 2/3 innings in place of Paxton in his first career relief appearance in Tuesday night's loss to the A's.

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OAKLAND -- Mariners left-hander James Paxton was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday after being knocked out of Tuesday's start in the first inning with a bruised left forearm, courtesy of a line drive off the bat of the A's Jed Lowrie.

Seattle recalled right-hander Christian Bergman from Triple-A Tacoma to take Paxton's roster spot. Bergman provides a long-relief option, with Felix Hernandez having pitched 5 2/3 innings in place of Paxton in his first career relief appearance in Tuesday night's loss to the A's.

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Hernandez likely will take Paxton's spot in the rotation for now, with his next start due Monday against the Astros in Seattle.

"Right now, he would be our best option," manager Scott Servais said prior to Wednesday's 2-0 win over the A's in 12 innings.

Servais is optimistic that Paxton won't be out much longer than the 10-day period, which could mean missing just one or two starts. Paxton said he had some trouble sleeping Tuesday night with the throbbing arm, but he was glad to see the swelling had gone down some by Wednesday morning.

"It's actually better today," Paxton said. "Last night, I couldn't really use my wrist or fingers much, but today, I'm moving it a little better. That's got to be a good sign. There's still some swelling in there, so it's just going to be about getting that out and going from there."

Video: SEA@OAK: Paxton exits after being hit with comebacker

Servais said the key will be to see how Paxton feels in a few days and how soon he can begin throwing again.

"We have to wait and see how it'll be when he can get a ball in his hand," Servais said. "Right now, we're on hold."

Bergman joined the Mariners on Wednesday, and he was available for the series finale. The 30-year-old is making his second stint with Seattle this season, having made two spot starts and going 0-1 with a 3.97 ERA in 11 1/3 innings.

Gordon getting time in center field

The return of Robinson Cano means several players will need to be flexible over the final seven weeks of the regular season in order to fit him back into the lineup. Cano started at first base on Tuesday in place of Ryon Healy, but he was at second base and went 2-for-5 in Wednesday's game.

That pushed Dee Gordon back out to center field, where he started 39 games before returning to second base when Cano drew his 80-game suspension in mid-May. He made a leaping catch in the fifth inning and cracked the go-ahead homer in the 12th to send Seattle to victory.

Video: SEA@OAK: Gordon belts a go-ahead 2-run HR in the 12th

Gordon says he's open to doing whatever the team needs.

"That's huge," Servais said. "That's the attitude we need to take on right now. Everybody needs to be open to sliding around to do what's best for the whole ballclub to get everybody in there and keep everybody going.

"Dee hasn't been out there in quite some time, but he has been out there in [batting practice] and stuff. He knew this was coming a little bit. He'll be out there one day, then probably back in the infield the next day. That's just the way we're going to roll with it."

Video: SEA@OAK: Gordon snags fly ball on warning track in CF

The Mariners acquired Gordon to play center field this season, but he's been excellent since returning to his natural second-base position, so he will likely continue getting most of his time there.

"This guy is an exceptional athlete," said Servais. "We're fortunate we've got him and he can do those things and is willing to do it."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Dee Gordon, James Paxton

Marlins promote hot-hitting Dean from Minors

Bostick optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in corresponding move
MLB.com

ATLANTA -- The message Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter gave to all Minor Leaguers in Spring Training was that everyone would be starting off with a clean slate. All players, regardless of which round they were drafted in, would get a chance to prove themselves, and those who performed would be rewarded.

Clearly, Austin Dean took that message to heart. The 24-year-old outfielder posted eye-opening numbers at Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans this season, and the Marlins selected his contract on Wednesday.

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ATLANTA -- The message Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter gave to all Minor Leaguers in Spring Training was that everyone would be starting off with a clean slate. All players, regardless of which round they were drafted in, would get a chance to prove themselves, and those who performed would be rewarded.

Clearly, Austin Dean took that message to heart. The 24-year-old outfielder posted eye-opening numbers at Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans this season, and the Marlins selected his contract on Wednesday.

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"Derek talked about it in the spring, 'If you perform, you're going to have a chance to get here,'" Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "That's really what he's done. I'm looking forward to seeing him get an opportunity and seeing him play. A lot of people think he has a chance to hit here."

The Marlins optioned utility player Christopher Bostick to Triple-A to open a roster spot for Dean.

"I think the organization itself is doing a good job of promoting the young guys who are doing well that deserve to show that they can play competitive baseball," Dean said.

Tweet from @Marlins: Six years in the making for this moment. ��You earned it, Austin. #JustGettinStarted pic.twitter.com/H42iq9UXbg

Dean played 649 games in the Minor Leagues before making his MLB debut, which came Wednesday as he started in left field in the series finale against the Braves at SunTrust Park.

Dean, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Marlins' No. 28 prospect, is expected to get a chance to play either right or left field.

Dean put up strong numbers all season, hitting a combined .345/.410/.511 with 12 home runs, 68 RBIs and a .922 OPS between Jacksonville and New Orleans.

"He's had a tremendous season," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "Like I've said, it's always nice when players put themselves on the radar. With Austin this year, he's definitely opened a lot of eyes."

Tweet from @Marlins: The crack of the bat always seems louder for your big league debut. Right, Austin? 🎤������ pic.twitter.com/y2PoNM1r4Q

A fourth-round Draft pick in 2012, Dean opened the season at Jacksonville, where he batted .420 with three homers and 14 RBIs in 22 games. He was promoted to New Orleans on April 29, where he hit .326 with nine home runs and 54 RBIs in 87 games.

"When I got called up to Triple-A, it was my second time getting promoted during the season," Dean said. "It was good to get that, knowing that my hard work has paid off. Obviously, getting promoted here has been the biggest accomplishment."

Video: Callis breaks down MLB Pipeline's Team of the Week

Dean's arrival means rookie Brian Anderson, who has played mostly right field, will move back to third base. The Marlins plan on using Anderson both in right field and third base the rest of the season. Dean's best position is left field.

The Marlins created a 40-man roster space for Dean on Tuesday night after their 10-6 loss to the Braves, when they traded right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne to the Angels for cash considerations.

Dean had been a candidate for a September callup, but with the injuries to Miguel Rojas (left ankle contusion) and Martin Prado (on the disabled list with a left quad strain), the Marlins decided to make the roster move now. At some point before November, Miami would have had to make a decision to put Dean on their 40-man roster or risk losing him in the Rule 5 Draft.

"Obviously, we've been following him throughout his career in our system, and he's taken a big step forward this year," Hill said. "He mastered Double-A and we got him to Triple-A. We wanted to see how he would respond to the challenge of Triple-A. He's continued the same quality at-bats. Suffice to say, given our injury situation, we've definitely talked about him and how he might possibly fit."

Worth noting
• The Marlins are optimistic Rojas will avoid a DL stint. Rojas jammed his ankle in Game 2 of Monday's split doubleheader. He said the ankle is feeling better, and with a scheduled off-day on Thursday, Rojas may be ready to return to the lineup on Friday at Washington. If he has a setback, the DL may be an option, and the club would then have to call up an infielder.

Kyle Barraclough (lower back tightness) threw 20 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday afternoon. The right-hander physically feels fine, but he is still polishing up his command facing batters. Barraclough will travel with the club to Washington, and he may face hitters again as early as Saturday.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins

Ramos activated off DL, makes Phillies debut

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Two weeks after he was acquired at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Wilson Ramos walked into the home clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park, strapped on a pair of red shin guards, and readied for his team debut. Ramos started behind the plate and batted sixth after the Phillies activated him from the disabled list Wednesday, marking his first game action since July 14.

Though he's technically been a member of the Phillies since July 31, the two-time All-Star had been sidelined with a left hamstring strain. The club optioned backup catcher Andrew Knapp to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to clear room on the active roster for Ramos, who now pushes rookie Jorge Alfaro into a backup role.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Two weeks after he was acquired at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Wilson Ramos walked into the home clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park, strapped on a pair of red shin guards, and readied for his team debut. Ramos started behind the plate and batted sixth after the Phillies activated him from the disabled list Wednesday, marking his first game action since July 14.

Though he's technically been a member of the Phillies since July 31, the two-time All-Star had been sidelined with a left hamstring strain. The club optioned backup catcher Andrew Knapp to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to clear room on the active roster for Ramos, who now pushes rookie Jorge Alfaro into a backup role.

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More than anything, the Phillies hope Ramos jolts an offense that has lagged in recent weeks. Ramos was arguably the most productive offensive catcher in baseball during the first half, leading all qualified backstops in hitting (.297), slugging (.488), home runs (14) and weighted on-base average (.358).

In 78 games total for the Rays, Ramos hit .297/.346/.488 with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs.

"Ramos has a proven track record of success on both sides of the ball, but specifically at the plate, he's been a real plus-offensive performer," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. "So yeah, we can see him providing a significant boost to our lineup. … Our lineup is just a whole lot deeper."

Though confident Ramos' hamstring is fully healed, Kapler said he plans ease Ramos into game action, hoping to find two days off per week for the 31-year-old.

"We're going to go slow about how we roll Ramos out," Kapler said. "See how his body responds."

Other factors are the Phillies' upcoming schedule -- they have a doubleheader Thursday against the Mets -- and Alfaro, who has emerged as one of baseball's top defensive catchers. The rookie, though, has struggled to keep his offensive production (82 OPS+) near league-average.

Video: MIA@PHI: Alfaro's 89.5-mph throw nabs Rojas stealing

"To say he's losing his job is a pretty significant stretch," Kapler said of Alfaro. "He's got a lot to offer and is going to play as well. He's still a developing young core piece of our roster. ... We'll encourage him to pick the brain of Ramos constantly and continue to learn and develop."

Kapler said Knapp will get reps all over the diamond at Triple-A, including at first base, third base and left field. Outside of a handful of starts at first, Knapp has been exclusively a catcher during his five-year professional career.

"We want to give him the opportunity to be as versatile as possible, be a bat off the bench and provide us a lot of flexibility on a playoff roster," Kapler said. "He's adored by our staff and our players, and he's got some extraordinary leadership characteristics."

Eflin returns, briefly
Four days after he was optioned to clear space for Justin Bour on the active roster, Zach Eflin was back in the Phillies clubhouse prepping to start one game of Thursday's doubleheader. Under normal circumstances, Eflin wouldn't be eligible to return until Tuesday. But because of the doubleheader and two off-days on the Phillies' schedule, he can be activated as the 26th man for Thursday and then complete his 10-day option without missing any starts.

Kapler met with Eflin for breakfast in Philadelphia recently to explain the temporary demotion, which wasn't based on performance and will ultimately cost the 24-year-old nine days of service time and big league pay. The right-hander owns a 3.20 ERA since June 1 and is 8-4 with a 3.57 ERA in 16 starts overall.

"At the end of the day, we all understand the move, but this wasn't too easy to swallow. All you can do is be positive and move forward and use it as motivation," Eflin said. "It's easy to focus on losing service time or losing money, but the only thing I've been worried about the whole time is being away from my teammates. Losing those days of relationships in the middle of a pennant race, that's what affected me the most. I could care less about the money I missed."

The Phillies won't need to make a corresponding roster move to activate Eflin or return him to the Minors, but they will need to make one to recall rookie Ranger Suarez, who will start the other game in Thursday's doubleheader (order to be determined). The assignment will mark the second big league start for Suarez, the club's No. 8 prospect per MLB Pipeline.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

Philadelphia Phillies, Zach Eflin, Wilson Ramos, Ranger Suarez

Orioles release Valencia from contract

MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Five days after designating him for assignment, the Orioles have released Danny Valencia from his contract. The infielder is now a free agent and can sign with any team.

Valencia, a nine-year veteran in his second stint with Baltimore, was one of the most consistent contributors in the lineup once he took over as the everyday third baseman after Tim Beckham went on the disabled list with a left groin strain on April 25. Valencia owned a .292 batting average on June 27, but that began to drop off by the time he lost playing time and consistent at-bats with the return of Beckham and the O's acquisition of infielder Jonathan Villar

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BALTIMORE -- Five days after designating him for assignment, the Orioles have released Danny Valencia from his contract. The infielder is now a free agent and can sign with any team.

Valencia, a nine-year veteran in his second stint with Baltimore, was one of the most consistent contributors in the lineup once he took over as the everyday third baseman after Tim Beckham went on the disabled list with a left groin strain on April 25. Valencia owned a .292 batting average on June 27, but that began to drop off by the time he lost playing time and consistent at-bats with the return of Beckham and the O's acquisition of infielder Jonathan Villar

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The Orioles could not find a suitable trade partner for Valencia, but the utility infielder may be an attractive signing as a bench piece for a contender, as he owns a .303 batting average against lefties in 2018 and .312 for his career.

"I'd be surprised if they don't [pick him up]," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "There will be some interest now that that's kind of flushed out. I'll be surprised if Danny isn't playing again shortly for somebody."

Zachary Silver is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore. Follow him on Twitter at @zachsilver.

Baltimore Orioles, Danny Valencia

Cubs acquire Terrance Gore from Royals

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The Cubs acquired speedster Terrance Gore from the Royals for cash considerations on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old has yet to appear in the Majors this season, but in 49 career games, Gore has swiped 21 bases. Known for his speed, Gore is also seeking his first career big league hit as he's gone 0-for-11.

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CHICAGO -- The Cubs acquired speedster Terrance Gore from the Royals for cash considerations on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old has yet to appear in the Majors this season, but in 49 career games, Gore has swiped 21 bases. Known for his speed, Gore is also seeking his first career big league hit as he's gone 0-for-11.

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In 67 games at Triple-A Omaha this season, Gore is hitting .211/.304/.254 with 16 stolen bases.

Gore, 27, would give the Cubs some speed, which he provided in the postseason for the Royals in 2014 and '15. By being in the Cubs' organization before Aug. 31, he is eligible for the postseason roster.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Terrance Gore

Trade Talk: Brewers, Cutch, Holland, Granderson

MLB.com

The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline has come and gone, but the transaction wire could stay hot ahead of Aug. 31. That date is important because clubs acquiring new players via trade must have those players on their 40-man roster by then in order for that player (or players) to be eligible for its postseason roster. Teams can acquire players after Sept. 1, but those players would not be eligible to play with that team in the playoffs. 

Throughout August, it's not uncommon for high-profile players to be placed on waivers. In fact, most clubs will place a sizable portion of their Major League roster on waivers to gauge interest for their talent ahead of the offseason. 

The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline has come and gone, but the transaction wire could stay hot ahead of Aug. 31. That date is important because clubs acquiring new players via trade must have those players on their 40-man roster by then in order for that player (or players) to be eligible for its postseason roster. Teams can acquire players after Sept. 1, but those players would not be eligible to play with that team in the playoffs. 

Throughout August, it's not uncommon for high-profile players to be placed on waivers. In fact, most clubs will place a sizable portion of their Major League roster on waivers to gauge interest for their talent ahead of the offseason. 

When a waiver claim is placed, the player's original club has three options:
• Work out a standard trade with the claiming club within 48 hours
• Allow the player -- and all money remaining on his contract -- to go to the claiming club with no return
• Pull the player back off waivers

A player who is pulled back off waivers can be placed on trade waivers a second time, but at that point the waiver request becomes irrevocable. If a player passes through waivers unclaimed, he can then be traded to any club, free of restriction (though all 40-man-roster players in the trade must clear waivers before being dealt).

Glossary: Trade Waivers & Aug. 31 'Deadline'

With that in mind, here is the latest trade buzz: 

With Nelson unlikely to return, will Brewers trade for starter?
Aug. 15: The Brewers have held out hope that Jimmy Nelson, who has missed this entire season while recovering from right shoulder surgery, would be a solution to the club's rotation problems after coming off the disabled list. But general manager David Stearns and manager Craig Counsell acknowledged Wednesday that Nelson is unlikely to pitch for the team this year.

Tweet from @AdamMcCalvy: Craig Counsell on Jimmy Nelson: ���Jimmy pitching for us this year is unlikely. And that���s not due to a setback of any nature, that���s just due to the pace of his rehab right now.��� pic.twitter.com/lPiSozK3F8

Faced with that reality, Stearns is keeping open the possibility of swinging a trade for a starter.

"There's still a lot of waiver activity," Stearns said. "Guys are getting through. Tough to handicap at this point, but we're looking, and if there's something that makes sense that we think materially impacts this team, we'll do it."

Tweet from @AdamMcCalvy: Stearns on prospect of trading for starter before Sept. 1: "There's still a lot of waiver activity. Guys are getting through. Tough to handicap at this point, but we're looking, and if there's something that makes sense that we think materially impacts this team, we'll do it."

The Brewers were one of the more active teams on the trade market before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, acquiring reliever Joakim Soria, third baseman Mike Moustakas and second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

They also reportedly discussed deals for a number of starters, including the Mets' Zack Wheeler and the Reds' Matt Harvey, but ultimately didn't come away with any of them.

Milwaukee is unlikely to have a chance to trade for Wheeler at this point, but Harvey, Twins right-hander Ervin Santana, Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada and White Sox right-hander James Shields could be available.

The question, of course, is whether any of those hurlers represents a significant upgrade over Zach Davies, who is nearing the conclusion of his rehab assignment.

Cutch, Holland among top August trade candidates
Aug. 14: The market has been relatively quiet since the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, with Mike Fiers, Fernando Rodney and Justin Bour representing the biggest names to have been moved in August. But as MLB.com's Mark Feinsand wrote Tuesday, trade season is far from over.

And though they are still in the thick of the National League postseason race, the Giants could be an interesting team to watch. San Francisco entered Tuesday with a 60-60 record, putting it five games out in the NL West and 6 1/2 behind in the NL Wild Card chase. However, the Giants will need to leapfrog three other teams to win the division and six teams to grab the second NL Wild Card spot.

Giants outfielder Andrew McCutchen and left-hander Derek Holland each made Feinsand's list of 10 August trade candidates. Both players are set to become free agents this offseason.

Feinsand notes that the Blue Jays could be active on the trade market before Aug. 31 as well, with third baseman Josh Donaldson, outfielder Curtis Granderson and right-hander Marco Estrada among Toronto's most likely candidates to be dealt.

Reds right-hander Matt Harvey, White Sox right-hander James Shields, Twins right-hander Ervin Santana, Rays right-hander Sergio Romo and Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias also made Feinsand's list. More >

Granderson reportedly clears revocable waivers
Aug. 14: Blue Jays outfielder Curtis Granderson, who was one of the 10 August trade candidates MLB.com's Mark Feinsand broke down Tuesday, has cleared revocable waivers and is free to be dealt anywhere, reports Robert Murray of The Athletic. 

Tweet from @ByRobertMurray: #BlueJays' Curtis Granderson has cleared revocable trade waivers, source tells The Athletic. He's free to be traded anywhere.

Granderson, who can become a free agent this offseason, owns a solid .766 OPS against right-handers in 2018. He also has extensive postseason experience, having played in the playoffs in seven seasons.

Granderson, 37, was part of an August trade just last season, going from the Mets to the Dodgers after passing through waivers unclaimed earlier in the month. More >

Bruce could be odd man out of Mets' outfield
Aug. 14: Jay Bruce is a name to monitor this month as the Mets could look to deal from their outfield surplus. Trading Bruce would open up time at the corners for Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo.

Bruce is nearing a return from a right hip injury that's sidelined him since June 17. Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggested Monday that Bruce could be dealt if he show's he's healthy before the end of the month, pointing to the Giants, Mariners, Rockies, Indians and Tigers as potential trade partners for the Mets.

Bruce has a five-team no-trade clause of the Orioles, Mariners, Rays, Blue Jays and A's, per Sherman, and two years, $28 million remaining on his contract after this season. He's batting .212/.292/.613 with three homers and 17 RBIs through 62 games this season.

Will Dodgers look to trade market to bolster injury-plagued bullpen?
Aug. 14: The Dodgers are down another reliever, with John Axford set to join Kenley Jansen, Tony Cingrani, Josh Fields, Yimi Garcia and Daniel Hudson on the disabled list after suffering a fractured tibia when he was hit by a comebacker Sunday.

While Los Angeles recently moved starters Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling to the bullpen to help out its beleaguered relief corps, it's possible the club will look to swing an August trade for some bullpen help.

The problem? There might not be many attractive options available.

Sergio Romo, Jim Johnson and Tyler Clippard pitch for AL teams, meaning the Dodgers will be one of the last clubs that has a chance to claim them, based on the waiver-priority rules. Those hurlers might not even make it out of the AL before being claimed, as was the case with Fernando Rodney, who was traded to the A's last Thursday after being snagged off waivers from the Twins.

As for NL relievers, pitchers such as Bud Norris, Kirby Yates, Craig Stammen, Jared Hughes and David Hernandez also have a good chance of being claimed before the Dodgers have the opportunity to grab them.

Tigers southpaw Francisco Liriano reportedly cleared waivers already, but he's unlikely to draw interest as anything more than a lefty specialist. Liriano has held same-sided hitters to a .567 OPS since the outset of 2017, but right-handed batters have posted an .849 mark against him in that time.

Video: LAD@COL: Friedman provides update on Jansen

Marlins remain open to trading more veterans
Aug. 13: While the Marlins have traded Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, Cameron Maybin, Brad Ziegler and Justin Bour in less than nine months, they might not be done dealing.

According to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson, the Marlins remain open to moving some veterans before Aug. 31, with infielder/outfielder Derek Dietrich, second baseman Starlin Castro and right-hander Dan Straily among the most likely candidates to be dealt.

Dietrich could draw more suitors than the other two, as he has considerable experience at three positions (2B, 3B, LF), owns a 116 OPS+ over the past four seasons and is controllable through 2020. Per Jackson, the Cubs and Indians inquired about the 29-year-old during July.

Meanwhile, Jackson writes that "no team expressed serious interest" in Castro, who is owed nearly $12 million in '19 and has a team option for $16 million with a $1 million buyout for '20, before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. And though the A's discussed a Straily trade with the Marlins last month, Oakland has since acquired Mike Fiers from the Tigers.

The 29-year-old Straily has two more seasons of arbitration eligibility remaining after this one before he can become a free agent, which helps his trade value. But teams may be hesitant to give up notable prospects for a pitcher who has recorded a lifetime 4.27 ERA with a 4.81 FIP (4.42 ERA, 5.40 FIP in '18).

Angels acquire RHP Despaigne from Marlins

MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Starved for pitching depth, the Angels acquired right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne from the Marlins on Tuesday night in exchange for cash considerations. Right-hander Dayan Diaz was designated for assignment to clear a spot for Despaigne on the 40-man roster.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Despaigne will be used as a starter and help fill the holes in the rotation that were created by the injuries to Nick Tropeano and Tyler Skaggs. Despaigne is expected to join the Angels in the next couple days and is an option to start Thursday or Friday at Texas.

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SAN DIEGO -- Starved for pitching depth, the Angels acquired right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne from the Marlins on Tuesday night in exchange for cash considerations. Right-hander Dayan Diaz was designated for assignment to clear a spot for Despaigne on the 40-man roster.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Despaigne will be used as a starter and help fill the holes in the rotation that were created by the injuries to Nick Tropeano and Tyler Skaggs. Despaigne is expected to join the Angels in the next couple days and is an option to start Thursday or Friday at Texas.

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"He's definitely going to help us in our rotation," Scioscia said. "We're trying to patchwork a lot of stuff and adapt to what we have to do on the pitching side. He'll help us do that."

Despaigne, 31, logged a 5.31 ERA over 20 1/3 innings in 11 appearances for the Marlins this season. He opened the season in Miami's rotation but made only one start before being moved to the bullpen. Despaigne spent a month on the disabled list with a right forearm strain earlier this season and has not pitched in the Majors since May 31.

Despaigne was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on June 7 and posted a 4.36 ERA with 40 strikeouts over 43 1/3 innings in 13 games, including four starts. A native of La Habana, Cuba, Despaigne played for the Havana Industriales of the Serie Nacional for eight seasons before defecting and signing a Minor League deal with the Padres on May 2, 2014. He has a 4.76 ERA in 98 career Major League games with the Padres, Orioles and Marlins.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Odrisamer Despaigne

Cano goes 1-for-4 in return from suspension

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- As Robinson Cano met with the media three hours before game time on Tuesday after rejoining his ballclub following an 80-game suspension, a line of teammates formed at the back of the room to support the eight-time All-Star.

Cano returning to the Mariners is a big deal and anybody wondering about the reaction of his team needed only to see Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura, Dee Gordon, Ryon Healy, Mike Zunino, Denard Span, Cameron Maybin and Andrew Romine lined shoulder to shoulder in the interview room at Oakland Coliseum.

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OAKLAND -- As Robinson Cano met with the media three hours before game time on Tuesday after rejoining his ballclub following an 80-game suspension, a line of teammates formed at the back of the room to support the eight-time All-Star.

Cano returning to the Mariners is a big deal and anybody wondering about the reaction of his team needed only to see Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura, Dee Gordon, Ryon Healy, Mike Zunino, Denard Span, Cameron Maybin and Andrew Romine lined shoulder to shoulder in the interview room at Oakland Coliseum.

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"It means a lot to me," said Cano, who went 1-for-4 in the Mariners' 3-2 loss to the A's. "It's always meant a lot to see the way teammates support. I really appreciate this. I didn't expect this, but thank you guys."

While the pitchers were in a meeting, most of the club's position players -- including several who could be losing playing time or need to move positions in order to accommodate Cano's return -- made sure he knew they were there.

"We just wanted to show him that we all make mistakes, myself included, but you're not here alone," said Gordon, who served a similar suspension himself in 2016 while with the Marlins. "Because those 80 days are really, really dark and a long time. They seem like they're never going to end."

But Cano's suspension ended Tuesday and he was back in the lineup, albeit at first base in place of Healy now that Gordon became entrenched at second base during Cano's absence. Cano also was batting second instead of his normal third, as the club has hit well in the five games since moving Mitch Haniger to a leadoff role and putting Segura third.

"It's good with me," Cano said of the changes. "It's not about myself. It's about the team and helping the team keep winning games and make it to the playoffs. I'll go out and do my best. No matter where they need me, I'll be ready for it."

The Mariners optioned right-handed reliever Casey Lawrence to Triple-A Tacoma to open a spot for Cano and right-handed reliever Sam Tuivailala was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Tuivailala is facing surgery to repair a right Achilles tendon injury and will be out for the remainder of the season.

Cano will split time at first base with Healy over the final seven weeks of the regular season, and he could be used to occasionally give third baseman Kyle Seager and designated hitter Cruz a day off. Cano is not eligible to play in the postseason, per MLB's rules on positive drug tests.

The 35-year-old played two games at first base, one at second, one at third and one at DH during five Minor League contests last week with Tacoma and Class A Short-Season Everett while batting .389 (7-for-18) with one double, two home runs and six RBIs.

The Mariners were 23-17 when Cano was suspended in mid-May and went 46-34 during his absence, the same winning percentage in twice as many games. Seattle sits 2 1/2 games back of the A's in the chase for the American League's second Wild Card spot. "I have to give the guys a lot of credit," Cano said. "They've played great. That was my goal, to be ready when I got back to be able to contribute and help this team win. We're all on the same page from the beginning of Spring Training. We want to make the playoffs. Knowing I'm not going to play, but I want to help the team make the playoffs."

Prior to his suspension, Cano appeared in 39 games this season, batting .287 with 24 runs, 10 doubles, four home runs, 23 RBIs and a team-leading .385 on-base percentage. Since making his Major League debut on May 3, 2005, with the Yankees, he has appeared in 2,037 games, the second most of any player in that span.

Cano has five years remaining on the 10-year, $240 million contract he signed with Seattle after nine seasons with the Yankees. He said he's not going to worry about negative fan reaction or anything else besides what happens on the field, drawing on his experience from going back to New York after he signed with Seattle.

"That is something that won't bother me," he said. "They have the right to say whatever they want. It's on me to not focus on them and get my mind away from the game. My goal is the team and helping to win games, not focus on people are saying, regardless, even before this."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Robinson Cano

Royals tab Lopez to start, send Smith to 'pen

MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals announced after Tuesday night's 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays that right-hander Jorge Lopez would be recalled from Triple-A Omaha and start Wednesday's game at Kauffman Stadium.

Lopez, 25, was acquired along with outfielder Brett Phillips from the Brewers in the Mike Moustakas deal before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

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KANSAS CITY -- The Royals announced after Tuesday night's 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays that right-hander Jorge Lopez would be recalled from Triple-A Omaha and start Wednesday's game at Kauffman Stadium.

Lopez, 25, was acquired along with outfielder Brett Phillips from the Brewers in the Mike Moustakas deal before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

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Royals manager Ned Yost said a corresponding move to make room for Lopez on the 25-man roster would be made before Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays.

Lopez posted a 5.26 ERA in 26 outings at Triple-A this year between the Royals' and Brewers' organizations. In Lopez's last outing with Omaha, he threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings while giving up three hits and striking out seven against Salt Lake City.

"We got six weeks left [to the season]," Yost said. "He made a start the other day that was as good as he's had down there. We've got six weeks left and we want to look at him."

Right-hander Burch Smith, who had been in the rotation and was scheduled to start on Wednesday, will move back to the bullpen.

"I told Burch over the weekend that he was going back to the bullpen," Yost said. "He's been preparing for that. Tonight was his first night in the 'pen."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Jorge Lopez, Burch Smith

Rays get Bucs' No. 4 prospect to cap Archer deal

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The final piece of the Chris Archer trade with the Pirates came into focus on Tuesday, when Pittsburgh sent right-hander Shane Baz, its No. 4 prospect, to Tampa Bay as the player to be named in the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline deal.

That unnamed player was expected to be one of consequence, and Baz certainly fits that bill. The 19-year-old from Texas was the Pirates' first-round Draft pick in 2017 (12th overall selection), and he signed above slot value for $4.1 million.

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NEW YORK -- The final piece of the Chris Archer trade with the Pirates came into focus on Tuesday, when Pittsburgh sent right-hander Shane Baz, its No. 4 prospect, to Tampa Bay as the player to be named in the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline deal.

That unnamed player was expected to be one of consequence, and Baz certainly fits that bill. The 19-year-old from Texas was the Pirates' first-round Draft pick in 2017 (12th overall selection), and he signed above slot value for $4.1 million.

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"I know we're excited to get him," manager Kevin Cash said. "He's a really high-end prospect. Twelfth overall pick. Very powerful right-handed kid. There's probably going to be some time before we see him, but to put a kid like that into our system ... I know he's a guy that during the Draft, we talked a lot about. We were happy with who we picked at four, but we were disappointed we didn't get the opportunity, and now with that trade, we have him."

Video: Top Prospects: Shane Baz, RHP, Rays

Baz, ranked No. 95 among all prospects by MLB Pipeline, projects as a top-of-the-rotation arm, with fastball velocity that touches 98 mph and sits between 92-96 to go with a plus cutter that scouting reports suggest can be turned into a true slider. He also spins a unique curveball, giving him an elite multi-pitch arsenal that not many his age possess.

Baz went 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA and 54 strikeouts over 10 starts (45 1/3 innings) this year for the Bristol Pirates, a Rookie-level affiliate. He made 10 starts for the Gulf Coast League Pirates last year, going 0-3 with a 3.80 ERA. He has 73 strikeouts in 69 pro innings and was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week on Monday after recording back-to-back scoreless outings for the first time this season.

Breaking down Archer trade with final piece set

In total, the Pirates sent Baz, outfielder Austin Meadows and right-hander Tyler Glasnow -- each of whom is expected to play a significant Major League role in the coming years -- in exchange for Archer, who has made two starts for the Pirates and is scheduled to start on Wednesday. Meadows was Pittsburgh's first-round pick in 2013, and Glasnow was taken in the fifth round in 2011.

Glasnow, who was moved to the Pirates' bullpen earlier this year, has returned to the rotation for the Rays, filling in behind All-Star Blake Snell and Jake Faria. Glasnow has made three starts for Tampa Bay, giving up three earned runs while holding opposing hitters to a .150/.209/.325 slash line in 12 innings. He topped out at 99.7 mph and averaged 97.1 mph in his most recent start, on Sunday in Toronto.

Video: TB@TOR: Glasnow sharp against Toronto in no-decision

Meadows, who had been up and down between the Pirates and the Minors, was assigned to Triple-A Durham the day following the trade. He's hitting .333/.372/.718 with three homers in 42 plate appearances over 11 games for Durham.

"I think it's a pretty good haul," Faria said. "I wouldn't have expected anything less. Trading a guy like Arch, you expect to get a pretty good haul.

"But we got two big league-ready guys, and one guy who was a first-rounder last year. Seems like a pretty big guy. I mean, Twitter fell apart as soon as his name was announced. Looks like a really good return on our part."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Chaz Roe is back with the team after being activated from the 10-day disabled list (torn left meniscus). Roe made two appearances during a rehab assignment for Class A Charlotte, retiring all six batters he faced.

Cash noted that having Roe back means "a lot" to the team.

"We've asked Chaz, basically ever since he got here last year, we've challenged him with getting some big outs," Cash said. "Late in the ballgame, a lot of big outs with right-handed hitters. The knee thing popped up. He tried to pitch through it. Went and got that procedure done.

"He's in a much better spot physically, and probably mentally, knowing he can go out there and perform pain-free. He'll add to some of that veteran leadership. Kind of complement Sergio [Romo] and continue to get big outs for us."

Roe told reporters he's back to full speed and that he has no restraints in regard to what he can and can't do in games.

• Outfielder Tommy Pham (10-day DL, fractured right foot) is with the team in New York as he continues to progress.

"Tommy's doing well," said Cash of Pham, whom the Rays acquired from St. Louis for three prospects on July 31, and who will begin a rehab assignment at Class A Short-Season Hudson Valley. "It's not the easiest thing to come here, then go on the DL and be away from the team for 10 days.

"There's no urgency [for him to return]. We want to make sure he's 100 percent healthy. I know he's going in the right direction. But when you fracture a bone, it takes some time to heal."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays