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Carp in rare company with 3 HRs, 2 2Bs

Cards OF makes history with 7-RBI game, ties franchise record for most leadoff homers
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

CHICAGO -- An afternoon that opened with Matt Carpenter tying Lou Brock in the record books ended with the Cardinals first baseman rewriting them.

Carpenter became the first player in franchise history -- and just the second in Major League history -- to hit three home runs and two doubles in a game. Carpenter did it all in the first six innings of Friday's game against the Cubs, too, along with scoring four runs and driving in a career-high seven. The Cardinals won, 18-5.

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CHICAGO -- An afternoon that opened with Matt Carpenter tying Lou Brock in the record books ended with the Cardinals first baseman rewriting them.

Carpenter became the first player in franchise history -- and just the second in Major League history -- to hit three home runs and two doubles in a game. Carpenter did it all in the first six innings of Friday's game against the Cubs, too, along with scoring four runs and driving in a career-high seven. The Cardinals won, 18-5.

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Until Friday, no player had ever tallied five extra-base hits before the seventh inning.

"A day to remember, for sure," Carpenter said afterward. "I'm having a hard time coming up with words to describe a day like this."

Video: STL@CHC: Cardinals on Carpenter's 3-HR, 5-hit game

Perhaps historical context will help.

On the 14-year anniversary of Albert Pujols' first three-homer performance at Wrigley Field, Carpenter became the first Cardinals leadoff hitter to go deep three times in a game. He's the 11th player in the past 110 years to tally five extra-base hits and the first to do so from the leadoff spot.

Carpenter's 16 total bases are also a record for a leadoff batter, breaking the mark of 15 set by the Dodgers' Davey Lopes at Wrigley Field on Aug. 20, 1974. The feat ties the Cardinals record set by Mark Whiten in his memorable four-homer game on Sept. 7, 1993. Carpenter now has two games this season of at least 12 total bases, the first time that's been accomplished by a Cards player since Pujols in 2006.

Carpenter became the first Cardinals leadoff hitter since Augie Bergamo in 1945 to drive in seven runs, and he tied Brock's franchise record with his 21st career leadoff homer. It was his sixth this season, establishing a single-season franchise record.

Carpenter joins Chicago's Kris Bryant as the only players in baseball history with a three-homer, two-double game.

Video: CHC@CIN: Bryant makes history with five hits vs. Reds

"It's so impressive, and you take in the fact with how he started the year," said Bryant, who started at third base for the Cubs on Friday. "I think it was 150 at-bats, and he was at [a] .150 [batting average]. Now he's turned it around. It's fun to see. It stinks when it's against us, but he's a heck of a player. Now, there's two of us. He's a pretty cool guy to share it with."

Carpenter's year got off to an inauspicious start, as he slashed .140/.286/.272 in his first 140 plate appearances. Since then, Carpenter has pulled his season OPS up to .958 by hitting .346/.435/.738.

Carpenter began his historic performance by stinging Cubs starter Jon Lester with his third leadoff homer in the team's past four games. An inning later, Carpenter stretched the Cardinals' lead by blasting another two-out pitch from Lester, this one landing 421 feet away. Carpenter had entered the game 7-for-50 with one home run in his career against Lester.

Carpenter tallied both of his doubles during the Cardinals' seven-run fourth, and he secured his first career three-homer game after deciding during the top of the sixth to take one more at-bat before finishing out the day as a spectator. He has now homered in four straight games for the first time in his career.

Video: STL@CHC: Shildt on Carpenter's 5-hit, 3-HR game

Since Statcast™ started tracking launch angle in 2015, no player had previously hit three home runs in a game with a launch angle greater than 35 degrees until Friday. Carpenter's final home run had a launch angle of 49 degrees, which is tied for the second-highest on a home run in the past four years. The ball had a 2-percent hit probability.

All five of Carpenter's hits had an exit velocity of 95-plus mph, and four of them came with two strikes. The exception was his third home run, which came when Carpenter ambushed a first-pitch fastball from Brian Duensing. Carpenter, who had hit 16 of his first 20 homers off righties, connected for all three on Friday against left-handed pitchers.

"Just a joy to watch and be a part of it," interim manager Mike Shildt said. "That's a special day."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Carpenter

Machado singles in first at-bat with Dodgers

All-Star SS wearing No. 8, could see action at 3B with LA
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- And now Manny Machado can just play a baseball game.

After rumors circled and a media circus ensued around Machado and his potential suitors at the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, the four-time All-Star shortstop was officially introduced as a member of the Dodgers before Friday night's second-half opener against the Brewers at Miller Park. Acquired from the Orioles on Wednesday and widely recognized as the top player on the trade market this season, Machado can finally focus on the on-field side of things.

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MILWAUKEE -- And now Manny Machado can just play a baseball game.

After rumors circled and a media circus ensued around Machado and his potential suitors at the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, the four-time All-Star shortstop was officially introduced as a member of the Dodgers before Friday night's second-half opener against the Brewers at Miller Park. Acquired from the Orioles on Wednesday and widely recognized as the top player on the trade market this season, Machado can finally focus on the on-field side of things.

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Machado, who started at shortstop and batted second on Friday, wasted no time getting acclimated to his new club as he singled off Brewers starter Wade Miley in his first at-bat in the top of the first inning. Machado walked in his next two appearances and logged his second single in the seventh off reliever Taylor Williams.

"[I'm] relieved it finally got done and [I] don't have to answer more questions after today," Machado said before the game. "I'm excited to be here. I know it's a great group, great organization, and they have a lot of baseball history. Just trying to go out there and win some games for the ballclub."

While Machado wore No. 13 over his six years with the O's, Max Muncy already dons the number with the Dodgers. Machado chose No. 8 -- a homage to his favorite basketball player (and the namesake of his dog, Kobe), Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant.

Video: Machado discusses being a member of the Dodgers

Muncy was never even asked about the potential of having to change his number.

"I went to the lake house, turned my phone off and just tried to enjoy my time off," Muncy said. "I was excited about [getting him], and I started checking my phone seeing if there were any messages about changing numbers, and nobody ever asked me. I assumed I was keeping my number.

"Or I assumed I was going to show up today and have a different number," he joked.

Despite the new number, the Dodgers are hoping they get the same Machado production (.315 average, 24 homers, 65 RBIs with the Orioles this season) over the next two-plus months.

Video: Farhan Zaidi on acquiring Machado from the Orioles

"We think Manny was the most impactful player on the market at the time, and any contender could see he could make a positive impact for him," general manager Farhan Zaidi said. "We just tried to stay involved. We knew it was in the making for months. For a player of Manny's caliber, you're going to have to give up a lot, and we did. He was our No. 1 priority this month."

Machado slots right in at short with Corey Seager sidelined for the rest of the season after having Tommy John surgery in early May, but manager Dave Roberts said the possibility exists down the line for Machado to play third base -- his primary position until this season.

"He hasn't taken any grounders yet this year at third base," Roberts said, "so you have to appreciate that and understand that he hasn't done it all year, and we want to put him in the best position of success."

On if he has a position preference, Machado said: "I'm here to win. At the end of the day, I want to win a ring."

Video: 2018 ASG: Kemp doubles, takes selfie with Machado

Speculation increased about the potential of a trade during Tuesday's All-Star Game when Machado took a selfie at second base with now-Dodgers teammate Matt Kemp. The screenshot of the two taking the photo quickly went viral on Twitter, leading viewers to think the pair knew something that everyone else didn't -- but Machado quelled those theorists with his explanation.

"I just wanted to take a picture with everyone at second base, and Matt just happened to be the first one there," Machado said. "Taking a picture with him, those memories won't be forgotten."

On if there really was more to the selfie, Kemp chuckled: "Maybe, maybe not. Who knows?"

There was a more somber side to the acquisition, which came with Machado's inevitable departure from the last-place Orioles. Machado said he had the chance to say goodbye to a few close friends, but the quick turnaround between Tuesday's game, Wednesday's trade and having to be in Milwaukee on Friday made it difficult to do much else.

In a Friday afternoon Instagram post, Machado thanked the Orioles' organization, fans, manager Buck Showalter and teammates, including Jonathan Schoop.

"I first joined the organization at the age of 17 and these past eight years have far exceeded anything I ever could have imagined," Machado wrote. "Thank you Birdland! You are forever in my heart!"

To make room for Machado on the 25-man roster, the Dodgers optioned outfielder Andrew Toles to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

"It's exciting," Roberts said. "It makes our club considerably better. [Machado] looks pretty good in Dodger blue."

Stephen Cohn is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. Follow him on Twitter @Stephen__Cohn.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Manny Machado

O's 'barreling ahead' in Britton trade talks

Cubs, Astros, Yankees, Red Sox among teams reportedly interested
MLB.com

The Manny Machado trade? That's so two days ago. Zach Britton is looking like the next prominent Orioles player to be dealt, as Baltimore continues the full-scale rebuild that began with Machado being sent to the Dodgers on Wednesday.

The deal shipping Brad Hand from the Padres to the Indians on Thursday may only increase the interest in Britton, as there's now one less difference-making reliever on the market.

The Manny Machado trade? That's so two days ago. Zach Britton is looking like the next prominent Orioles player to be dealt, as Baltimore continues the full-scale rebuild that began with Machado being sent to the Dodgers on Wednesday.

The deal shipping Brad Hand from the Padres to the Indians on Thursday may only increase the interest in Britton, as there's now one less difference-making reliever on the market.

Britton, who is set to become a free agent after this season, closed the first half by tossing seven straight scoreless innings, with six strikeouts and three walks in that span. The 30-year-old southpaw has shown a notable velocity increase lately as he gets back in a groove after missing the first two and a half months while recovering from offseason surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon.

Video: Richard Justice discusses the latest MLB trade rumors

Here's the latest trade news surrounding the O's closer:

• ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Orioles are "barreling ahead" with trade discussions regarding Britton, naming the Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, Astros, Phillies and Braves as teams in the mix. Braves executive vice president and general manager Alex Anthopoulos recently expressed his reluctance to trade for rental players in a Q&A session with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, so it's unclear how serious Atlanta's interest is.

Tweet from @jcrasnick: The #Orioles are barreling ahead with Zach Britton trade talks now that they���ve moved Machado and officially declared a rebuild. #Cubs, #Yankees, #Redsox, #SfGiants, #Astros and #Phillies are among the teams in the mix.

Tweet from @jcrasnick: The #Braves have talked to the #Orioles about Zach Britton, so you can add them to the list of teams in the mix. Atlanta needs bullpen help and has a lot of talent in the system. A lot depends on how deep Alex Anthopoulos is willing to dig for a rental player.

• Sources tell Bruce Levine of 670 The Score that the Cubs are a "main player" for Britton. The Cubs bolstered their bullpen with Thursday's trade for Jesse Chavez, but that move doesn't satisfy their need for a late-inning arm, especially after Brandon Morrow was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right biceps inflammation.

Tweet from @MLBBruceLevine: Orioles GM Dan Duquette on MLB radio just said his next efforts will be to move the Zach Britton trade market forward . Sources point to the Chicago Cubs as a main player if they are convinced he is healthy.

While the Cubs' bullpen has performed well this season, manager Joe Maddon made it clear he's in favor of adding a reliever. "If you look at the numbers, our pitching is among the best," Maddon said, per a story by Levine. "We are always looking to make things stronger. That is what GMs do. We will see how the whole thing plays out. The bullpen is still very thick. It's not like there is a lack of confidence down there. But if I was running the team and you get in this position, you always try to make things a little better."

• According to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Britton was included in the Phillies' trade discussions for Machado and the club "will stay on him" after narrowly missing out on the All-Star shortstop.

Video: MLB Tonight breaks down the latest trade targets

• The Orioles have been scouting the Red Sox's Double-A affiliate, and specifically third baseman Michael Chavis (Boston's No. 1 prospect, No. 63 overall, per MLB Pipeline), according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Chavis recently returned from an 80-game suspension and has played only 10 contests this season.

Tweet from @nickcafardo: With the Red Sox interested in Orioles reliever Zach Britton, the Orioles have been scouting Portland (AA). One of the players they'd like to watch, third baseman Michael Chavis, hasn't played since July 14th. Chavis is a little rusty after serving an 80-game PED suspension.

Per the Baltimore Sun, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette recently commented on Britton's resurgence and indicated that the market for the reliever had begun to increase.

"Clubs have become more interested in Zach as he has regained his velocity and particularly, the sink and movement on his pitch," Duquette said. "He had a really good week this past week, so clubs have renewed their interest in Zach. We engaged other clubs on that front, but we're not as far down the road in the process, and I think that's partly because clubs were waiting to see how Zach was throwing, and exactly what role he could help on a pennant-contending team."

• MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli reported earlier this week that the market for Britton had "picked up steam," noting that the Orioles could move quickly on a Britton trade after getting the Machado deal done.

Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.

Zach Britton

Yo homers vs. Yanks in 1st game since May

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- It took just two at-bats for Yoenis Cespedes to show the Mets what they had been missing for much of this season.

In his second plate appearance back from the disabled list, Cespedes clanked a solo homer off the left-field foul pole in the third inning Friday night at Yankee Stadium. He had missed nine and a half weeks since May 13 with a strained right hip flexor.

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NEW YORK -- It took just two at-bats for Yoenis Cespedes to show the Mets what they had been missing for much of this season.

In his second plate appearance back from the disabled list, Cespedes clanked a solo homer off the left-field foul pole in the third inning Friday night at Yankee Stadium. He had missed nine and a half weeks since May 13 with a strained right hip flexor.

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Starting at designated hitter, Cespedes flied out in his first at-bat, before homering in his second to give the Mets a 4-0 lead. They had rallied for three runs in the first inning when Asdrubal Cabrera, Michael Conforto and Jose Bautista all hit RBI doubles.

Video: NYM@NYY: Bautista hits 3rd RBI double of 1st inning

The Mets entered the night 47-68 all-time in regular-season meetings with the Yankees, including a 9-14 mark at the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Yoenis Cespedes

Strasburg chased in 5th inning in return from DL

MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Even though Stephen Strasburg didn't pitch his best during his first start since June 8 on Friday night, Nationals fans gave him an ovation as he left Washington's game against the Braves at Nationals Park in the fifth inning.

The Washington faithful were happy with Strasburg's return to the rotation. The right-hander surrendered six runs and eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks over 4 2/3 innings. Things got a bit heated when Strasburg returned to the dugout as he and rotation mate Max Scherzer briefly exchanged words before heading into the tunnel.

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WASHINGTON -- Even though Stephen Strasburg didn't pitch his best during his first start since June 8 on Friday night, Nationals fans gave him an ovation as he left Washington's game against the Braves at Nationals Park in the fifth inning.

The Washington faithful were happy with Strasburg's return to the rotation. The right-hander surrendered six runs and eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks over 4 2/3 innings. Things got a bit heated when Strasburg returned to the dugout as he and rotation mate Max Scherzer briefly exchanged words before heading into the tunnel.

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During his last outing on June 8, Strasburg exited in the third inning with right shoulder inflammation. Without Strasburg, Nationals starters recorded the Majors' highest ERA (6.26). Strasburg recorded a 3.46 ERA, with 95 strikeouts and 19 walks in 13 starts before his setback.

Strasburg allowed two runs in the first inning before Kurt Suzuki and Johan Camargo ripped back-to-back doubles to score another in the fourth. The Braves opened the fifth with two doubles, two singles and a sacrifice fly to plate three runs before Justin Miller replaced Strasburg with two outs.

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.

Washington Nationals, Stephen Strasburg

Enjoy the start of the 2nd half with free MLB.TV

MLB.com

Baseball's stretch run is right around the corner, and there's no better time to jump in on wall-to-wall live streaming on MLB.TV.

MLB.TV, Major League Baseball's live streaming service, is free and available for all out-of-market games through Sunday's schedule. Viewers can simply create an MLB.TV account and enjoy the pitches, hits, catches and celebrations during the first weekend of the season's crucial second half.

Baseball's stretch run is right around the corner, and there's no better time to jump in on wall-to-wall live streaming on MLB.TV.

MLB.TV, Major League Baseball's live streaming service, is free and available for all out-of-market games through Sunday's schedule. Viewers can simply create an MLB.TV account and enjoy the pitches, hits, catches and celebrations during the first weekend of the season's crucial second half.

Watch live games on MLB.TV

There's no shortage of intrigue as baseball gets back underway. Four-time All-Star shortstop Manny Machado plays his first series with the Dodgers as they take on the Brewers in Milwaukee. The Orioles sent shockwaves through baseball when they traded Machado, the face of their franchise, to Los Angeles for a package of five prospects on Wednesday.

Former Padres closer Brad Hand, one of baseball's best high-leverage relievers, joins the Indians following his Thursday trade to Cleveland.

There's more to watch other than intrigue surrounding the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The Mets are in the Bronx for another chapter of their Subway Series rivalry with the Yankees, with Mets star Yoenis Cespedes returning from his prolonged stint on the disabled list. Meanwhile, the Cubs and Cardinals continue their four-game series this weekend in Chicago with another installment of their timeless rivalry. Elsewhere, the Nationals try to make up ground in the National League East in a home series against the Braves, and the reigning World Series-champion Astros have gone west to take on Mike Trout and the Angels in Anaheim.

All live games streamed on any MLB.TV product and available via MLB.com At Bat are subject to local, regional or national blackouts. If a game is blacked out in an area, it is not available for live game viewing via MLB.TV. For MLB.TV subscribers within an area subject to blackout, applicable games will be available as archived games approximately 90 minutes following their conclusions.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Rays infielder makes terrific glove flip for an out

We've seen several different kinds of glove flips from second basemen over the years. These kinds of plays are always aesthetically pleasing -- they just look so slick, whether it's Chase Utley making a smooth flip or Brian Dozier getting it done in a scramble.

On Friday night, the Rays' Joey Wendle added his own spin on the flip with this terrific quick turn on a grounder by Justin Bour.

Albies exits with right hamstring tightness

MLB.com @mlbbowman

WASHINGTON -- Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies exited Friday night's game against the Nationals with right hamstring tightness.

Albies grabbed his right hamstring after he dove across the plate with a run in the first inning. The 21-year-old All-Star doubled and stole third base before scoring in uncontested fashion on Freddie Freeman's groundout.

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WASHINGTON -- Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies exited Friday night's game against the Nationals with right hamstring tightness.

Albies grabbed his right hamstring after he dove across the plate with a run in the first inning. The 21-year-old All-Star doubled and stole third base before scoring in uncontested fashion on Freddie Freeman's groundout.

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Video: ATL@WSH: Albies opens the scoring on an RBI double

After walking toward the dugout without a noticeable limp, Albies remained in the game until Charlie Culberson pinch-hit for him in the third inning.

The Braves announced the exit was a precautionary move.

Gohara's struggles extended
Luiz Gohara has squandered yet another opportunity presented by the Braves, who have been more than patient with him. The left-handed pitching prospect as underachieved throughout this season.

Gohara's fastball sat around 92-93 mph as he allowed seven hits and four runs over 4 1/3 innings for Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday night. A strong outing would have earned the 21-year-old southpaw a chance to return to the Majors to start Tuesday night's game against the Marlins. But it now looks like that start will be given to Max Fried.

"Gohara's velocity spiked a little bit, but it's not consistently where you'd like to see it," Snitker said. "I've seen him really, really good at the end of last year, and he's still not there yet."

Gohara gained attention last year when his fastball consistently rested above 95 mph in five September starts. He has been used as both a starter and reliever, bouncing back and forth from the Majors to Triple-A this season. The Braves are hoping a consistent stretch in one role will help him get back on track.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Ozzie Albies

No Machado? No problem: Good hitters abound

MLB.com @jonmorosi

Two things you should know about Manny Machado: He is a great baseball player. He has finally been traded.

Perhaps those updates crossed your desk previously. Here, then, our aim is to share information on the other talented position players who may change uniforms between now and 4 p.m. ET on July 31.

Two things you should know about Manny Machado: He is a great baseball player. He has finally been traded.

Perhaps those updates crossed your desk previously. Here, then, our aim is to share information on the other talented position players who may change uniforms between now and 4 p.m. ET on July 31.

What follows is a look at the midsummer market across the Majors, with two weeks left before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

CATCHERS

Top names: J.T. Realmuto, Wilson Ramos, A.J. Ellis, Robinson Chirinos

Perhaps we will finally see a resolution to the Realmuto trade saga, but the Marlins' price on him remains high given that he's under club control through 2020. Meanwhile, the chances of a trade involving the other top available catcher, Ramos, are diminishing due to his recent left hamstring injury that could keep him out past the Deadline.

Ellis, a respected veteran who appeared in 17 postseason games with the Dodgers, is having a strong offensive season for the Padres in a backup role. He could fit nicely with the Brewers -- he lives in the Milwaukee area during the offseason -- or Mariners, who may benefit from an added veteran presence after stumbling at the end of the first half.

Teams shopping: Astros, Nationals, Mariners, Brewers

The Nationals are poised to upgrade their catching in the coming weeks. They have the worst OPS at the position of any team in the Majors, and their opportunities to upgrade at other positions appear limited.

The Astros had shown interest in Ramos, as they wait for clarity on what to expect from veteran Brian McCann when he returns from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Now, the uncertainty surrounding Ramos' health could make a trade difficult before the Deadline.

FIRST BASEMEN/DESIGNATED HITTERS

Top names: C.J. Cron, Mike Moustakas, Justin Bour, Joe Mauer, Jose Martinez

Moustakas is a third baseman, of course, but the Royals have given him playing time at the opposite corner in an effort to create additional trade value. (The Yankees are one team that has shown interest in him there.)

Mauer has full no-trade protection, and it's unclear if he'd want to pursue a World Series title elsewhere -- even for a few months -- or spend his entire career playing for his hometown team.

Cron is having a breakthrough season in his first year with the Rays, already setting a career high with 19 home runs while splitting time between first base and designated hitter. As with virtually the entire roster, Tampa Bay will consider offers for him.

Martinez has been among the Cardinals' most pleasant surprises, but some in the industry believe he profiles best as an American League designated hitter. Cards interim manager Mike Schildt had him on the bench for his first couple of games at the helm, opting for Matt Carpenter at first and Jedd Gyorko at third. Martinez is under control through 2022, and his career .870 OPS could be enticing to a lot of teams if he becomes available.

Teams shopping: Yankees, Astros

The Yankees' need for a first baseman has dissipated somewhat, as Greg Bird's production picked up in the final week before the All-Star break.

The Astros' need isn't pressing, but they could look to add a left-handed bat, either at first base or in the outfield.

Video: Scooter Gennett continues to amaze in 2018

SECOND BASEMEN

Top names: Scooter Gennett, Brian Dozier, Asdrubal Cabrera, Starlin Castro

Gennett, a first-time All-Star and free agent after next year, is a candidate to be extended or traded by the Reds. With Dozier, the possibility of a long-term deal never seemed to gain much traction, meaning a trade has become increasingly likely. The difference between the two is that Dozier will be a free agent this offseason, while Gennett has one more year of arbitration remaining.

And while the Mets will agonize over whether to trade Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, there's no such dilemma with Cabrera. He's having arguably his best offensive season at age 32, and he's not under contract for 2019.

Teams shopping: Dodgers, Red Sox, Brewers, Giants

The Dodgers and Twins engaged in protracted trade talks regarding Dozier two offseasons ago. A trade fit still exists between the teams, as a result of Logan Forsythe's poor first half in Los Angeles, though the Dodgers' need is not as great with Machado in the fold as they can now slide Chris Taylor over to second. The Red Sox (Dustin Pedroia) and Giants (Joe Panik) will look at second basemen, depending on the health status of their injured starters.

Video: Josh Donaldson carries clutch bat, glove

THIRD BASEMEN

Top names: Eduardo Escobar, Mike Moustakas, Adrian Beltre, Matt Duffy, Josh Donaldson

Escobar has been one of baseball's most underrated infielders in 2018. Beltre, like Mauer, has full no-trade rights and can determine if he wants to leave and pursue a World Series title.

Donaldson, limited by injuries to 36 games and a .757 OPS this season, remains on the disabled list due to left calf problems. The longer his health questions linger, the more likely it is that he will remain on Toronto's roster into August -- and perhaps longer than that. Given Donaldson's uneven season, the Blue Jays might be best served by giving him a qualifying offer this offseason and taking the Draft-pick compensation should he sign elsewhere. Duffy, like his Tampa Bay teammate Cron, is an overlooked trade candidate who has posted career-best offensive numbers this season.

Teams shopping: Phillies, Red Sox, D-backs

Philadelphia looked like a fit for Machado, but the Phils could still target a guy like Moustakas. The D-backs (Jake Lamb) and Red Sox (Rafael Devers) could add a veteran right-handed hitter to complement a lefty-swinging regular who had a disappointing first half.

Video: Jose Iglesias impressive at shortstop and at the dish

SHORTSTOPS

Top names: Jose Iglesias, Jordy Mercer

It's a thin list with Machado no longer available. Iglesias has been more durable, and slightly more productive, in 2018 than in recent years. Mercer, meanwhile, has continued producing nearly the same offensive numbers every year. Both Iglesias and Mercer are free agents after the season.

Teams shopping: Phillies, Brewers

The Phillies have gotten terrible production from shortstop, which is why they were in on Machado. They could still make a move for a short-term upgrade and hope for more from J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery in 2019 and beyond. Meanwhile, it will be a mild surprise if the Brewers do not upgrade their middle infield in the coming days. Their shortstops and second basemen have combined for wRC+ of 64, which ranks 30th among all middle-infield production.

Utility players

Top names: Whit Merrifield, Jedd Gyorko, Josh Harrison, Yangervis Solarte, Yolmer Sanchez, Derek Dietrich, Miguel Rojas, Wilmer Flores

Merrifield is the player virtually every contender wants, because he's controllable through 2022 and can play nearly every position on the diamond. Harrison's production is down this season, but his energetic style would fit nicely on a contender like the Dodgers. He's an ideal change-of-scenery candidate.

Donaldson's health woes mean that Solarte has become Toronto's most marketable position player on the trade market. But he is a popular teammate and under control (through team options) until after the 2020 season, so the Jays have little urgency to trade him.

Teams shopping: Red Sox, Dodgers, Phillies

The Red Sox factor prominently into this market, given the injuries to Devers and Pedroia and poor production from Eduardo Nunez. Boston has shown interest in Merrifield, the only player in the Majors this year to start five or more games at first base, second base, center field and right field.

CENTER FIELDERS

Top names: Adam Jones, Tommy Pham

Jones has not played a corner outfield spot in the regular season since 2007, but the number of interested teams will expand if he's willing to move from the position where he has won four Gold Glove Awards. As a 10-and-5 player, he has full no-trade protection.

Pham declined to sign a long-term contract with the Cardinals prior to this season, and his numbers have regressed. Combine those factors with the overall turmoil with the organization, and a trade is plausible.

Teams shopping: Indians, Athletics

Cleveland's .565 OPS in center field was the Majors' second worst during the first half. The A's, meanwhile, had six players start in center field during the first half. Dustin Fowler and Mark Canha have split time there recently.

CORNER OUTFIELDERS

Top names: Nicholas Castellanos, Shin-Soo Choo, Curtis Granderson, Adam Duvall, Dexter Fowler, Corey Dickerson, Jose Bautista

The Tigers are willing to move Castellanos as their rebuild continues, but his market hasn't fully developed yet. Granderson, the one-time Tiger, has been exactly what the Jays expected on and off the field and is a good candidate to be moved to a contender for the second straight year.

The emergence of Jesse Winker with Cincinnati has made Duvall expendable. Elsewhere in the National League Central, Fowler is a buy-low candidate after his production and playing time have diminished in St. Louis, but he has three years and more than $40 million left on his deal.

Video: CIN@CLE: Winker smashes a 2-run homer to right field

Teams shopping: Giants, Nationals, Phillies, D-backs

Left field continues to vex the Giants, who have struggled for years to find a productive, everyday solution at the position. San Francisco's .648 OPS in left field was the NL's worst mark in the first half.

The Astros also could look to upgrade in left, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported. One reason: Left fielder Kyle Tucker, Houston's top position-player prospect, has posted a .419 OPS thus far in the Majors.

And while there are other metrics by which to evaluate players, here's something to consider: The right fielders for both the Phillies and D-backs have combined to hit below .200.

Jon Paul Morosi is a columnist for MLB.com.

Trade Talk: Familia, Archer, Bumgarner, Abreu

The latest news and rumors leading up to July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline
MLB.com

As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news, buzz, rumors and more.

Mets "exchanging names" with clubs interested in Familia
July 20: Among Mets trade chips, Jeurys Familia doesn't hold the same cache as Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, but he's much more likely to be moved by the end of this month. In fact, the club has advanced discussions to where it reportedly is exchanging names with as many as eight suitors, according to SNY's Andy Martino.

As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news, buzz, rumors and more.

Mets "exchanging names" with clubs interested in Familia
July 20: Among Mets trade chips, Jeurys Familia doesn't hold the same cache as Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, but he's much more likely to be moved by the end of this month. In fact, the club has advanced discussions to where it reportedly is exchanging names with as many as eight suitors, according to SNY's Andy Martino.

Tweet from @martinonyc: Mets have gotten to the point of exchanging names with teams on Jeurys Familia trades. Nothing is imminent but bet on him moving well before deadline. 7-8 teams have shown varying degrees of interest, plenty of scouts to see him tonight

A free agent this offseason, the 28-year-old closer is having a strong campaign with a 2.88 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and a 9.5 K/9 rate. Familia has been even better in July, though, as he's bounced back from a shaky June (8.22 ERA) by allowing just one hit and one walk over seven scoreless frames.

That puts Familia, who could be a good fit for the Cubs, Phillies, Braves, Red Sox, Mariners and Astros, among MLB.com's Mark Feinsand's latest list of trade candidates improving their stock.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the A's are also showing interest in Familia. Though Oakland's major need is in the starting rotation, a thin trade market for starters could lead the club toward fortifying the bullpen as it tries to catch the division-rival Mariners in the AL Wild Card race.

Keep or deal: What should Rays do with Archer?
July 20: Is Chris Archer on the trade market … or not? That could be one of the key questions as we hurtle toward the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. And it's not necessarily easy to answer.

The case for holding Archer: The Rays open the second half with a winning record thanks to a promising young core, and Archer -- in the middle of a somewhat disappointing 2018 due in part to an abdominal injury that cost him more than a month and also undercut his value as a trade chip -- is inked to a contract that allows the cost-conscious club to keep him around.

The case for trading Archer: That team-friendly contract -- which pays him $7.5 million next year and includes club options for 2020 ($9 million) and '21 ($11 million) -- is extremely appealing, and the Rays could take advantage of a market that lacks much in the way of impact starting pitching.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times suggests that the Rays should consider dealing Archer, who turns 30 in September, but notes: "The Rays aren't going to get as much for Archer as they would have a couple of years ago, but that always has been the risk as they operate with a sliding scale. And he's probably going to have to pitch well in the couple of starts he makes before the July 31 trade deadline just to generate a return the Rays would even consider."

If that happens and Archer is dangled, a number of teams -- both contenders and even some on-the-upswing rebuilding organizations -- would be interested, including the Yankees, Mariners, A's, Brewers, Cubs, Phillies, Braves and Padres.

Heyman: Yankees 'holding out some hope' for ace; Bumgarner not available
July 20: The Yankees are known to be in the market for a starting pitcher and are "holding out some hope" they can land an ace, but Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ remains the starter New York is "most likely" to acquire, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman for Fancred Sports.

Among aces, Heyman considers the Cardinals' Carlos Martinez "the best that [the Yankees] could hope for," noting that Mets right-handers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard are doubtful to be traded.

Per Heyman, one hurler that definitely isn't available is the Giants' Madison Bumgarner, as San Francisco is trying to win this season and has the southpaw on a reasonable $12 million team option for 2019. Bumgarner, 28, has recorded a 2.90 ERA in eight starts since returning from surgery on his fractured left hand.

Martinez's availability is also in question, as Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said he doesn't "envision" trading any of the club's high-end pitchers.

Happ, who is set to become a free agent at the end of this season, made his first All-Star team this year and recorded a save -- the first of his career -- in the American League's 8-6 win. However, the 35-year-old has posted a 9.75 ERA for the Jays this month, perhaps putting a damper on his trade stock.

Astros showing interest in Abreu
July 20: While the Astros have one of the highest-scoring lineups in baseball, president of baseball operations and general manager Jeff Luhnow may still be looking to add a big-name bat before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Among the players Houston is exploring? White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, according to MLB.com's Richard Justice in an appearance on MLB Network's "MLB Central."

Though Justice acknowledges that Luhnow might simply be "casting a really wide net," the Astros' interest in Abreu provides a glimpse at Luhnow's thought process as he attempts to load up the roster for a second straight World Series title run.

The Astros have also been connected to Orioles closer Zach Britton, and they were believed to be discussing Rays catcher Wilson Ramos before he went on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain earlier this week.

Of course, it's unclear if the White Sox would even consider trading Abreu, as they reportedly place great value in his clubhouse presence and influence over many of Chicago's young players, including fellow Cuban Yoan Moncada. Abreu, 31, is under team control through 2019.

Video: Justice on Astros' interest in Abreu, Archer rumors

Twins "not ruling anything out" with Dozier
July 20: Brian Dozier is in his seventh season as a member of the Twins, but will the power-hitting second baseman remain in Minnesota all the way through 2018?

"We're not ruling anything out in the future with Brian," Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said on MLB Network Radio, indicating that the club could consider signing him to an extension or dealing the free-agent-to-be by the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: With the Trade Deadline approaching, how much longer will Brian Dozier be in a #MNTwins uniform? @CaseyStern asked Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey that very question. pic.twitter.com/Gb2zbJ8kNC

"We also have to recognize where we are in the season," Falvey added, alluding to Minnesota's 44-50 mark entering Friday, "and that if something presents that we have to consider, that's our job."

Dozier has heated up of late -- he's hitting .298/.369/.632 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 15 July games -- just as trade rumors surrounding the slugging second-sacker have popped up. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported earlier this week that the Brewers, after missing out on Manny Machado, would shift their focus to Dozier to help improve their middle infield.

Realmuto's price remains lofty
July 20: As one of the best catchers in baseball, J.T. Realmuto also is one of the most desirable trade chips around -- that is, if he's even available. It's no secret the Marlins are looking toward the future in their first year under new ownership. What is less certain, however, is whether they actually would consider dealing Realmuto, who makes it onto MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi's list of top hitters on the market.

"The Marlins have maintained they will listen on all players, but they also have made it clear the asking price for their All-Star catcher is extremely high," MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes. "The club also has internally discussed exploring a contract extension with him in the offseason."

Just how valuable is Realmuto, a 27-year-old who leads all catchers in both wOBA (.384) and wRC+ (145) and is an elite defender? On FanGraphs' 2018 Trade Value rankings, Realmuto checks in at No. 24 in all of baseball. In other words, he's indeed an extremely valuable commodity -- and one the Marlins don't have to trade anytime soon, considering he's under club control through 2020.

The Astros, Brewers and Nationals are among the clubs in the market for catching help, as Morosi notes, with Washington most often and most closely linked to Realmuto. More >

Britton's market is starting to move
July 20: The Manny Machado trade? That's so 48 hours ago. The Orioles have shifted their focus to their next big trade piece -- closer Zach Britton. And plenty of contending clubs are interested, as ESPN's Jerry Crasnick points out.

Tweet from @jcrasnick: The #Orioles are barreling ahead with Zach Britton trade talks now that they���ve moved Machado and officially declared a rebuild. #Cubs, #Yankees, #Redsox, #SfGiants, #Astros and #Phillies are among the teams in the mix.

The Cubs -- who placed injury-prone closer Brandon Morrow on the DL on Thursday with right biceps inflammation -- reportedly are at the front of the line as a "main player," Bruce Levine of 670 The Score notes.

Britton, who is a free agent this offseason, has made 15 appearances since returning from offseason surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles. Though he got off to a rough start, the 30-year-old has not given up a run over his past seven outings (seven innings) while showing a dramatic increase in velocity.

As many as eight teams have been connected to Britton, an industry source recently told Levine. More >

Could Hand trade lead to Reds dealing Iglesias?
July 20: With left-hander Brad Hand now a member of the Indians after being dealt by the Padres on Thursday, the Reds' Raisel Iglesias is arguably the best reliever on the trade market. And as MLB.com's Mark Feinsand writes, the Hand trade reaffirmed the lofty return the Reds might be able to get by moving the right-hander.

In exchange for Hand and righty reliever Adam Cimber, the Padres landed catcher/outfielder Francisco Mejia, MLB Pipeline's No. 15 overall prospect.

Iglesias, 28, has been one of the best relievers in the National League since he moved to the bullpen on a full-time basis in 2016, and he has posted a 2.36 ERA with a 1.02 WHIP and a 9.9 K/9 rate this season.

But if another team, such as the Astros or the Braves, offers a prospect on the same level as Mejia, the Reds could be tempted to deal the closer, who is owed slightly over $11 million across '19-20 (though he can opt into arbitration this offseason).

Rosenthal: Why Rox could target deGrom
July 20: Imagine Jacob deGrom with the Rockies. OK, it might be unlikely but that didn't stop MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal from suggesting as much in a story for The Athletic (subscription required).

Given that the Rockies -- just two games out of a National League Wild Card spot after wrapping the first half with five straight wins -- are on a never-ending hunt for pitchers, making a play for the MLB ERA leader would be something. And as Rosenthal explains, it would give star third baseman Nolan Arenado reason to think about sticking in Colorado when he hits the open market after the 2019 season.

From the Mets' point of view, the Rockies could be one club to entice them into actually making their ace right-hander available, by dangling top-notch youngster Brendan Rodgers, among others. The 21-year-old 2015 first-round pick ranks as MLB Pipeline's No. 6 overall prospect and has 17 homers and an .846 OPS at Double-A this year. While Rodgers is in line to replace free-agent-to-be DJ LeMahieu at second base in 2019, the Rockies also have infield prospect Garrett Hampson as a candidate.

Tigers' plan for Fulmer, Castellanos
July 20: The rebuilding Tigers have a handful of players they could consider swapping, but it seems their biggest names aren't at the forefront for now.

Right-hander Michael Fulmer (under club control through 2022) and slugging outfielder Nicholas Castellanos (through 2019) have been mentioned often as trade candidates, but Fulmer hit the DL with a left oblique strain Friday afternoon. Detroit appears more likely to focus on moving others first, anyway, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

Tweet from @jcrasnick: The #Tigers are focusing their efforts on trying to move Francisco Liriano, Mike Fiers and Leonys Martin at the deadline. Fulmer and Castellanos are more on the back burner. Al Avila will listen, but a team will have to make a big push to land one of those guys.

None of southpaw Francisco Liriano (.088/.200/.193 vs. lefty batters), righty Mike Fiers (3.70 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) nor outfielder Leonys Martin (.281/.356/.452 vs. righty pitchers) are premium pieces, but each has the ability to help a contender down the stretch. Detroit could consider packaging two or more to provide depth and utility in specific situations, which would come in handy in September and October.

As for Fulmer, his ailment certainly puts his trade status in doubt for this month. The Tigers will have to weigh his value to them versus his value on the market going forward given his growing injury issues.

Cardinals unlikely to move Carlos Martinez, but Jose Martinez could go
July 20: The Cardinals are unlikely to trade right-hander Carlos Martinez, or any of their high-end pitchers, as the Trade Deadline draws near, according to president of baseball operations John Mozeliak.

"For us, the one core we have is pitching," Mozeliak said before Thursday's series opener at Wrigley Field. "And to start trying to arbitrage that would have to be a very special-type deal, otherwise it would make no sense to us. None of that has presented itself to me. No one has called me with any great ideas that way. One of the responsibilities is us looking at potential trades, potential partners, but nothing that I've looked at would make sense in that regard. I don't envision us moving pitching."

As far as what St. Louis might do before the Deadline, Mozeliak, for the second time this week, responded with the succinct answer of "TBD." Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggests the Cardinals could look to trade first baseman Jose Martinez, who is set to move to a bench role as the club puts more emphasis on defense.

"Yeah, at some point," Mozeliak said about considering trading the slugger. "Right now, that asset could be a great bat off the bench. Obviously, long term, that is something we need to think through."

While Martinez is a poor defender, he has posted a 130 wRC+ this season and could be of particular interest to a American League teams. More >

Rangers deal Chavez, other relievers could follow
July 19: The Rangers traded righty reliever Jesse Chavez to the Cubs in exchange for Minor League southpaw Tyler Thomas on Thursday night.

The 34-year-old Chavez owns a lifetime 4.61 ERA, but he has posted a 3.51 mark along with a career-best 4.2 K/BB ratio across 56 1/3 innings in 2018. Chavez, who has started 68 times in his past 192 appearances, provides the Cubs with some versatility, though he has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen this year.

The 22-year-old Thomas -- a seventh-round pick in last year's June Draft -- has posted a combined 2.77 ERA with 105 strikeouts in 94 1/3 innings between Class A Short-Season Eugene and Class A South Bend since his 2017 professional debut.

After Chavez, closer Keone Kela and lefty Jake Diekman could be on the move next, according to MLB.com's TR Sullivan.

Tweet from @Sullivan_Ranger: Rangers are getting more interest in their relievers than anything else. Closer Keone Kela and left-hander Jake Diekman are intriguing to clubs

Kela would be a valuable addition to any club looking to shore up the bullpen now and for the future, considering he is under team control until 2022. Kela has thrived in the ninth-inning role, going 23-for-23 in save tries with a 3.27 ERA (2.51 FIP) and a 10.9 K/9 rate in 33 innings. The 25-year-old righty has established himself as a top-notch reliever across the past two seasons, posting a 3.01 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP and 91 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings since the beginning of '17.

Diekman, meanwhile, could provide short-term help, as he is set to be a free agent this offseason. The 31-year-old southpaw missed most of last year while recovering from colon surgery, but he's fared well with a 3.21 ERA and an 11.0 K/9 rate in 33 2/3 innings this season.

As evidenced by Thursday's trade, the Rangers are seeking young pitching as the Deadline approaches, given their starting rotation ranks second-to-last in baseball with a combined 5.31 ERA.

Hand deal could spark flurry of moves for Padres
July 19: By now, you're aware the Padres made a big move by trading closer Brad Hand and righty reliever Adam Cimber to the Indians for top catching prospect Francisco Mejia on Thursday morning. It looks like that could set off a flurry of deals for San Diego, who has a number of available arms, as MLB.com's Mark Feinsand points out.

Tweet from @Feinsand: The Hand deal could be just the first of many for the Padres. A source says San Diego has drawn significant interest in RHP Kirby Yates, and to a lesser degree, RHP Tyson Ross.

After years of injuries, the 31-year-old Kirby Yates started to emerge after arriving in San Diego last season, and he has come into his own this season with a 1.43 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP and a 11.5 K/9 rate. His lack of track record (just 192 MLB innings in his career) raises some questions, but Yates' stuff and years of club control (through 2020) are appealing.

Similarly, Tyson Ross is 31 and has a laundry list of injuries in his nine-year career, so suitors rightly could be somewhat skeptical. While his ERA is 4.32 this year, Ross has shown flashes of his former All-Star self with 10 starts (of 19 total) in which he's allowed two or fewer runs, plus he's struck out 97 batters over 108 1/3 frames.

Beyond those two, fellow righty Craig Stammen -- who has a 2.91 ERA and a 9.9 K/9 mark and is due just $2.25 million in 2019 -- has been mentioned as another reliever the Padres could dangle.

Mets not budging on trade demands for deGrom, Syndergaard
July 19: As they continue to receive calls regarding Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, the Mets aren't backing off from their lofty asking price for either hurler, James Wagner of The New York Times reports via Twitter.

Tweet from @ByJamesWagner: Hearing more of the same re: Mets at the trade deadline. Teams have called on Jacob deGrom & Noah Syndergaard, but Mets most interested in elite prospects (close to the majors) and/or MLB players.

Per Wagner, the Mets want elite prospects and/or MLB players for each of their two aces, but contenders either lack high-level prospects (D-backs, Giants), are unwilling to move them (Yankees, Braves) or don't have a pressing need for a starting pitcher (Astros).

deGrom (controllable through 2020) and Syndergaard (controllable through '21) aren't close to free agency, and the Mets haven't shown any sense of urgency in shopping them.

The club could revisit trade discussions for deGrom and Syndergaard in the offseason, when a new general manager is expected to be in place in the Mets' front office and more teams (such as the Padres) are likely to be interested, according to Wagner.

At this point, impending free agents Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera are the most likely Mets to be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and Wagner notes that Zack Wheeler (controllable through 2019) is drawing "strong outside interest" as well.

Video: deGrom on his future with the Mets, trade rumors

Daniels: Rangers won't consider Beltre trade unless it benefits 'all parties involved'
July 19: Adrian Beltre can become a free agent after this season, but that doesn't mean the Rangers are actively shopping him.

In a Q&A session with Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rangers president of baseball operations and general manager Jon Daniels said the club will need to be "motivated to even have the conversation" about dealing the veteran.

"If someone has real interest and wants us to consider it and talk to ownership and talk to Adrian, we will based on their level of interest," Daniels said. "But if it's more of tire kick, that doesn't appeal to us. For us to consider anything, it's got to be beneficial for all parties involved."

Although Beltre is one of the best remaining players available for clubs looking to boost the left side of their infield after the Dodgers acquired Manny Machado on Wednesday, contenders may not be lining up to trade for him.

For one, Beltre can veto any trade due to his 10-and-5 rights, and he reportedly wants to play with the Rangers next season. Furthermore, he has been spending more time at designated hitter due to injury concerns, and he's produced just four homers with a .739 OPS over 261 plate appearances in 2018.

Machado in tow, Dodgers not done dealing
July 19: Yes, the Dodgers landed the biggest name on the trade market in Manny Machado on Wednesday. No, they're not done dealing.

"The Dodgers are still buyers on Thursday," as MLB.com's Ken Gurnick writes. "The firepower of a deep system allows management to pivot and address the bullpen." That remains true even after Los Angeles sent outfielder Yusniel Diaz (their former No. 4 prospect) and four other young players to the Orioles for Machado.

While Kenley Jansen has overcome his early season hiccup to regain his status as one of the best closers in the business, the Dodgers don't have much in the way of reliable depth in their bullpen. Even after lefty relief weapon Brad Hand and righty Adam Cimber went from the Padres to the Indians on Thursday morning, there's no shortage of quality late-inning arms for the Dodgers to make a play for, including: Raisel Iglesias of the Reds, Jeurys Familia of the Mets, Zach Britton of the O's and Keone Kela of the Rangers.

One factor to consider with the Dodgers, however, is that they are bumping up against the $197 million Competitive Balance Tax threshold after acquiring Machado. That doesn't mean the front office can't add more salary to the club's payroll, but it might make Dodgers execs more mindful of targeting cost-efficient options. More >

Indians put other AL contenders on notice
July 19: Having missed out on landing Manny Machado, the Indians reacted quickly by pulling off their own blockbuster to acquire Padres relievers Adam Cimber and Brad Hand, arguably the best bullpen piece on the trade market. The deal cost them their top prospect -- and MLB Pipeline's No. 1 overall catching prospect -- in Francisco Mejia, but it also put other American League contenders on notice, as MLB Network Radio host Jim Duquette discusses.

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: The #Indians addition of Brad Hand puts the onus on other AL contenders to answer according to @Jim_Duquette #RallyTogether pic.twitter.com/U5IxPBFXW0

The Astros and Red Sox, specifically, were in play for Hand because of their need for an elite lefty reliever. With that no longer an option, perhaps those clubs will turn their attention to the next-best candidate in O's southpaw Zach Britton, whose market is gaining momentum now that Machado has been moved.

While the Yankees weren't linked closely to Hand, they are still very much looking to upgrade their rotation. Plus, the Indians' bullpen -- with Hand and Cimber joining Cody Allen and Andrew Miller (once healthy) -- could rival the Yankees' collection of relievers, which might give New York something else to think about as it battles Boston for the AL East down the stretch.

Video: Antonetti on acquiring Hand, Cimber for Mejia

Arenado blasts 24th HR in 1st at-bat of 2nd half

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

PHOENIX -- The first ball that Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado put in play after the All-Star break went a long way, sailing over the left-field wall at Chase Field for his 24th home run to give Colorado a 2-0 lead over the D-backs on Friday.

The homer, off D-backs starter Robbie Ray, vaulted Arenado into a tie for the National League lead with the Brewers' Jesus Aguilar.

View Full Game Coverage

PHOENIX -- The first ball that Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado put in play after the All-Star break went a long way, sailing over the left-field wall at Chase Field for his 24th home run to give Colorado a 2-0 lead over the D-backs on Friday.

The homer, off D-backs starter Robbie Ray, vaulted Arenado into a tie for the National League lead with the Brewers' Jesus Aguilar.

View Full Game Coverage

Arenado is coming off his fourth All-Star Game appearance, including his second straight as a fan-voted starter.

Fellow All-Star Charlie Blackmon singled with one out in the first before the homer. In his career, Arenado is 10-for-29 (.345) with two homers and seven RBIs against Ray. Arenado also improved his NL-leading batting average against lefty pitchers to .405 (49-for-121).

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Nolan Arenado