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Carpenter stays hot with homer in 5th straight

MLB.com @LangoschMLB

CHICAGO -- On the heels of one of the best individual performances in franchise history, Matt Carpenter connected for another home run at Wrigley Field on Saturday. With it, Carpenter becomes the first Cardinals player in a decade to homer in five consecutive games.

Carpenter, who has hit seven home runs in a five-game span, tied the game at 1 with his third-inning blast off Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood. A day earlier, he had become the second player in Major League history with a three-homer, two-double game.

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CHICAGO -- On the heels of one of the best individual performances in franchise history, Matt Carpenter connected for another home run at Wrigley Field on Saturday. With it, Carpenter becomes the first Cardinals player in a decade to homer in five consecutive games.

Carpenter, who has hit seven home runs in a five-game span, tied the game at 1 with his third-inning blast off Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood. A day earlier, he had become the second player in Major League history with a three-homer, two-double game.

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In between, the Cubs did retire Carpenter on a first-inning flyout to left field.

Carpenter is the sixth player in Cardinals history to go deep in five straight games within a single season. It had been done previously by Jim Bottomley (1929), Roger Collins (1935), Jim Edmonds (2004), Albert Pujols (2007) and Ryan Ludwick (2008). Mark McGwire homered in a franchise-record six consecutive games, though it was stretched across two seasons.

McGwire homered in the final two games of '97 and then opened his historic 70-homer season in '98 with blasts in his first four games. Carpenter did tie another of McGwire's marks, as they're now the only two players in modern franchise history to have 11 consecutive hits go for extra bases. McGwire did so in 2001.

Carpenter joins Philadelphia's Odubel Herrera as the only players to homer in five straight games this season.

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

10 problems that need to be fixed at Deadline

MLB.com @mike_petriello

Now that the Dodgers have finally completed the Manny Machado deal, they've managed to fill a hole that… they may not have actually had. Chris Taylor is no Corey Seager, but he's having an above-average season, with a .332 on-base and a .454 slugging percentage. He's not going to lose his job, so when the multi-positional Taylor finds a new home, it'll take time away not only from the disappointing Logan Forsythe, but perhaps also Max Muncy, Joc Pederson, or Andrew Toles. They've strengthened a strength. It's a good problem to have.

Everyone else may not be so fortunate, both in terms of not having the same depth and -- most crucially -- no longer having access to Machado, who will almost certainly be the best player traded before July 31. The Dodgers just gained on two fronts.

Now that the Dodgers have finally completed the Manny Machado deal, they've managed to fill a hole that… they may not have actually had. Chris Taylor is no Corey Seager, but he's having an above-average season, with a .332 on-base and a .454 slugging percentage. He's not going to lose his job, so when the multi-positional Taylor finds a new home, it'll take time away not only from the disappointing Logan Forsythe, but perhaps also Max Muncy, Joc Pederson, or Andrew Toles. They've strengthened a strength. It's a good problem to have.

Everyone else may not be so fortunate, both in terms of not having the same depth and -- most crucially -- no longer having access to Machado, who will almost certainly be the best player traded before July 31. The Dodgers just gained on two fronts.

Still, anyone who's in it to win it is going to make some moves to fill some problem spots. We can figure where those issues are by using FanGraphs' projected values for the remainder of the season, and ID the positions on contenders that fall far short of average. We'll look at any position projected to receive less than 1 WAR for the rest of the year, weed out non-contenders and some that just aren't happening -- Colorado's Ian Desmond has hit .287/.342/.585 since the start of June, for example, making the first base upgrade they've needed for so long seem unlikely -- and go from there.

For pitchers, we'll look at rotations expected to get 4 WAR or fewer; for relievers, well, every team could use a reliever or two, so we won't focus on them here. 

These aren't all the needs. They're just the biggest ones.

Brewers: middle infielders and rotation

Lots of teams could have used Machado. The Brewers could have really, really used him, because their middle-infield situation is grim. Their shortstops are hitting all of .212/.264/.302, second-worst in baseball, and now that young Orlando Arcia is back in the Minors again, journeyman Tyler Saladino is the starter. It's not much better at second, where Jonathan Villar, Brad Miller, and friends have hit just .241/.296/.361, the 8th-weakest mark at the position.

Video: MIL@PIT: Saladino rips an RBI single to left field

Between the two spots, the Brewers have hit just .241/.296/.360. It's the 30th-ranked mark out of 30 teams. There may not be perfect answers here, but expect to hear a lot about Brian Dozier, Whit Merrifield, Asdrubal Cabrera, and maybe Jose Iglesias over the next week-plus.

They could also use a rotation upgrade, especially since Jimmy Nelson can't be counted on at all this year, but the infield situation has to be the priority.

D-backs: middle infielders

Take everything we said about the Brewers and repeat it here, which is why we'd pegged Arizona as a perfect home for Machado earlier this month. D-backs shortstops, primarily Nick Ahmed, are hitting just .230/.287/.430; second basemen, led by Ketel Marte, are at just .243/.328/.419.

The difference here is that Arizona won't go for just anyone. Ahmed's defense is considered to be very good, so there's no point in adding a similar Iglesias type. It doesn't help that third baseman Jake Lamb isn't hitting either, at just .229/.314/.365. The best fit here might be Minnesota's Eduardo Escobar, who has an MLB-leading 35 doubles to go with a .271/.327/.507 line, and like Machado, can play either shortstop or third.

Phillies: shortstop

"Young contending NL team needs left side infield help" is becoming a recurring theme, and we haven't even made it to Atlanta yet. You can understand why Philadelphia was so interested in Machado, because it's been a struggle on the left side. Shortstop was supposed to be manned by J.P. Crawford, but it's mostly been Scott Kingery instead, and neither has been productive: the .238/.286/.352 line from Phillies shortstops has led to a 71 wRC+third-weakest in baseball.

It's fair to add the inconsistent Maikel Franco to this list, too, though it's unclear if an upgrade is out there. Mike Moustakas (.249/.306/.466) is a bigger name, but he hasn't actually out-hit Franco (.269/.317/.459) this season, either. Escobar might work here, too.

Braves: third base

For what it's worth, Moustakas hasn't out-hit Johan Camargo (.248/.346/.422), either, though a move here could free up the versatile Camargo to play other spots, too. (Camargo has been fine, but he appears here mostly due to his limited track record.) The Braves will probably focus on a reliever, but there's scenarios where they try to add some left-side infield help as well. Escobar would be an intriguing fit, perhaps if packaged with an underrated reliever like Ryan Pressly, though Atlanta could just call up prospect Austin Riley, too.

Video: TOR@ATL: Camargo snags hard-hit liner to rob Russell

Rockies: corner outfielders

The Rockies somewhat surprisingly found themselves just two games out of first place at the break (though still in third place), and Desmond's recent streak probably means they won't go for a first baseman. While they could always use pitching, we're going to focus here on the same issue they've had for a few years now: weak corner outfielders on either side of Charlie Blackmon.

2018 has played out a lot like 2017 in that regard, as the talented David Dahl has been unable to stay healthy, and neither Gerardo Parra in left or Carlos Gonzalez in right has been all that productive. Colorado left and right fielders combined have hit .276/.320/.430, which on a park-adjusted basis is second-weakest in the game. They'll probably focus on bullpen help instead of this, but Adam Duvall, Derek Dietrich, or Avisail Garcia could potentially fit.

Indians: center and right field

Cleveland has a stud third baseman, one reliable outfielder, and a ton of bullpen problems -- at least before trading for Brad Hand and Adam Cimber -- so they're something like the Midwest Rockies, if the Rockies also had Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, and Mike Clevinger. While they'll also focus on relief, they could badly use a pair of outfielders, too. It was clear entering the season that what they had wasn't going to be enough, and it's not.

While Michael Brantley has been strong in left, the center and right field grouping of Bradley Zimmer, Lonnie Chisenhall, Tyler Naquin, and Brandon Guyer have combined to hit all of .241/.299/.338, the lowest mark of any team. They don't need to worry about an upgrade to win the weak American League Central, but it's hard to see them making noise in October like that. Any of the names mentioned above for Colorado could work, plus Detroit's Nicholas Castellanos.

A's: starting rotation

That's right, the A's are buyers, or at least they ought to be, as they're only three games behind Seattle for the second AL Wild Card spot. While they could use an outfield bat too, the bigger issue here is in the rotation, which is projected to be in the bottom third the rest of the way.

Video: OAK@HOU: Cahill fans Altuve to end the 1st inning

One problem here is that the available starting pitching market is underwhelming. Then again, the A's don't need a deGrom-level ace to upgrade. Pitchers like J.A. Happ, Cole Hamels, Nathan Eovaldi, Tyson Ross, won't quite have that impact, but they'd still be welcome additions to a unit that currently includes journeymen Edwin Jackson, Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill.

Mariners: starting rotation

Speaking of those Mariners, they have a ton of uncertainty of their own in the rotation, although they've generally performed okay. (They have the 15th-best ERA so far, and they're projected to be the 15th-best group going forward.) The problem here is that Felix Hernandez and James Paxton are both dealing with minor back injuries, and Hernandez (5.13 ERA) hasn't really been that effective anyway. Throw in the relatively limited track record of Wade LeBlanc and Marco Gonzales sustaining success, and you can see why some added depth here would be a big need -- especially if Seattle manages to get a starter that might otherwise have interested Oakland. They'll be in on the same names that the A's are.

Red Sox: second base

Dustin Pedroia got into just three games and may miss the remainder of the year. Brock Holt has been okay, but Eduardo Nunez hasn't; Red Sox second basemen have a line of just .254/.297/.351, the sixth-weakest at the position. The recent Minor League signing of Brandon Phillips isn't going to move the needle, so Dozier or Cabrera may find themselves in Boston by the end of the month.

Nationals: catcher

Matt Wieters hasn't had a league-average hitting season of at least 300 plate appearances since 2012, and he missed a huge chunk of the first half with a hamstring injury. Nationals catchers, largely Pedro Severino and Spencer Kieboom, have hit just .185/.270/.270, the weakest line of any backstops, and there hasn't been a less productive National League catching group in at least a decade. Yes, they need an upgrade.

The larger question here is if they'll play well enough out of the gate to be buyers, but the fit here is the same one that it's always been: old friend Wilson Ramos, currently sidelined by a minor hamstring pull in Tampa Bay. Otherwise, there's relatively limited catching depth to be had, unless they pull off the long-rumored major move for J.T. Realmuto.

Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast.

C-Mart placed on DL with oblique strain

Right-hander injured in final inning of Thursday's start; Brebbia recalled; Mikolas reinstated from paternity list
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

CHICAGO -- The Cardinals will need to find two spot starters for their upcoming series in Cincinnati now that right-hander Carlos Martinez has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right oblique strain.

Martinez described feeling a pull in his right side when he lunged for a ground ball in the final inning of his start on Thursday. He didn't make the play and went on to allow five runs in a 28-pitch fifth inning that turned the game. Martinez assured the Cardinals that he could continue to compete, but the Cardinals opted to go ahead and move him to the DL so that they could add an extra reliever for their doubleheader on Saturday.

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CHICAGO -- The Cardinals will need to find two spot starters for their upcoming series in Cincinnati now that right-hander Carlos Martinez has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right oblique strain.

Martinez described feeling a pull in his right side when he lunged for a ground ball in the final inning of his start on Thursday. He didn't make the play and went on to allow five runs in a 28-pitch fifth inning that turned the game. Martinez assured the Cardinals that he could continue to compete, but the Cardinals opted to go ahead and move him to the DL so that they could add an extra reliever for their doubleheader on Saturday.

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Interim manager Mike Shildt said the club is "super optimistic" that Martinez will miss only one start.

Taking Martinez's place on the active roster Saturday was John Brebbia, who gives the Cardinals a long-relief option out of the 'pen. The Cardinals also activated starter Miles Mikolas from the paternity list, optioned reliever Matt Bowman to Triple-A and added Luke Weaver as the 26th man in a series of roster moves before the doubleheader.

Video: SD@STL: Brebbia escapes a bases-loaded jam in the 7th

Though Mikolas won't pitch until Sunday, the Cardinals were required to reinstate him 72 hours after he went on paternity leave. Mikolas, who had returned to Jupiter, Fla., for the birth of his twins on Monday, was scheduled to arrive in Chicago midday on Saturday.

The Cardinals intend to announce their pitching plans for next week following Saturday's game.

As for Martinez, he will remain with the club through the remainder of the road trip and will be eligible to return from the DL on July 30. The Cardinals did not feel the injury was severe enough to order an MRI for Martinez, though they did give him an anti-inflammatory injection on Friday to promote healing around his oblique.

"It's possible that in a different situation, we would have held off on a DL and seen how he reacted," general manager Mike Girsch said. "We're hoping it's only going to be one [missed] start."

The Cardinals characterized this oblique strain as much milder than the one that has sidelined starting pitcher Michael Wacha since June 20. Wacha has still not been cleared to begin a throwing program and is unlikely to return to the rotation until at least late August.

Martinez already missed four weeks earlier this year while nursing an injury to his right lat muscle. Since returning, he has posted a 5.32 ERA and finished six innings in just three of nine starts. The Cubs tagged him for six runs (five earned) in five innings on Thursday.

"Just rest right now and take care of myself every day," Martinez said. "It's hard for me because I want to compete. I want to help myself and help my team."

Video: STL@CHC: Carpenter notches 7 RBIs on 2 doubles, 3 HRs

Call from the Hall
The National Baseball Hall of Fame reached out to Matt Carpenter to request a donation from his historic performance on Friday afternoon. Carpenter became the first player in Major League history with five extra-base hits in the first six innings of a game, and just the second to hit three homers and two doubles.

As of Saturday morning, Carpenter was still deciding what to send to Cooperstown, N.Y. Of course, if it was hoping to procure some batting gloves, the Hall of Fame will be disappointed. Carpenter hasn't worn any for years.

The Cardinals did set aside Friday's lineup card for Carpenter to take home as a keepsake.

Minor matters
• After going 12-for-24 in eight games with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals, Cardinals second-round Draft selection Luken Baker earned a promotion to Class A Peoria (Ill.). Girsch said the Cardinals planned for Baker's GCL stint to be short, as they were treating it as a rehab assignment of sorts given that Baker was returning from a left leg and ankle injury suffered this spring at Texas Christian University.

• Injured prospect Ryan Helsley is progressing through a throwing program, Girsch said, and is expected back in a Minor League rotation soon. Helsley has been sidelined by shoulder fatigue since June 9.

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 Bowman, John Brebbia, Carlos Martinez, Miles Mikolas

Cespedes sits; Mets monitor lingering heel issue

Callaway: 'We thought his heels were in a really good spot coming in, or we wouldn't have activated him'
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- A day after Yoenis Cespedes returned to the Mets following a nine-and-a-half-week absence, homered, then revealed that he is battling heel issues that may require major surgery to fix, Cespedes was out of the Mets' lineup Saturday against the Yankees. Manager Mickey Callaway, who said he was unaware of Cespedes' comments regarding his heels, painted the issue as one of general soreness.

"That's concerning," Callaway added. "I feel bad for the guy. He has worked so hard. If you see the stuff he has to go through to get back -- he worked so hard this winter. We talked about everything that he tried to do to put himself in a good spot to come out and be healthy for the team. I feel for the guy because he's done everything he possibly can to stay healthy. It's just not happening for him."

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NEW YORK -- A day after Yoenis Cespedes returned to the Mets following a nine-and-a-half-week absence, homered, then revealed that he is battling heel issues that may require major surgery to fix, Cespedes was out of the Mets' lineup Saturday against the Yankees. Manager Mickey Callaway, who said he was unaware of Cespedes' comments regarding his heels, painted the issue as one of general soreness.

"That's concerning," Callaway added. "I feel bad for the guy. He has worked so hard. If you see the stuff he has to go through to get back -- he worked so hard this winter. We talked about everything that he tried to do to put himself in a good spot to come out and be healthy for the team. I feel for the guy because he's done everything he possibly can to stay healthy. It's just not happening for him."

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When the Mets activated Cespedes from the disabled list on Friday, their expectation was that he would be able to start all three games against the Yankees. But Cespedes began experiencing soreness while running out a ground ball in the eighth inning, and he did not feel well enough to play by Saturday afternoon.

Asked if Cespedes was feeling soreness in his heels, quad or hip, Callaway said that everything is "interconnected."

Video: The guys on MLB Tonight discuss Cespedes' injury

The manager also said he could not speak in detail about Cespedes' heel issues, deferring to team doctors. (The Mets, per team policy, do not make their medical staff available to the media. Neither Cespedes nor anyone from the front office was available Saturday morning to discuss the issue.) Callaway did reveal that the Mets have long been aware of Cespedes' problem, but that they believed it wouldn't be an issue when he returned from the DL. Instead, Cespedes will visit a doctor in the coming days for another examination.

"We thought his heels were in a really good spot coming in, or we wouldn't have activated him," Callaway said. "He was good to go. He was in a good spot. As far as what the doctors have advised Yo -- or know about it -- I wasn't in the room. It would be tough for me to speculate on anything."

Following Friday's game, Cespedes said he has been dealing with heel pain for 15 years, and that he may require surgery -- which carries an eight- to 10-month rehab -- to fix the issue. When asked if he could make it through the season without surgery, Cespedes shrugged and replied: "I don't know."

Video: NYM@NYY: Cespedes homers off pole in return from DL

In the interim, Callaway said the Mets will continue to proceed day to day with Cespedes, who spends multiple hours every day on a warm-up program to prepare his body for games. For as long as Cespedes is on the active roster, the Mets will check in with him daily to gauge his availability.

"I feel bad for the guy because he does everything he can to go out there and stay on the field, just like all of our players do," Callaway said. "Everybody battles something. But in his case, it's been extraordinarily tough for him to be on the field."

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

New York Mets, Yoenis Cespedes

Yanks call up No. 7 prospect Acevedo

German optioned to Triple-A following loss to Mets
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The smile could not be wiped from Domingo Acevedo's face after stepping into the Yankees' locker room for the first time before Saturday's matinee against the Mets.

Acevedo had spent the previous night in his hotel room in Binghamton, N.Y., after Double-A Trenton's game there watching Netflix when he heard a knock on his door around 11 p.m. ET.

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NEW YORK -- The smile could not be wiped from Domingo Acevedo's face after stepping into the Yankees' locker room for the first time before Saturday's matinee against the Mets.

Acevedo had spent the previous night in his hotel room in Binghamton, N.Y., after Double-A Trenton's game there watching Netflix when he heard a knock on his door around 11 p.m. ET.

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"I saw the manager, and I said, 'What happened? The manager is in my room,'" Acevedo said in English. "The next thing I see is the pitching coach, and the manager said, 'I need a translator, your teammate.' So he [told my teammate I was getting called up], and I said, 'Oh, seriously?' and he said, 'Oh, yes, congrats.' I don't know, I started laughing and gave a big hug to my pitching coach and a little cry. I said, 'I need to call my mom.'"

Acevedo picked up the phone and called his mother, who lives in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to tell her the news. When she answered, she was worried that something was wrong because he was calling her so late at night, but that concern quickly changed to joy.

"I said, 'Take a seat and breathe,' and she said, 'What happened?'" Acevedo said. "I said, 'The Yankees called up for me to go to the big leagues.' She just cried with me."

Acevedo has dreamt of playing in the Majors since he was a 16-year-old who showed up to a baseball field in street clothes because he didn't own any baseball-related apparel, and it was finally a reality when the Yankees recalled the right-hander from Double-A Trenton prior to Saturday's game.

Acevedo left Binghamton around 5 a.m. ET Saturday and drove straight to Yankee Stadium. He hugged his new teammates as they filed into the clubhouse and said he talked with manager Aaron Boone when he got to the stadium.

"[Boone] said be ready and keep working," Acevedo said. "He basically told me, 'Trust your stuff, trust yourself and be ready.'"

The Yankees' No. 7 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, took the roster spot of right-hander Domingo German, who was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre after taking the loss in the Subway Series opener on Friday. Although Acevedo served as a starter in his six years in the Minors, the righty is expected to work out of the bullpen for the Yankees as Luis Cessa will take German's spot in the rotation on Wednesday.

Video: Top Prospects: Domingo Acevedo, RHP, Yankees

"Just having to go to our 'pen yesterday early, Acevedo's stretched out as a starter, so he's built up 100 pitches and he's on his fifth day," Boone said, explaining why the Yankees chose to call up Acevedo. "He kind of gives us that protection if we got in the situation where we needed a lot of length, he's the best option for us right now."

Touted for his triple-digit velocity and his 6-foot-7 frame, Acevedo climbed the Minor League ladder last year all the way to Triple-A and logged a career-high 133 innings. His velocity typically registers in the mid- to high-90s as a starter, and he complements his fastball with a changeup and a slider. According to scouting reports, Acevedo could blossom into a high-leverage reliever.

""Early in spring, his velocity was down," Boone said. "He's kind of worked his way back and I think started to gain some momentum and traction and has been throwing the ball well in Double-A. The velocity has been back up in the mid-90s. He's got a really good changeup and slider, so he's been throwing the ball pretty well."

Acevedo, 24, is 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA with 40 strikeouts over 50 2/3 innings across 11 outings (eight starts) with Trenton. He missed roughly a month and a half with a blister after just two outings.

"I'll be ready for whatever situation that will help the team win," Acevedo said. "Just be ready and give the best I have."

This date in Yankees history
July 21, 1984: The Yankees dedicated plaques in honor of Elston Howard and Roger Maris in Monument Park.

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

New York Yankees, Domingo Acevedo

Cards could shake up market with Jose Martinez

Should St. Louis decide to sell, slugger could be a top target
MLB.com

When it comes to the trade market, the St. Louis Cardinals' status is very fluid. Given their hovering-around-.500 record and surprising recent managerial change, they could buy, hold or sell. If they choose to do the latter, the Cards have at least one very intriguing piece to dangle in Jose Martinez.

The righty slugger's role with the team has shifted under new skipper Mike Shildt, which at least raises the possibility that St. Louis could look to move Martinez, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. As an in-his-prime bat who has owns a .307/.375/.497 career slash line and comes with a whopping four-and-a-half years of club control, players like Martinez don't often get traded.

When it comes to the trade market, the St. Louis Cardinals' status is very fluid. Given their hovering-around-.500 record and surprising recent managerial change, they could buy, hold or sell. If they choose to do the latter, the Cards have at least one very intriguing piece to dangle in Jose Martinez.

The righty slugger's role with the team has shifted under new skipper Mike Shildt, which at least raises the possibility that St. Louis could look to move Martinez, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. As an in-his-prime bat who has owns a .307/.375/.497 career slash line and comes with a whopping four-and-a-half years of club control, players like Martinez don't often get traded.

So why might it happen, and where might Martinez fit?

Video: CLE@STL: Jose Martinez crushes a 3-run homer to left

For one, Shildt through three contests has chosen to start Matt Carpenter at first base, and the versatile vet has started the second half on fire, including a historic three-homer, two-double performance Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

First base had been Martinez's primary position this season, as he'd started 75 of the Cards' first 93 games there despite ranking among the worst with the glove. That points to the organization's renewed focus on solidifying the defense, as MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch writes:

"Cleaning up the defense was an impetus for some of Shildt's changes -- most notably in nudging Martinez out of an everyday role. Shildt has talked to Martinez about the change, as the organization evaluates whether he might best fit as a trade chip this month."

For another, despite his offensive production in the Major Leagues, Martinez already will turn 30 years old on July 25 and has a history as a journeyman who bounced around the Minors before finally getting his break in St. Louis last year.

What does this mean for Martinez going forward? "Right now, that asset could be a great bat off the bench," president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. "Obviously, long term, that is something we need to think through."

If that's how the Cards are viewing Martinez -- as a bench bat behind the red-hot Carpenter -- then it behooves other clubs to inquire about his availability. Given Martinez's defensive limitations, he might best be utilized as a designated hitter who occasionally handles first base. So here are a few American League teams who could benefit from bringing aboard Martinez's big bat.

Seattle Mariners
The Mariners traded for Ryon Healy last offseason, but Martinez unquestionably would be an upgrade as Healy has power (18 homers) but lacks plate discipline (.270 OBP). Not to mention, longtime slugger Nelson Cruz is due to hit free agency this offseason, so Martinez could be a ready-made replacement at DH for years to come. If the Mariners want to end their 17-year postseason drought -- MLB's longest-active streak -- they have to think big and make any improvement they can.

Houston Astros
The defending champs appear to be in the market to bolster their lineup, as they've been linked to White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu already. While Yuli Gurriel holds the spot for now, he's 34 years old and has seen his pop drop this year (.486 SLG in 2017 to .444 in '18) after a broken left hamate bone. Meanwhile, regular DH Evan Gattis has been hitting for power (.538 SLG since June 1) but lacks on-base skills (.285 OBP over the same span) and will hit the open market in a few months.

New York Yankees
Considering the Yankees were connected to Manny Machado, they might be aiming to load up their already potent lineup if they can't land rotation help. Although Martinez hits well against both right-handers and left-handers, he's especially dangerous against southpaws (.348/.430/.598 in his career). That makes him a candidate to complement to Greg Bird, who is no stranger to the DL.

Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are on the outside of the AL postseason picture but very much in win-now mode. Sure, this is an unlikely fit, because Albert Pujols remains under contract through 2021 (yes, really) and some rookie named Shohei Ohtani is in the mix at DH. That said, the 38-year-old Pujols -- currently on the DL with left knee inflammation -- continues to show his age (98 OPS+) and Ohtani's Grade 2 ulnar collateral ligament sprain puts his health in question for the rest of 2018 and possibly into 2019.

Jason Catania is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JayCat11.

New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels, Houston Astros, Jose Martinez

Source: Mets working to trade Familia

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- The A's are working toward finalizing a trade with the Mets that would further strengthen their sturdy bullpen.

Sources indicated to MLB.com on Friday evening that right-hander Jeurys Familia could soon be Oakland-bound. Combined with All-Star closer Blake Treinen and rookie phenom Lou Trivino, they would form a three-headed relief monster for a club making a surprising playoff push. The A's are expected to part with multiple prospects.

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NEW YORK -- The A's are working toward finalizing a trade with the Mets that would further strengthen their sturdy bullpen.

Sources indicated to MLB.com on Friday evening that right-hander Jeurys Familia could soon be Oakland-bound. Combined with All-Star closer Blake Treinen and rookie phenom Lou Trivino, they would form a three-headed relief monster for a club making a surprising playoff push. The A's are expected to part with multiple prospects.

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Neither team confirmed the deal, which could be finalized as soon as Saturday.

"The most important thing for me is, I had a really good time here," Familia said before leaving the clubhouse on Friday. "It's tough, man. Just waiting right now on what's going to happen."

About midway through the Mets' 7-5 win over the Yankees, manager Mickey Callaway received word from the front office that a trade was brewing. Callaway was instructed not to use Familia, who sat in a hooded sweatshirt on the bullpen bench as Robert Gsellman closed out the victory.

Entering the day three games back of the Mariners for the second American League Wild Card spot, the A's have flourished thanks in large part to their bullpen. They are 38-0 when leading after seven innings this season, and 46-0 when leading after eight, relying on Treinen and Trivino.

Familia, who ranks third in Mets history with 123 saves, would add an accomplished closer's resume to that mix. Over seven seasons, he owns a 2.66 ERA with more than a strikeout per inning, including 43 whiffs in 40 2/3 innings this year.

Much as the A's envision a three-headed monster at the back of their bullpen, the Mets believed Familia, AJ Ramos, Anthony Swarzak and Jerry Blevins would form the core of a standout bullpen for them this season. Only Familia has remained mostly healthy and consistent.

He has also saved some of his best pitching for July, throwing seven shutout innings this month.

Video: NYM@TOR: Familia retires Granderson to earn the save

"He's done a great job for the organization," Callaway said. "Such a great guy with everybody in the clubhouse, the staff. He'll be missed if he ends up going."

Even before the Padres traded Brad Hand to the Indians this week, Familia was arguably the top bullpen option available for contenders such as the A's -- though his resume is not without its flaws. During the 2015 World Series, Familia blew three saves. Familia also served a 15-game suspension in 2017 for violating Major League Baseball's joint domestic violence policy, then missed time later that year recovering from arterial surgery on his right shoulder.

But he has rebounded from injury issues to thrive in 2018, morphing back into an attractive trade chip. A Mets club that entered the season with postseason aspirations is now taking calls on players ranging from Familia to Asdrubal Cabrera, Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler, with even Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard more remote possibilities to be traded.

Although Familia is making $7.925 million this season, Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said Friday that the Mets are willing to eat salary in an effort to acquire the best prospects possible in any deals. There was no immediate word how salary issues would work between the Mets and A's.

"We're looking to maximize value coming back," Ricco said. "We have the ability to carry some of the money in order to increase the return."

As Familia slung a bag over his shoulder and prepared to leave the Mets' clubhouse late Friday night, a group of teammates approached his locker. They hugged Familia and slapped him on the back, wishing him luck.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook. Jane Lee also contributed to this story.

New York Mets, Jeurys Familia

Trade Talk: Familia, Red Sox, Moose, Archer

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 finalizing trade of Familia to A's
July 21: The Mets are close to trading closer Jeurys Familia to the A's, sources have confirmed to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand and Jon Paul Morosi. ESPN's Buster Olney was first to report a deal was close. According to Morosi, the potential trade involves multiple Minor League prospects in Oakland's farm system and not Major League players.

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 finalizing trade of Familia to A's
July 21: The Mets are close to trading closer Jeurys Familia to the A's, sources have confirmed to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand and Jon Paul Morosi. ESPN's Buster Olney was first to report a deal was close. According to Morosi, the potential trade involves multiple Minor League prospects in Oakland's farm system and not Major League players.

Tweet from @Buster_ESPN: Mets are working to finish a trade of closer Jeurys Familia. Oakland among the team with interest; Cubs not involved.

Tweet from @Buster_ESPN: Jeurys Familia headed to Oakland, if the two sides can finish the deal.

Familia was not used in a save situtation during the Mets' 7-5 win over the Yankees on Friday, as Mets manager Mickey Callaway was instructed not to use him while negotiations were in progress. On Saturday, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported that the two sides are in the process of conducting medical reviews, indicating that the trade is nearly finalized. MLB.com's Anthony DiComo also reported Saturday that the deal is expected to be completed by day's end, although it remains unclear who the Mets will receive in return.

Tweet from @jcrasnick: It���s down to the medical reviews in the Jeurys Familia #Mets #Athletics trade, according to sources. Once that���s done, the deal should sail through.

Tweet from @AnthonyDiComo: The Mets and A's expect to complete their Jeurys Familia trade before the day is out.

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.

Red Sox scouting Twins, Royals
July 21: Red Sox senior vice president of player personnel Frank Wren was in attendance at Friday's Twins-Royals game in Kansas City, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.

Tweet from @MikeBerardino: Among scouts here tonight for #mntwins-#Royals: #RedSox senior VP/BB Ops Frank Wren, who goes back to the #Expos days with Boston baseball czar Dave Dombrowski.

It's unclear which players the Red Sox were scouting, but both teams are sellers leading up to the Trade Deadline. Minnesota's Brian Dozier and Kansas City's Whit Merrifield would both be fits in Boston with second baseman Dustin Pedroia possibly out for the rest of the season with left knee inflammation. The Red Sox are also pursuing bullpen help and could be interested in Twins relievers Fernando Rodney and Zach Duke.

Boston may be targeting Kansas City's Mike Moustakas as well after being linked to Manny Machado. In return, the Red Sox could offer 21-year-old third baseman Rafael Devers, who was activated from the disabled list on Saturday. Devers, who had been sidelined since July 11 with left shoulder inflammation, is hitting .241/.292/.424 with 14 homers and 48 RBIs in 89 games this year.

Britton expected to be dealt by early next week
July 21: With Manny Machado having made his debut in Dodger blue on Friday, The Orioles have shifted their focus to their next big trade piece -- closer Zach Britton. Plenty of contending clubs are interested, as ESPN's Jerry Crasnick points out, and Baltimore hopes to have a deal in place with one of those potential suitors by early next week, per a report by ESPN's Buster Olney.

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 @Buster_ESPN: Sources: Orioles doing their business with alacrity -- they are looking to move Zach Britton this weekend or early in the week ahead. Lots of contenders continue to be involved in the conversation.

MASN's Roch Kubatko reported on Saturday that the Braves have reportedly joined the list of interested teams, and that Britton "should be the next Oriole out the door."

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. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman has noted that Chicago is also reportedly considering Mets closer Jeurys Familia, but with a trade sending Familia to Oakland appearing to be imminent, Britton could become a priority for the Cubs.

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 >

Phillies, Braves eyeing Moose, Escobar?
July 20: The Phillies and Braves also had scouts in attendance for the Twins-Royals contest Friday night at Kauffman Stadium, MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan reported. Both clubs could use upgrades on the left side of the infield, and with Kansas City and Minnesota each positioned as sellers for the upcoming July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Mike Moustakas and Eduardo Escobar could soon be on the move.

Tweet from @FlannyMLB: Scouts from the Phillies and Braves here tonight -- both teams have been said to have interest in Mike Moustakas.

NBC Sports Philadelphia reported last month that the Phillies had discussions with Kansas City about Moustakas. Though third baseman Maikel Franco has been hitting well of late, Philadelphia could use an offensive upgrade at the position, and recently missed out on acquiring Manny Machado. Meanwhile, Atlanta's starting third baseman, Johan Camargo, entered play Friday with a .768 OPS, and shortstop Dansby Swanson's OPS was .715 to begin the second half of the season.

Moustakas signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal last offseason to return to the Royals after declining Kansas City's qualifying offer to become a free agent. He entered play Friday hitting .249/.306/.466 with 19 home runs. Escobar, also due to be a free agent at season's end, is having the best season of his career at the plate, slashing .271/.327/.507 with 14 homers and an MLB-leading 35 doubles entering play Friday. He is also able to play shortstop, were he has appeared in 21 games this season.

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.

The Yankees don't appear to have many options, however, as Heyman notes 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.

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 is 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.

Eovaldi impressive in 'showcase' performance
July 20: Rays right-hander Nathan Eovaldi struck out eight over six strong innings in Tampa Bay's 6-5 loss to the Marlins on Friday. The 28-year-old gave up one run on six hits with scouts from the Indians, Yankees, Braves, Giants, Phillies and D-backs in attendance.

Eovaldi is among the top starting pitchers on the trade market. He has undergone two Tommy John surgeries in his career, missing the entire 2017 season recovering from the second of those procedures.

So far this season, he's posted a 4.26 ERA in 10 starts. He was roughed up for eight runs over 2 2/3 innings against the Twins in Minnesota on July 13. But in his three starts prior to that, he gave up two runs over 19 innings (0.95 ERA) with 23 strikeouts and three walks. More > 

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 >

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 arms, but Jose Martinez could go
July 20: The Cardinals are unlikely to trade 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 >

Devers returns from DL stint for Red Sox

MLB.com

BOSTON -- The Red Sox activated third baseman Rafael Devers from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. To make room on the 25-man roster, the club optioned left-handed pitcher Bobby Poyner to Triple-A Pawtucket following Friday night's game.

President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made the announcement.

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BOSTON -- The Red Sox activated third baseman Rafael Devers from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. To make room on the 25-man roster, the club optioned left-handed pitcher Bobby Poyner to Triple-A Pawtucket following Friday night's game.

President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made the announcement.

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Devers, 21, was placed on the 10-day disabled list on July 12 with left shoulder inflammation, retroactive to July 11. He has hit .241 (82-for-340) with 14 home runs and 48 RBIs in his first full Major League season, appearing in 89 of Boston's 99 games. In 31 games since June 6, he has batted .275 (33-for-120) with a .790 OPS. Signed by Boston as an international free agent in 2013, the Dominican native has hit .258 (145-for-562) with 24 home runs and 78 RBIs in 147 big league games. In Game 3 of the 2017 American League Division Series, he became the youngest player ever to hit a postseason home run for the Red Sox.

Poyner, 25, has made 10 relief appearances over five stints-the first of his big league career- with Boston this season, allowing two runs on 12 hits over 10.2 innings (1.69 ERA) with 10 strikeouts and one walk. Major league left-handed hitters are 2-for-14 (.143) against him, recording only one extra-base hit (triple) with five strikeouts. In 21 minor league appearances this season, the left-hander has posted a 2.70 ERA (8 ER/26.2 IP), including a 2.03 mark (3 ER/13.1 IP) with 15 strikeouts in his last 10 outings. Selected by Boston in the 14th round of the 2015 June Draft, Poyner has appeared in 120 minor league games in his career, posting a 2.40 ERA (47 ER/176.1 IP) with 42 saves and 197 strikeouts compared to 38 walks.

Boston Red Sox, Rafael Devers

Braves-Nationals game postponed on Saturday

MLB.com

The game between the Braves and Nationals on Saturday night has been postponed due to inclement weather. Information regarding the date and time of the rescheduled game will be released at a later time.

All tickets for Saturday night's game will be honored for the rescheduled game. Please hold on to your tickets and parking passes.

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The game between the Braves and Nationals on Saturday night has been postponed due to inclement weather. Information regarding the date and time of the rescheduled game will be released at a later time.

All tickets for Saturday night's game will be honored for the rescheduled game. Please hold on to your tickets and parking passes.

View Full Game Coverage

Ticket's can also be exchanged for any other 2018 regular-season game. All exchanges must occur before the start of the rescheduled game.

For more info, please visit Nationals.com/Rain.

Atlanta Braves

Machado's Dodgers debut a win for LA

Wearing No. 8, All-Star shortstop goes 2-for-3 with two walks
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Finally, Manny Machado could 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 -- Finally, Manny Machado could 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.

View Full Game Coverage

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 as the Dodgers went on to win, 6-4.

"It was awesome," Machado said. "It was amazing to go out there and put on that uniform. Just happy to be here with these guys: a great group, great team, great leadership."

Wearing a new jersey didn't phase the 26-year-old, who claimed before the game he wasn't tense about his debut.

Video: LAD@MIL: Hernandez talks 3-run HR, Machado's impact

"I've been doing this since I was a kid," Machado said. "I just go out there and I'm always going to play with a smile on my face. Why would I be nervous? It's baseball. Jitters were going through, and it was totally different, but I was excited."

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