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MLB Buzz: Yanks, M's looking to acquire Happ

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.

June 18: As the Yankees and Mariners have emerged as true contenders in the American League pennant race, so, too, have their roster voids -- specifically within their starting rotations. Both clubs are believed to be in the market for an available arm over the next six weeks, and MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported on Monday that each is interested in Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ.

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

June 18: As the Yankees and Mariners have emerged as true contenders in the American League pennant race, so, too, have their roster voids -- specifically within their starting rotations. Both clubs are believed to be in the market for an available arm over the next six weeks, and MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported on Monday that each is interested in Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ.

In the midst of an All-Star-caliber season, Happ has a 3.48 ERA over 82 2/3 innings in 14 starts. He is in the final year of a three-year, $36 million contract, and due to his lingering free agency, he might not be as costly a return in what is shaping up to be a thin trade market for starters.

Both Seattle and New York have gotten above-average production from their starting staffs, though each has shown signs of vulnerability.

Beyond AL Cy Young Award candidate Luis Severino, the Yankees have gotten inconsistent results from Sonny Gray and Masahiro Tanaka, Jordan Montgomery was lost for the season because of Tommy John surgery and Domingo German hasn't yet exhibited enough to warrant the fifth spot for good. CC Sabathia has been reliable, when healthy. To complement their elite offense and lights-out bullpen, the Yankees have long been speculated to retool their rotation ahead of the Deadline.

Morosi noted that the Yankees might have more incentive to go after a lefty given that the division-rival Red Sox have an MLB-best .813 OPS against righties but only a .672 mark against southpaws. In addition to their 13 regular-season meetings remaining, there's a strong chance the Yankees could go through Boston in the postseason.

The Mariners' rotation has also proven to be top heavy, with arguably the AL's best starter in James Paxton. However, No. 2 starter Felix Hernandez has struggled to a career-worst 5.44 ERA, and he has given up five or more earned runs in five of his 15 starts. No. 5 starter Wade LeBlanc has been a pleasant surprise, but at 33 years old, there have been questions about his sustainability.

In a loaded AL East, Toronto entered 2018 with its most realistic avenue to the postseason via an AL Wild Card berth, but it entered Monday 12 1/2 games back of the second AL's spot. The Jays are 32-38 despite winning seven of their last 10, including sweeps of the Nationals and Orioles.

Red Sox have asked about Machado
June 18: The Red Sox have had discussions recently with the Orioles about acquiring Manny Machado, though the clubs have not been able to find a common ground to execute a potential deal, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

Boston was among the handful of clubs to inquire about Machado last offseason. Rosenthal last week speculated that the struggling Rafael Devers, once the club's No. 2 prospect, would likely be included in any potential trade for Machado.

For Baltimore, there could be increasing pressure for general manager Dan Duquette to maximize the potential return for Machado, who will hit free agency among the most coveted players this offseason. Duquette, as well as manager Buck Showalter, are in the final year of their respective contracts, and the Orioles entered Monday 28 1/2 games out of first place, with the Majors' worst record (19-50).

Are Mets 'open for business?'
June 18: The Mets are reportedly "open for business" as it relates to prospective trade offers ahead of the non-waiver Trade Deadline, including on ace Jacob deGrom, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. The club would be more inclined to move Noah Syndergaard, per Rosenthal, but it might be inclined to part with deGrom given the right return.

deGrom would cost a "boatload" in return, one source told Rosenthal, and likely for a combination of Major League talent as well as highly touted prospects, which perhaps only a handful of clubs could fulfill. deGrom has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining before he becomes a free agent, while Syndergaard wouldn't hit the market until after the 2021 season.

Video: Morning Lineup: Teams that could trade for deGrom

deGrom is firmly in the mix for the National League Cy Young Award, with the Majors' best ERA (1.55) over 87 1/3 innings in 14 starts. He's currently on pace for career bests in strikeout rate (32.8 percent), opposing batting average (.206) and WHIP (1.01), as he's one of the few glimmering spotlights for a Mets team that tumbled out of first place in early May. The right-hander did avoid a significant injury scare nearly seven weeks ago when he hyperextended his pitching elbow on an awkward swing, landing on the 10-day disabled list.

Syndergaard hasn't pitched since May 25 due to a strained ligament on his right index finger. The high-velocity right-hander missed nearly the entire 2017 season due to a partial tear in his right lat. Over 11 starts this year, Syndergaard is 4-1 with a 3.06 ERA.

Monday's report surfaced less than two weeks after general manager Sandy Alderson called the liklelihood of a teardown "very remote" in an interview with USA Today.

"Just because you tear it down doesn't mean you're going to have a great rebuild. It doesn't work that way. It just doesn't," Alderson said at the time.

In Rosenthal's report, he indicates that the club would ideally like to retain most of its controllable nucleus -- shortstop Amed Rosario, outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto and right-handers Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman -- but those chips are likely the most coveted by other clubs.

Giants going after Harper?
June 14: The Giants lost out on the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes in the offseason, despite being perhaps the most aggressive in pursuing the National League MVP Award winner via a trade from the Marlins. The Giants wound up filling out their lineup elsewhere -- trading for Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria -- but they may not be out of the market in acquiring a power-hitting corner outfielder, as MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported recently that they could be a "main player" for Bryce Harper in free agency.

"They do make some sense," a friend of Harper's told Heyman.

Harper has been speculated to land a potentially historic deal, though the Giants were believed to be willing to take on the entire $295 million remaining on Stanton's contract. And general manager Bobby Evans has made it clear the club doesn't intend to rebuild in the immediate future despite a depleted farm system.

"We're going to be focused in the market as much as anybody ... the trade market as we get to the winter," Evans said in a recent interview with MLB Network Radio. "But that's so far ahead of us now. But yeah, there's always an eye on the free-agent market."

McCutchen will be a free agent this offseason, and 35-year-old left fielder Hunter Pence has struggled to stay healthy and remain productive, hitting .183/.236/.207 in 30 games. The Giants appear to be all-in on the immediate, and pursuing Harper would certainly fit that strategic mold.

Royals' Moore to exercise caution
June 14: The summer of selling and speculation surrounding the Royals continues, particularly as the club has fallen into last place in a diluted AL Central, at a pace of losing more than 100 games.

Selling was the story ahead of last year's non-waiver Trade Deadline -- stalwarts Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas were at the onset of free agency -- but this year that process may have already begun with the trade of outfielder Jon Jay to Arizona last week.

But even with other pieces, such as reliever Kelvin Herrera and Moustakas, who might be coveted by contending clubs, general manager Dayton Moore has never been known to be rash, and he reiterated as much recently.

"We've got to be open-minded to different things," Moore told The Athletic. "But we're not going to do a deal just to do a deal."

Moustakas, who has hit 13 homers so far after setting a franchise record last year with 38, is on a one-year, $6.5 million deal that he signed last offseason. And because he turned down a qualifying offer -- which last year was valued at $17.4 million -- with hopes of hitting the market as arguably the best third baseman available, the Royals cannot extend him another such offer, and potentially obtain Draft-pick compensation, which takes away some of their leverage.

"We're not going to make deals unless we get the type of value back that's important to the future of our organization," Moore said. "Our fans like watching Mike Moustakas play. I'm not going to take that away from them just to do a deal -- unless the deal makes really good sense."

Herrera could be among the best available relievers in this year's trade market. The right-hander and two-time All-Star has a 1.05 ERA in 25 2/3 innings in what's been perhaps a career year. As recent history has shown, bullpen strength has been the most coveted asset at the Deadline.

Archer likely to be moved
June 13: This is far from the first time that the Chris Archer has been floated as a trade candidate, but a rival executive told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that he believes that a seller's market this year will make the Rays likely to move Archer before the Trade Deadline.

Video: TB@WSH: Archer on 10-day DL with abdominal strain

Archer is a two-time All-Star with a 3.67 ERA in his seven seasons in the Majors, but his current injury and struggles this year might affect his trade value -- he has a 4.24 ERA in 13 starts and is on the disabled list with a left abdominal strain without a definite timetable for his return. And Rosenthal reports that the Rays don't like the thought of trading the 29-year-old due to his team-friendly contract.

Archer could be under club control through 2021, with one year remaining on his contract plus two more years of club options. That makes him different than, for example, David Price, who was only under team control when the Rays traded him, or Evan Longoria, who had a much larger contract.

Hamels might want trade partner to pick up option
June 13: Cole Hamels has been one of the most prominent names in early-season trade buzz -- most notably as a potential trade target for the Yankees, who for all their success so far are in need of starting rotation depth. The Rangers have struggled this season, but Hamels has a 3.86 ERA and 79 strikeouts in his 13 starts.

Video: TEX@LAA: Hamels grabs strikeout No. 2,300 of career

But the veteran left-hander has a 20-team no-trade list, and a source told Rosenthal that even though Hamels recently called that protection "kind of a formality," he could still use it as leverage to ask a trade partner from that list to pick up his $20 million option for 2019. That makes sense for the 34-year-old, as the alternative to picking up his option is a $6 million buyout that would leave him facing the uncertainty of free agency in his mid-30s.

MLB.com's Jon Morosi has reported that the teams not on Hamels' no-trade list are the Astros, Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Mariners, Nationals, Phillies, Rays and Royals.

Per Rosenthal, Hamels could be a difficult fit for a team trying to remain under the luxury tax threshold, as he'll still be owed close to $8 million at the Trade Deadline, unless the Rangers include significant cash in a deal.

Nationals prioritizing adding pitching
June 13: The reigning National League East champs seem to view pitching as their biggest priority in advance of the Trade Deadline, according to Rosenthal.

Sources told Rosenthal that the Nationals want to add both a starter and a reliever. Only three of the team's regular starters are currently healthy -- Max Scherzer, Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez -- with Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) and Jeremy Hellickson (right hamstring strain) on the DL. Additionally, reliever Brandon Kintzler is also now on the DL with a right forearm flexor strain.

That doesn't mean Washington won't pursue position players. Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto continues to be a "perfect fit" for the Nats, per Rosenthal, with Matt Wieters likely to miss about six weeks as he recovers from surgery to repair a left hamstring strain and also set to become a free agent after this season.

Video: SF@MIA: Realmuto crushes go-ahead 2-run homer in 7th

Brewers could seek to upgrade at multiple spots
June 13: Similar to the Nationals, the Brewers are a contending team that could benefit greatly from upgrades in several areas -- namely, pitcher, catcher and second base.

Milwaukee could use both a front-end starter (staff ace Jimmy Nelson is still recovering from last September's shoulder surgery) and a reliever. Plus, while second baseman Jonathan Villar has been better at the plate than last year, he's still something of a question mark and has rated as a just-below-average hitter overall, with a 97 OPS+, where league average is 100.

Video: NYY@KC: Merrifield collects 3 hits, swipes 3 bags

According to Rosenthal, the Brewers have been interested in Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield in the past, and Kansas City reliever Kelvin Herrera will also draw trade interest as the Deadline approaches. A Merrifield-Herrera package would be ideal for the Brewers, but would come with a high price in the form of prospects. The Brewers would also face competition from other Royals suitors, especially for Herrera, with contending teams like the Rockies and Indians in need of bullpen help.

Pair of 3-way thrillers highlight NL ASG voting

Albies, Posey lead way in hotly contested races at second base, catcher
MLB.com @castrovince

The top spots in the National League are unchanged in the latest 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star ballot update released Monday. But the races at catcher and second base, in particular, are much too close for comfort.

VOTE NOW: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

The top spots in the National League are unchanged in the latest 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star ballot update released Monday. But the races at catcher and second base, in particular, are much too close for comfort.

VOTE NOW: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

With 2 1/2 weeks remaining before the July 5 conclusion of balloting for the starting spots in the 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, to be played on Tuesday, July 17, at Nationals Park in Washington., it's a three-way battle both at second base with the Braves' Ozzie Albies, the Cubs' Javier Baez and the Reds' Scooter Gennett at second and at backstop with the Giants' Buster Posey, the Cubs' Willson Contreras and the Braves' Kurt Suzuki.

The reborn Braves, one of baseball's biggest and best surprises in the first half of the season, continue to lead all NL clubs with three players in position to start the Midsummer Classic. And first baseman Freddie Freeman remains the leading vote-getter among all NL players.

Here are the latest NL totals:

Video: PHI@SF: Posey homers over the left-field wall

CATCHER
1. Buster Posey, Giants: 686,253
2. Willson Contreras, Cubs: 596,111
3. Kurt Suzuki, Braves: 557,692
4. Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 366,271
5. Yasmani Grandal, Dodgers: 333,549

Posey's still on pace to make his fourth straight start behind the dish for the NL. But Contreras, who entered the week with a higher OPS (.803 to .773), is within about 90,000 votes, with Suzuki fewer than 40,000 votes behind Contreras. Grandal is a new addition to the top five, bumping the Pirates' Francisco Cervelli from the leaders.

Video: SD@ATL: Freeman clubs a solo jack to left-center

FIRST BASE
1. Freddie Freeman, Braves: 1,433,140 votes
2. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs: 566,382
3. Brandon Belt, Giants: 363,361
4. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers: 294,418
5. Joey Votto, Reds: 189,364

Freeman is well out in front here, and more than a quarter of a million votes ahead of the next-highest vote-getter in the NL. It's a well-deserved standing for one of the game's most consistent hitters. Freeman hasn't been an All-Star since 2014, and he's never started the game. But he entered the week leading the league with a .427 on-base percentage and .585 slugging percentage and ranked second with a .337 batting average to put himself in the early MVP conversation. The rest of the top five here is unchanged from last week.

Video: NYM@ATL: Albies launches a grand slam for his 16th HR

SECOND BASE
1. Ozzie Albies, Braves: 915,736
2. Javier Baez, Cubs: 767,417
3. Scooter Gennett, Reds: 743,979
4. Joe Panik, Giants: 194,634
5. Asdrubal Cabrera, Mets: 173,567

Panik pushed past Cabrera, but that's the only change here. It remains a three-way race between three fascinating players. Albies has taken the league by storm in his sophomore year, entering the week with the league's highest extra-base-hit total (39). Baez has come into his own as a more consistent power producer (.514 SLG) to go with his dynamic defensive presence. But neither guy has outpaced Gennett's .909 OPS.

Video: SF@LAD: Crawford makes smooth pick on sharp grounder

SHORTSTOP
1. Brandon Crawford, Giants: 1,120,031
2. Dansby Swanson, Braves: 568,400
3. Addison Russell, Cubs: 475,091
4. Trevor Story, Rockies: 315,532
5. Trea Turner, Nationals: 279,071

No changes here. Story has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball in June (.365 average, 1.071 OPS) but remains a distant fourth. The only thing stopping Crawford in the midst of his best offensive season (.315/.370/.492 slash line) was a brief paternity-leave break.

Video: COL@PHI: Arenado makes a great diving stop at third

THIRD BASE
1. Nolan Arenado, Rockies: 1,124,563
2. Kris Bryant, Cubs: 677,185
3. Johan Camargo, Braves: 395,389
4. Eugenio Suarez, Reds: 228,806
5. Evan Longoria, Giants; 221,100

Longoria bumped Justin Turner from the No. 5 spot this week, though his broken hand and subsequent surgery that will cost him up to two months is bound to impact his vote total moving forward. Anyway, the story here remains Arenado's march toward his second straight start. He's having a typically outstanding season, with a .310/.401/.551 slash line.

Video: SD@ATL: Markakis dives for stellar game-ending catch

OUTFIELD
1. Nick Markakis, Braves: 1,173,653
2. Bryce Harper, Nationals: 1,002,696
3. Matt Kemp, Dodgers: 925,697
4. Charlie Blackmon, Rockies: 678,831
5. Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves: 617,151
6. Ender Inciarte, Braves: 528,943
7. Jason Heyward, Cubs: 447,359
8. Kyle Schwarber, Cubs: 442,471
9. Ben Zobrist, Cubs: 434,943
10. Christian Yelich, Brewers: 364,286
11. Corey Dickerson, Pirates: 313,558
12. Odubel Herrera, Phillies: 263,903
13. Lorenzo Cain, Brewers: 242,827
14. Andrew McCutchen, Giants: 241,652
15. Matt Adams, Nationals: 237,165

Markakis is one of the best stories on this ballot. In 13 seasons, he's played north of 1,900 games, logged more than 2,100 hits, driven in more than 900 runs, scored more than 1,000 runs and drawn nearly 800 walks, but he's never been an All-Star. Not only is he on track to change that with a power resurgence in his age-34 season, but he's now overtaken Harper as the leading outfield vote-getter. But Harper is still on track to start in his Washington "hometown," and Kemp's comeback season continues to garner love at the online ballot box. The only other change of note here is McCutchen joining the top 15, bumping the injured A.J. Pollock, but it's going to be hard to catch Markakis, Harper and Kemp.

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of this year's All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league's roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

5 who somehow debuted ... after their first game

On Monday night, the Nationals and Yankees will start a game in the middle of the sixth inning, tied at 3, to finish a suspended game that began on May 15. Juan Soto -- the Nationals' home run-hitting rookie sensation -- should play in the game. But, his first big league game was on May 20, when the youngster struck out as a pinch-hitter against the Dodgers. 

That means that, if he plays in Monday's suspended game, he'll technically have played in a game that took place before his MLB debut.

The outfielder wouldn't be the first to create a time paradox and play in a big league game before their actual debut. In fact, some of the biggest names in history played in games before their "debut." Here are five of the coolest: 

Astros GM Luhnow promoted, gets extension

MLB.com

The Houston Astros have promoted and extended the contract for General Manager Jeff Luhnow, Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane announced on Monday.

Luhnow, who has been named President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, received a contract extension that carries through the 2023 season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

View Full Game Coverage

The Houston Astros have promoted and extended the contract for General Manager Jeff Luhnow, Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane announced on Monday.

Luhnow, who has been named President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, received a contract extension that carries through the 2023 season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

View Full Game Coverage

"This is very well-deserved," Crane commented. "Jeff has done an outstanding job in delivering on the vision that he outlined for us when we hired him several years ago. He was the architect for the Astros first World Series Championship, which was a historic achievement, not only for our franchise but for the entire city. Jeff's vision also included putting the Astros in position to compete for multiple championships. We have popular, exciting players, an energized fan base and a very bright future. We are excited that Jeff will be part of our future for a long time."

"I am excited and honored to be extending my commitment to this great organization and the City of Houston," Luhnow stated. "While we are proud of what we have accomplished in a short time, we are not done yet. I am thankful to Jim Crane and the organization for believing in me and I am grateful to all of the fans who have welcomed me and my family as we made Houston our home. Our goal remains the same - to do everything we can to bring multiple championships to our fans, this organization and the community."

Luhnow was hired by the Astros as the 12th General Manager in franchise history on Dec. 7, 2011, inheriting a club that had lost 106 games that season. Upon taking the job, Luhnow was clear about the path he had envisioned. His plan was to start by building the best minor league system in baseball through trades and the draft. Utilizing younger, homegrown talent would be a key to sustaining long-term success. By the 2014 season, just two short seasons after Luhnow took control, the Astros farm system had catapulted into being ranked as one of the best in baseball by virtually every sports media outlet. The Major League club was also showing improvement by 2014, as that season's Astros team won 19 more games than in the previous season.

Luhnow's plan also included complementing a young Astros roster with established veterans once the club became competitive. In 2015, the addition of key veterans through trades and free agent signings played a major role in the Astros earning their first playoff berth in 10 seasons. Luhnow also hired AJ Hinch as manager prior to the 2015 season, another decision that would be a key to the club's success. In the 2015 AL Wild Card Game, Houston earned a dramatic victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium before being eliminated by the eventual World Series Champion Royals.

In 2017, Luhnow crafted a roster that had just the right blend of veteran leadership (Carlos Beltrán, Brian McCann, Charlie Morton, Josh Reddick, Justin Verlander) to go along with some the brightest young stars in the game (Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr., George Springer), with the end result being a World Series title for the Houston Astros. For his efforts, Luhnow was named the 2017 MLB Esurance Executive of the Year.

In 2018, the Astros are once again in the thick of the playoff race, occupying first or second place in their division for virtually the entire season to this date. Due in large part to Luhnow's offseason acquisition of Gerrit Cole, the Astros have had the top starting rotation in baseball this season and lead the Majors in overall ERA.

Houston Astros

deGrom in pinstripes? Could be ... at big cost

MLB.com @MikeLupica

Would the Mets trade Jacob deGrom, even if it means trading him to the Yankees? Sure they would. It doesn't mean Mets fans want that to happen. Doesn't mean I want it to happen. But the Mets once traded Tom Seaver, the best player they've ever had, after he'd won one World Series for them, helped pitch them to another, won 210 games in New York and had five 20-win seasons. Seaver was 33, four years older than deGrom is now, when the old Mets made one of the worst trades in baseball history and sent him to Cincinnati.

Still: If the Mets could trade The Franchise, they can trade deGrom. And they could get a whole lot more than they did for Seaver back in the day.

Would the Mets trade Jacob deGrom, even if it means trading him to the Yankees? Sure they would. It doesn't mean Mets fans want that to happen. Doesn't mean I want it to happen. But the Mets once traded Tom Seaver, the best player they've ever had, after he'd won one World Series for them, helped pitch them to another, won 210 games in New York and had five 20-win seasons. Seaver was 33, four years older than deGrom is now, when the old Mets made one of the worst trades in baseball history and sent him to Cincinnati.

Still: If the Mets could trade The Franchise, they can trade deGrom. And they could get a whole lot more than they did for Seaver back in the day.

Of all the pitching stars in the history of the Mets, two stand out above all others: Seaver and Dwight Gooden, when Gooden was young. The Mets made a choice on Seaver, one that turned out to be a bad one. Gooden's own choices eventually landed him with the Yankees, for whom he pitched a no-hitter in 1996 and even started a game in the American League Division Series in '97, before he ended up out of baseball for good.

There have been other young star Mets pitchers since. None has been as talented as deGrom is right this minute. So there is a lot of chatter these days, and growing chorus, saying that not only should the Mets move deGrom, or Noah Syndergaard -- probably not both -- as a way of getting younger and better and replenishing a farm system that looks more like a roadside farm stand these days.

When the Mets played Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at home, the starter that night another star young pitcher -- Matt Harvey -- who has ended up in Cincinnati the way Seaver did. The next year, the Mets played themselves into the National League Wild Card Game against the Giants. Syndergaard got the ball in that one. The Mets lost to the Giants in the ninth inning that night. Since then, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong, which is why they are closer to the Marlins and last place in the NL East than they are to first place, despite an 11-1 start.

After this weekend's play, the Mets are nine games under .500 after 67 games. Their record since 11-1 is 18-37. That's hard to watch. It is why there is the chatter, is the growing chorus, about trading deGrom and hitting the reset button.

Video: Bryan Hoch discusses Yankees' trade talks for deGrom

But would they trade deGrom to the Yankees? I believe they would. I also believe that the only way that they would deal deGrom to the Yanks, or Syndergaard, is this:

The Yankees would have to offer more than anybody else is offering. A lot more.

There would be no certainty that the Mets would be trading the Yankees into the World Series if they traded them deGrom. But when you look at the field in the AL, see where the Yanks and Red Sox are and the way the Astros have been playing lately -- they were just unbeaten on a 10-game road trip -- and the way the Mariners stubbornly refuse to go away, you can at least create a narrative in which deGrom really is the last piece for the Yankees the way Justin Verlander was for the Astros last season.

(Yankees fans, by the way, will always wonder how baseball history might have been altered, and pretty dramatically, if their team had gotten Verlander and not the Astros.)

The Cubs were willing to trade Gleyber Torres, among others, to the Yankees in 2016, even knowing how gifted Torres was. They made a calculation that the next 10 years or more of Torres were worth ending 108 years of waiting on the North Side of Chicago. They needed a closer, and they got one in Aroldis Chapman by sending Torres to the Yanks.

Video: Morning Lineup: Teams that could trade for deGrom

The Mets wouldn't just want one prospect like Torres from the Yankees, or another team. They would want two. It is a lot to ask. But they know that deGrom might be well worth it to a contender, now that he has become one of the truly elite pitchers in the game, even with no record to show for it.

Would the Yankees trade Torres for deGrom? They would not. Would they be willing to trade Miguel Andujar, the other Baby Bomber in their infield? That is only slightly more likely. Andujar is 23. deGrom turns 29 on Tuesday. There are a lot of talented young infielders in baseball this time. There are far fewer ace starting pitchers like deGrom.

Somebody might be willing to give up a lot to get an arm like this. The Yanks sure might be willing. They have to know they would have to give up a lot more than everybody else. Think of it as just another big New York City tax.

You know Yankees fans would sign off on a deal like this in a New York minute. But would Mets fans? Would they be willing to help the Yanks to help save themselves? Yeah, it would be tough watching deGrom pitch in pinstripes. Just not as tough as watching their own team lately.

Tweet from @MikeLupica: Mets fans: Would you really be willing to trade Jacob deGrom to the Yankees?

Mike Lupica is a columnist for MLB.com and the New York Daily News and is a best-selling author.

New York Mets, New York Yankees, Jacob deGrom

Ozuna, Gattis power up as Players of the Week

MLB.com

The Astros' Evan Gattis and the Cardinals' Marcell Ozuna were named American and National League Players of the Week presented by W.B. Mason on Monday.

Houston enters this week having won 11 straight contests, and Gattis has been a major contributor to the club's recent success. The 31-year-old backstop hit .417/.423/1.000 (10-for-24) with two doubles, four homers and 15 RBIs in six games last week.

The Astros' Evan Gattis and the Cardinals' Marcell Ozuna were named American and National League Players of the Week presented by W.B. Mason on Monday.

Houston enters this week having won 11 straight contests, and Gattis has been a major contributor to the club's recent success. The 31-year-old backstop hit .417/.423/1.000 (10-for-24) with two doubles, four homers and 15 RBIs in six games last week.

Past winners: AL | NL

Gattis' sixth-inning grand slam Friday night was the difference in the Astros' 7-3 win over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. It gave him 14 home runs on the season, tying him for the team lead with George Springer. His 47 RBIs are also tied for fifth most in the AL, entering Monday.

"Honestly, we were all expecting him to do damage," third baseman Alex Bregman said Friday in Kansas City. "I think everybody in the dugout, there was a little bit of buzz, saying, 'All right, Gatty might hit a grand slam and keep those big RBI games up.' He's killing it."

Video: Evan Gattis named AL Player of the Week

Gattis is the second Houston player to win Player of the Week this season, joining Justin Verlander, who won it in mid-April.

After a slow start to the season, Ozuna is red hot at the plate. He batted .455/.478/1.000 with four home runs and eight RBIs in six games last week, raising his average from .282 to .294.

The Cards slugger hit .260/.308/.337 with three home runs in the first two months of the season (50 games), and he is slashing .411/.450/.821 with seven homers through 15 games in June.

Video: Marcell Ozuna is named the NL Player of the Week

"That's the kind of hitter we know he can be," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said last week. "He's dangerous, and that's what we expected from the beginning and what we know he's going to be through this season."

This is Ozuna's third Player of the Week award. He won it twice with the Marlins last season, in mid-April and early September.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Evan Gattis, Marcell Ozuna

Behind 11 straight, Astros top Power Rankings

Houston replaces fellow AL powerhouse Yanks at No. 1
MLB.com @alysonfooter

More than a week and a half ago, the Astros, coming off a win, departed for their longest road trip, and they were essentially in a neck-and-neck tie with the Mariners in what is turning out to be delightfully interesting American League West race.

Houston returns home with an 11-game win streak, having just completed a 10-0 run through Arlington, Oakland and Kansas City. Over their past 11 games, the Astros have outscored opponents, 81-40, posted a .327 cumulative batting average, knocked 21 homers and compiled sterling ERAs: 3.80 for the rotation; 1.29 for the bullpen.

More than a week and a half ago, the Astros, coming off a win, departed for their longest road trip, and they were essentially in a neck-and-neck tie with the Mariners in what is turning out to be delightfully interesting American League West race.

Houston returns home with an 11-game win streak, having just completed a 10-0 run through Arlington, Oakland and Kansas City. Over their past 11 games, the Astros have outscored opponents, 81-40, posted a .327 cumulative batting average, knocked 21 homers and compiled sterling ERAs: 3.80 for the rotation; 1.29 for the bullpen.

For historical context, the Astros' undefeated road trip is one of only seven that have stretched 10 games or longer since 1953. The most recent was the Indians' 11-0 roadie during their 22-game win streak in 2017. The others: Oakland in 2002 (10-0); Seattle in '02 (10-0); Atlanta in 1992 (10-0); Cincinnati in '57 (12-0); and the Yankees in '53 (14-0).

The win streak moved the Astros into first place, but the space between them and the Mariners is hardly comfortable. Seattle is 7-3 in its past 10 games and is only 1 1/2 games behind Houston in the AL West.

Morning Lineup Podcast looks at Astros' streak

Biggest jump: The D-backs jumped four spots, from No. 13 to No. 9. The season is proving to be one of inconsistency for Arizona, but after a rough patch, it has stabilized, posting an 11-5 record in June. Since the start of the month, the D-backs have scored a Major League-best 103 runs. That's already 26 more runs than they scored in all of May, when they posted an MLB-low 77.

Biggest drop: There wasn't a lot of movement in this area this week, unsurprising given we're almost three months into the season. The Cubs (No. 4 to No. 6), Braves (No. 6 to No. 8) and Angels (No. 11 to No. 13) all dropped two spots. In the case of Chicago and Atlanta, this is nothing more than trying to fit a bunch of very good teams into the top eight. The Halos' situation is a little more dire -- they put a whole mess of players on the DL in the past few days and have a challenge ahead of them while waiting for everyone to get healthy.

Power Rankings Top 5

1. Astros (2 last week)
An 11-game winning streak, by the numbers: Evan Gattis -- six homers, 21 RBIs and a .386 average; Jose Altuve -- 11 runs scored and a .480 on-base percentage; Alex Bregman -- .375 OBP, 13 runs scored, 11 RBIs, four homers. From the pitching side, relievers Chris Devenski, Hector Rondon, Tony Sipp and Collin McHugh all had 0.00 ERAs.

Video: HOU@KC: Bregman uncorks a 3-run homer to left field

2. Yankees (1)
The Yankees have won 13 of their past 17 games, and the bullpen has posted a 0.72 ERA over that span, allowing four earned runs over 49 2/3 innings. Among the top relievers are Aroldis Chapman, who has allowed one earned run in his past 15 2/3 innings, and Dellin Betances, who has strung together 10 consecutive scoreless innings. The Yanks have a heavy schedule ahead of them -- they'll play two in Washington on Monday, to make up for games lost due to weather during their rain-soaked road trip a month ago.

Video: TB@NYY: Chapman strikes out Wendle to earn 20th save

3. Red Sox (3)
After a 17-inning scoreless streak, the Red Sox bats came to life on Sunday in a 9-3 win over the Mariners, allowing them to gain a split of the four-game set in Seattle. The Red Sox, one win shy of 50 for the season, have relied on their strong starting pitching. Boston starters have held opponents to two earned runs or fewer in 12 of the past 14 games. The lineup has also feasted on right-handed starting pitching, posting a 41-15 record. Even before they tagged Mike Leake for five earned runs on Sunday, Sox hitters led the Majors with a .268 average and .475 slugging percentage off righties.

Video: BOS@SEA: Red Sox club three homers against Mariners

4. Mariners (7)
With its 46-26 start, half of Seattle's wins have been by one run (23-10). Since 1908, no other team has had 23 one-run wins in the first 71 games of a season. Also, the Mariners have the third-best home record in the Majors at 25-14. The only two teams ahead of them in that category happen to be the teams they're playing on the road this week -- they begin a three-game set with the Yankees on Tuesday, and then move on to Boston for three next weekend. If Mariners fans are looking for some more optimism to add to an already happy season, Seattle is 10-4 against the AL East this year.

Video: Must C Clutch: Span caps Mariners' terrific comeback

5. Brewers (8)
Though the Brewers lost to the Phillies on Sunday, the game wasn't without its positives. Eric Thames, who missed a month and a half with a torn ligament in his thumb, knocked two homers, a good sign that he's getting back into a groove after logging just one hit in 10 at-bats since coming off the DL. Other offensive contributors include Lorenzo Cain, who is slashing .370/.469/.593 in his past seven games, and Christian Yelich, who is batting .382 with nine homers and 28 RBIs in the 37 Milwaukee wins he's played in this year.

Video: PHI@MIL: Thames clobbers a homer to right in the 1st

The rest of the Top 20
6. Cubs (4)
7. Nationals (5)
8. Braves (6)
9. D-backs (13)
10. Indians (9)
11. Dodgers (10)
12. Cardinals (12)
13. Angels (11)
14. Phillies (14)
15. Rockies (15)
16. Athletics (16)
17. Giants (17)
18. Pirates (18)
19. Rays (20)
20. Blue Jays (19)

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

Betts, J.D. or Sale? Each team's likeliest All-Star

A look at who could represent clubs at 89th Midsummer Classic
MLB.com @williamfleitch

Is the All-Star ballot stressing you out? If you think it's difficult for you, imagine how difficult it is for the All-Star managers, who have to make sure they get at least one player from every team. Oftentimes, this leads to strange choices, like Alex Colome making the All-Star Game instead of Evan Longoria, or Jonathan Schoop instead of Manny Machado. Getting everybody represented on the roster is tough, man.

So today at The Thirty, we look at the most deserving All-Star on every team. Some of these are obvious picks. Some of them will get pushed out by the roster crunch. But every single one of them, in a perfect world, would be on the team. They're all All-Stars in our hearts.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Is the All-Star ballot stressing you out? If you think it's difficult for you, imagine how difficult it is for the All-Star managers, who have to make sure they get at least one player from every team. Oftentimes, this leads to strange choices, like Alex Colome making the All-Star Game instead of Evan Longoria, or Jonathan Schoop instead of Manny Machado. Getting everybody represented on the roster is tough, man.

So today at The Thirty, we look at the most deserving All-Star on every team. Some of these are obvious picks. Some of them will get pushed out by the roster crunch. But every single one of them, in a perfect world, would be on the team. They're all All-Stars in our hearts.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Video: TOR@TB: Happ strikes out Adames looking in the 1st

Blue Jays: J.A. Happ
Key stat: 10.23 K/9 (9th in AL)

It is more difficult to find a Blue Jays All-Star than one suspects Toronto fans would find optimal. Happ has been their best starter all season and has been particularly excellent of late. Plus, he's 35 and has never made an All-Star Game. And the way the Jays' season is going, Happ is not going to be Jay for much longer.

Orioles: Manny Machado
Key stat: .945 OPS (6th in AL)

Speaking of players who likely won't be on their current team come August, Machado's fantastic first two months makes this the easiest call on the board. He has been nearly as good as Chris Davis has been bad.

Rays: Blake Snell
Key stat: 2.58 ERA (5th in AL)

The year the Rays have been waiting for has finally arrived: Snell is actually better right now than Chris Archer has ever been. Every team in baseball salivates when it sees Snell pitch.

Video: Must C Classic: Betts slugs 3 homers to lead comeback
Red Sox: Mookie Betts
Key stat: .699 SLG percentage (1st in MLB)

J.D. Martinez may be second in the Majors in homers, and Chris Sale is Chris Sale, but Mookie is essentially the platonic ideal of what a baseball player should be right now.

Video: Must C Clutch: Judge rips go-ahead HR vs. Mets in 8th
Yankees: Aaron Judge
Key stat: 18 HR (tied for 5th in AL)

I'll listen to your Luis Severino arguments, and it's sort of amazing how Brett Gardner might be having the best year of his career at the age of 34, but Judge is a national monument at this point who is somehow matching his breakthrough 2017 season.

AL CENTRAL

Video: CLE@DET: Kluber picks up 1,300th strikeout of career
Indians: Corey Kluber
Key stat: 9.64 K/BB (1st in MLB)

You feel terrible leaving Jose Ramirez off here, but Kluber is having the best season of his career. Pretty impressive when you consider he has already won two AL Cy Young Awards.

Royals: Kelvin Herrera
Key stat: 0.7 BB/9 (2nd among MLB relievers)

Apologies to Whit Merrifield -- who is proving to be anything but a fluke -- but Herrera might be the most dominant closer in the game right now ... when he actually gets the opportunity to save a game.

Tigers: Matthew Boyd
Key stat: 6 HR allowed (tied for 2nd fewest in AL)

Boyd's success this year has mostly been with smoke and mirrors -- he actually has the lowest K rate of his career and has been helped mostly by defense and batted ball luck -- but it's undeniable that he has been the Tigers' best starter, and maybe their most steady performer.

Twins: Eddie Rosario
Key stat: .579 SLG percentage (tied for 5th in AL)

Eduardo Escobar is close, but while we were all obsessing about Byron Buxton, the Twins may have been hiding their eventual actual superstar in plain sight all along.

White Sox: Jose Abreu
Key stat: 26 doubles (2nd in MLB)

It is perhaps a motif that the losing teams we've talked about so far often will be shopping their most deserving All-Star come July.

AL WEST

Video: Trout's back-to-back two-homer games at Safeco
Angels: Mike Trout
Key stat: 1.147 OPS (1st in MLB)

Yeah, Trout is only on pace for one of the 10 best seasons of all time.

Video: Justin Verlander wins AL Pitcher of the Month
Astros: Justin Verlander
Key stat: 1.61 ERA (1st in AL)

There are four, maybe five Astros who would be the most deserving pick on nearly every other team, but when in doubt, go with the guy making his Hall of Fame push with the most amazing work of his whole career.

Athletics: Matt Chapman
Key stat: 18 defensive runs saved (1st in MLB)

Chapman's hitting gets him close to All-Star consideration, but his otherworldly ability to play third base pushes him way over the top.

Mariners: Mitch Haniger
Key stat: 16 HR (tied for 10th in AL)

Haniger has essentially become a superhero since coming over from Arizona, and if the Mariners end their postseason drought this season, he'll be the primary reason why.

Rangers: Shin-Soo Choo
Key stat: .384 OBP (7th in AL)

I know, I'm supposed to pick Bartolo Colon here. But Choo, at last fully healthy, is almost just as good a story.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Video: ATL@SD: Freeman homers, collects 4 hits vs. Padres
Braves: Freddie Freeman
Key stat: 1.012 OPS (1st in NL)

Freeman has navigated the past few seasons of Braves turmoil and now looks for all the world like your NL MVP Award favorite for one of the most exciting young teams in baseball.

Marlins: Brian Anderson
Key stat: .378 OBP (10th in NL)

The Marlins are a little bit better than you thought they were going to be, and Anderson is a happy surprise reason why.

Video: CHC@NYM: deGrom K's 13 over 7 dominant innings
Mets: Jacob deGrom
Key stat: 1.55 ERA (1st in MLB)

deGrom is pitching so well this season that he has a chance to win nine, maybe 10 games for the Mets this season!

Video: Martinez on Scherzer's work ethic, analytical mindset
Nationals: Max Scherzer
Key stat: 152 strikeouts (1st in MLB)

Scherzer is on pace to have the most strikeouts in more than 15 years. At some point he's going to strike out more batters than he faces. I don't know how. But Scherzer will find a way.

Phillies: Aaron Nola
Key stat: 2.55 ERA (6th in NL)

Nola has knocked a full run-and-a-quarter off his ERA since last season and would look mighty pretty starting an NL Wild Card Game, if it came to that.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: Lorenzo Cain
Key stat: .393 OBP (5th in NL)

Many analytically-minded folks argued that Cain was the free-agent steal of the offseason. Cain is making them look extremely smart.

Video: PIT@STL: Wacha takes no-no into 9th in dominant game
Cardinals: Michael Wacha
Key stat: 3.24 ERA (10th in NL)

If you're feeling whimsical, you can go with Japan League import Miles Mikolas, but the resurgence of Wacha, who looks as good as he did when he exploded on the scene during the 2013 postseason, has helped keep the Cardinals afloat during an injury-plagued first half.

Video: Must C Catch: Baez tumbles over brick wall for grab
Cubs: Javier Baez
Key stat: 46 RBIs (tied for 5th in NL)

The on-base percentage is still a problem, but Baez remains as purely enjoyable a baseball player -- both at bat and (especially) in the field -- to watch as there is in the game. (There is also never anything wrong with a Kris Bryant vote.)

Pirates: Francisco Cervelli
Key stat: .386 OBP (10th in NL)

Remember when Cervelli was a Yankees backup? He is currently the best hitting catcher in the NL, and possibly the Majors.

Video: CIN@KC: Votto rips a go-ahead 3-run triple in 10th
Reds: Joey Votto
Key stat: .425 OBP (2nd in NL)

The answer to all Reds-related All-Star questions is always Votto. But wow, Scooter Gennett is making it awfully close.

NL WEST

D-backs: Patrick Corbin
Key stat: 117 strikeouts (2nd in NL)

If A.J. Pollock weren't hurt again, it would clearly be him. Remember the Golden D-backs Rule: When Pollock is healthy, Arizona is excellent; and when he's not, look out below.

Video: LAD@PIT: Kemp homers, drives in 5 runs vs. Pirates
Dodgers: Matt Kemp
Key stat: .579 SLG percentage (2nd in NL)

There are few more wonderfully hilarious and enjoyable stories this season than Kemp not only being a leading vote-getter for the All-Star Game, but absolutely earning the honor.

Giants: Brandon Belt
Key stat: .548 SLG percentage (5th in NL)

Fittingly, Belt is finally becoming a superstar just in time for everyone else on his team to get old and fall off.

Padres: Eric Hosmer
Key stats: 20 doubles (tied for 2nd in NL)

While you were making fun of the Padres for spending so much on him in the offseason, Hosmer was busy getting off to the best start of his career.

Video: SF@COL: Arenado crushes 447-foot homer at 104.8 mph
Rockies: Nolan Arenado
Key stat: .952 OPS (4th in NL)

Eventually Arenado's going to try to make his Hall of Fame case, and every time he's named to the All-Star Game will help. He just turned 27, and this year would be his fourth.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Bryce Harper shaved! Rank his best hairstyles

It's easy to accept that Bryce Harper is better than you could ever dream to be at baseball. After all, that's his job. So, you can at least lay claim to the title of "Best Excel Spreadsheet Creator" or "Greatest at Sneaking a Second Bagel on Bagel Friday." 

But, Harper also probably has a better head and beard of hair -- at least he did, until he shaved the beard before Monday's one-and-a-half games against the Yankees. 

 

Injury updates: Darvish, Teheran, Holland

MLB.com

Here's a roundup of the latest injury news across the Majors.

Yu Darvish and Javier Baez, Cubs

Here's a roundup of the latest injury news across the Majors.

Yu Darvish and Javier Baez, Cubs

With a pair of bullpen sessions already under his belt, Darvish is set to throw a simulated game June 19. Left-hander Mike Montgomery will once again start in place of Darvish, who has been out since May 26 due to a strained right triceps. More >

Baez, meanwhile, exited Sunday night's game after being plunked on the left elbow by Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty. After being replaced at shortstop by Addison Russell, Baez was eventually diagnosed with a contusion. Manager Joe Maddon indicated that he does not believe the injury to be serious, and Baez is considered day to day. More >

Video: CHC@STL: Baez exits after getting hit in the elbow

Julio Teheran, Braves

Teheran returned from the disabled list and tossed six no-hit innings with 11 strikeouts Sunday. His hamstring cramped up in the sixth inning, however. He limped off the field and did not return to the game.

"I wanted to stay in, but when I got to the dugout, I was still cramping and that's not a good sign," Teheran said. More >

Video: SD@ATL: Teheran, Snitker, Flowers on no-hit outing

Greg Holland, Cardinals

Holland is expected to be reinstated from the disabled list this week, according to Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, though a specific date for Holland's return was not provided. Holland's season-long struggles continued throughout his Minor League rehab assignment, and Matheny acknowledged that the veteran's results were "not ideal," though it seems the organization will allow Holland to attempt to sort things out at the Major League level. More >

Carlos Carrasco and Tyler Olson, Indians

The Indians placed Carrasco on the disabled list with a right elbow contusion Sunday.

Carrasco was originally diagnosed with a right forearm contusion after being struck by a line drive on Saturday, but X-rays revealed that the injury was to his elbow. He will be re-evaluated Monday morning.

Video: MIN@CLE: Indians place Carrasco on the 10-day DL

Olson was also placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left latissimus dorsi strain. More >

Jorge Soler, Royals

Soler was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to Sunday's game against the Astros with a broken metatarsal bone in his left foot. He is expected to miss at least six weeks. More >

Video: HOU@KC: Soler fractures left first metatarsal

Jerad Eickhoff, Phillies

Eickhoff, who has not pitched this season, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday in Philadelphia. He opened the season on the disabled list with a strained right lat, but he had a setback when he felt the same tingling and weakness in the fingertips of his right hand that ended his 2017 season during a rehab start. Four specialists ruled out thoracic outlet syndrome, which could have required a rib to be surgically removed.

Eickhoff said doctors seem confident that the inflammation in his right wrist can be addressed with the injection and anti-inflammatories, but no one will truly know until he gets on the mound and starts throwing again. More >

Jimmy Nelson, Zach Davies and Wade Miley, Brewers

Sunday marked one month since Nelson's check-up with the doctor who performed his shoulder surgery, and Nelson told Milwaukee radio station 105.7 FM The Fan that "it's trending in the right direction right now."

There is still no timetable for Nelson to throw off a mound or return to the Brewers' rotation, because those benchmarks all depend on his repaired right shoulder. He is working back toward throwing 150 feet on flat ground, the distance he was at leading up to a shutdown period before and after a visit with Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Davies will begin another Minor League rehab assignment on Tuesday at Triple-A Colorado Springs, while Miley will join Double-A Biloxi later in the week as both starting pitchers work back from injuries.

Davies, in his second stint on the 10-day DL for right rotator cuff inflammation, is expected to make at least three starts in the Minors this time. Miley, who is on the 60-day DL with a strained right oblique, will probably pitch four times in the Minors, since he is not eligible for reinstatement until July 9. More >

Kurt Suzuki, Braves

Suzuki exited Sunday afternoon's game against the Padres for precautionary reasons after getting hit in the head by Raffy Lopez's backswing to end the second inning. Suzuki was evaluated and is day to day. More >

Video: SD@ATL: Suzuki injured by backswing and exits game

Whit Merrifield, Royals

Merrifield left Sunday's series finale against the Astros in the second inning after fouling a pitch off his left knee. He was diagnosed with a contusion and is day to day. More >

Video: KC@HOU: Merrifield leaves after fouling ball off knee

Shelby Miller, D-backs

In his latest rehab start for Class A Advanced Visalia on Saturday, the right-hander tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out 10 and walked none, throwing 81 pitches.

"He's getting close," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "With these outings and the feedback he's giving us, he's telling us that he's getting closer every day."

Lovullo said Miller, who had Tommy John surgery last May, is headed back to Arizona, where the athletic training staff will assess him. The staff will formulate a plan for his next steps, which Lovullo will know more about Monday when the D-backs are in Anaheim. More >

Tom Koehler, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers

Koehler suffered a setback in his recovery from a right anterior capsule sprain of the shoulder and an expected return was pushed back to August, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Sunday. Koehler was nearing a rehab appearance when he threw a curveball this week and felt discomfort. He has been out since sustaining what was originally termed a mild sprain in his first Spring Training appearance.

Kershaw (lower back strain) threw on flat ground Sunday and still is expected to throw a simulated game Tuesday or Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Ryu had a Saturday bullpen session cut short at 20 pitches when he felt a little tightness in his strained groin, but Roberts did not call it a setback. More >

Nick Vincent, Juan Nicasio and Chris Herrmann, Mariners

Vincent, on the 10-day disabled list for the past three weeks with a strained right groin, will begin a Minor League rehab stint with Triple-A Tacoma on Monday and could be back with the team by next weekend in Boston. Vincent will pitch two rehab outings, with the second one slated for Double-A Arkansas on Wednesday, before being re-evaluated, according to manager Scott Servais.

Nicasio is also on the disabled list with a swollen right knee that has sidelined him for 10 days, but he threw live batting practice without issue on Saturday and the plan remains intact for him to come off the DL on Tuesday in New York.

Herrmann, who went on the DL on May 30 with a strained right oblique after playing one game for Seattle, is midway through a rehab stint with Tacoma and also could be activated soon. More >

Yanks call up Frazier, send down Torreyes

MLB.com

The Yankees recalled outfielder Clint Frazier from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and optioned infielder Ronald Torreyes to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre ahead of Monday's action against the Nationals in Washington.

Frazier will be available for the 5:05 p.m. ET resumption of the May 16 game that was suspended with the score 3-3 in the top of the sixth inning. A full makeup game of a rainout is scheduled to follow that game.

View Full Game Coverage

The Yankees recalled outfielder Clint Frazier from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and optioned infielder Ronald Torreyes to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre ahead of Monday's action against the Nationals in Washington.

Frazier will be available for the 5:05 p.m. ET resumption of the May 16 game that was suspended with the score 3-3 in the top of the sixth inning. A full makeup game of a rainout is scheduled to follow that game.

View Full Game Coverage
New York Yankees, Clint Frazier, Ronald Torreyes

This week: M's invade the Bronx, Boston

Astros seek 12th straight win; Mariners face Yanks, Red Sox
MLB.com @RichardJustice

We see it in their dugouts and postgame celebrations. No two teams are having more fun than the Mariners and Astros right now. We admit we didn't think the American League West race would be this good.

To put it bluntly, we didn't think the Mariners were good enough to hang with the Astros. And yet here we are with both teams on pace to win 100 games and possibly fight for a division championship.

We see it in their dugouts and postgame celebrations. No two teams are having more fun than the Mariners and Astros right now. We admit we didn't think the American League West race would be this good.

To put it bluntly, we didn't think the Mariners were good enough to hang with the Astros. And yet here we are with both teams on pace to win 100 games and possibly fight for a division championship.

The Astros lead the Mariners by 1 1/2 games despite finishing a 10-0 road trip on Sunday with a 7-4 victory in Kansas City. They've won 11 in a row overall and will try to tie the Houston franchise record of 12 straight wins on Monday night at Minute Maid Park against the Rays.

Meanwhile, the Mariners have been crazy good for more than a month -- 22-7 since May 18 after Sunday's 9-3 loss to the Red Sox at Safeco Field. They're winning one-run games at a historic pace -- 13 of 16 and 23-10 overall. Their bullpen has been spectacularly good.

Video: Must C Clutch: Span caps Mariners' terrific comeback

Here's the thing about a team like the Mariners, a team that began the season with a touch of uncertainty concerning how good it was after a disappointing 78-84 record in 2017.

As they've kept winning and seamlessly absorbed the loss of their best player, Robinson Cano, to suspension, their confidence has soared. These are dangerous teams for the rest of baseball.

It's logical to argue that winning a historically high percentage of one-run games isn't sustainable, and history says it's not. But if you're the team winning those games, you say they're a tribute to grit and determination and resilience. That's what the Rangers said in 2016 when they were 36-11 in one-run games, and like the Orioles (29-9) in '12.

The Astros and Mariners don't play each other until July 30 when they go at it seven times in a two-week period. Until then, they can continue to shadow one another from afar.

So in picking the best game each day this week, the AL West leaders will be getting the nod:

Monday: Rays at Astros (8:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
The Astros return to Minute Maid Park for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals and Blue Jays after the best road trip in franchise history. They're 10 for 10 since beginning a stretch of 36 straight games against teams below .500.

Tuesday: Mariners at Yankees (7:05 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
For the Mariners, this is the start of a three-city, 10-game road trip to play the Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles. The Mariners have lost back-to-back games once since May 18 and have had four walk-off celebrations. Meanwhile, the Yankees have won 13 of 17 and are in a virtual tie with the Red Sox in the AL East.

Video: Must C Combo: Stanton, Sanchez hit back-to-back HRs

Wednesday: Dodgers at Cubs (2:20 p.m. ET, MLB Network, MLB.TV)
This is a matchup of two teams that appear headed for the postseason after slow starts. The Dodgers have overcome a laundry list of injuries and a 16-26 start to win 21 of 28 overall and 11 of 14 this month. Super utility man Max Muncy has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season. As for the Cubs, they've rushed back into the mix in the National League Central after falling 4 1/2 out in late May.

Thursday: Cardinals at Brewers (8:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
This suddenly is an important series for the Cardinals, who've had a tough week and are trying to keep the Brewers and Cubs within shouting distance in the NL Central. Meanwhile, the Brewers have lost eight of 14 this month.

Video: PHI@MIL: Thames clobbers a homer to right in the 1st

Friday: Mariners at Red Sox (7:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
The Mariners attempt to keep the magic going against a team that has been atop the AL East for 62 games and appears to have few weaknesses. If there's any suspense around the Red Sox, it might be whether J.D. Martinez or Mookie Betts will get closer to Mike Trout in the AL MVP balloting.

Saturday: Padres at Giants (4:05 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
The Giants believed getting Madison Bumgarner back might be the spark they needed. That might be the case at some point, but with Evan Longoria, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija on the disabled list, they've fallen behind the D-backs, Dodgers and Rockies in the NL West.

Sunday: Phillies at Nationals (8:05 p.m. ET, ESPN)
The Nationals remain solid favorites to win the NL East, but injuries have kept them from overtaking the Braves. The Phillies have won five of seven since a 1-7 slide.

Video: Soto youngest with 2-HR game since Andruw Jones

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.