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T-Mobile Home Run Derby tonight (8 ET, ESPN)

MLB.com @castrovince

WASHINGTON -- Steps from the United States' seat of power, Major League Baseball will bring the power to Nationals Park tonight in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. Homer-hitting host Bryce Harper leads a fascinating -- and young -- field of Derby entrants who will look to beat the clock and each other in the sport's most swinging showcase at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Harper is the only one among the eight participating sluggers who has done the Derby before, having finished as the runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes in 2013 at Citi Field. So, Harper has the experience, and he's got the comfort of competing in his own confines. But he's also got some of the season's biggest stars -- and biggest surprises -- to contend with.

WASHINGTON -- Steps from the United States' seat of power, Major League Baseball will bring the power to Nationals Park tonight in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. Homer-hitting host Bryce Harper leads a fascinating -- and young -- field of Derby entrants who will look to beat the clock and each other in the sport's most swinging showcase at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Harper is the only one among the eight participating sluggers who has done the Derby before, having finished as the runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes in 2013 at Citi Field. So, Harper has the experience, and he's got the comfort of competing in his own confines. But he's also got some of the season's biggest stars -- and biggest surprises -- to contend with.

As the hometown star, Harper will have to wait for the field to finish their turns since he'll go last. In order, it'll be Rhys Hoskins (Phillies), Jesus Aguilar (Brewers), Kyle Schwarber (Cubs), Alex Bregman (Astros), Javier Baez (Cubs), Max Muncy (Dodgers), Freddie Freeman (Braves) and Harper (Nationals).

Listen: Morning Lineup Podcast breaks down the Home Run Derby

Here are the seedings and first-round matchups for what is the youngest Home Run Derby field ever:

:: Complete Home Run Derby coverage ::

Left side of bracket
1. Jesus Aguilar, Brewers vs. 8. Rhys Hoskins, Phillies
4. Alex Bregman, Astros vs. 5. Kyle Schwarber, Cubs

Right side of bracket
2. Bryce Harper, Nationals vs. 7. Freddie Freeman, Braves
3. Max Muncy, Dodgers vs. 6. Javier Baez, Cubs

That's the field, and the rules and format will be the same as they've been since 2015, which is to say the ticking clock and the importance of not just going deep but extra deep -- with the dinger distances measured by Statcast™ having an impact on extra time allotments -- are in full effect.

The average age of the participants is 26.39. As a matter of fact, this year's oldest participants, the 28-year-old Freeman and Aguilar, weren't even born when the Derby was first held in 1985.

Home Run Derby history

Three of the participants -- Hoskins, Schwarber and Muncy -- are competing in the Derby despite not being selected for the National League All-Star squad. So we've got dingers, and we've got ringers.

Given the relative youth and the specific inexperience involved here, it's difficult to know what to expect from this group. Harper can only hope that the groove he got into five years ago, when at 20 years old he became the youngest player to reach the Derby final, will be replicated.

Play the T-Mobile Home Run Derby Bracket Challenge game

Harper's father, Ron, pitched to him then and is expected to pitch to him again.

"Growing up, you always play catch with your dad and enjoy those moments, and I was able to do that every single day," Harper said last week. "I'm looking forward to just having the family around at the All-Star Game. Having my dad in the clubhouse. That's truly cool."

Video: Home Run Derby Matchup: Harper vs. Freeman

This Derby group reflects some of the coolest stories of the 2018 season. Who knew that Aguilar and Muncy would be viable everyday players for contending clubs, let alone Derby entrants (with Aguilar on the NL roster)?

Muncy was released by the A's at the start of the 2017 season. A year later, he shocked the baseball world by becoming the fastest Dodger to reach 20 homers in a season (he did it in 183 at-bats) in franchise history. Aguilar was a former Milwaukee waiver claim seemingly relegated to part-time duties at the start of the season, but he took advantage of an injury opportunity to become an early NL MVP Award candidate, the NL Final Vote winner and the top seed in this Derby by virtue of him leading the group in home runs at the time the field was selected.

Video: Home Run Derby Matchup: Aguilar vs. Hoskins

"They asked me if I want to do it and it was like, 'Let's do it, let's be part of the big moment and the big show,'" Aguilar said. "I just agreed. We're going to have fun with my little kid up there and those superstars behind me. So let's do it. Why not?"

Beyond the great stories of Muncy and Aguilar, you've got the great swagger of Bregman and Baez, smaller in physical stature but big in confidence. You've got Schwarber, the natural-born slugger seemingly made for an event like this. You've got Hoskins with a chance to show the baseball world that the personal Home Run Derby he staged late in 2017, when he became the first player in history to hit 18 homers in his first 35 games, applies to this special setting. And you've got the understated but long-tenured and respected Freeman getting a rare opportunity on a national platform and a rare chance to let it loose in a batting practice-type setting. Freeman is so disciplined with his BP approach that he told ESPN he hasn't homered in BP in three years.

Video: Home Run Derby Matchup: Muncy vs. Baez

Harper, though, will be uniquely positioned as the central figure of the field.

"I might have sent a text to him earlier to start the trash-talking," Freeman said. "It should be fun. I'm hoping the fans are too excited for him and he gets nervous and hits zero."

We know the temperature won't be zero. With a forecasted high of 96 in the District on Tuesday and little cooling off expected in the evening, conditions will be ripe for homer heroics.

Video: Home Run Derby Matchup: Bregman vs. Schwarber

While watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX on Tuesday, fans can submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 All-Star Game MLB.com 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.

Jesus Aguilar, Javier Baez, Alex Bregman, Freddie Freeman, Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Max Muncy, Kyle Schwarber

deGrom discusses future in advance of ASG

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- A celebration of Jacob deGrom's present turned into an examination of his future on Monday, when deGrom's agent suggested that the Mets should either sign him to a long-term contract extension or trade him.

Responding to agent Brodie Van Wagenen's assertion to The Athletic that doing nothing "could complicate Jacob's relationship with the club," deGrom put the onus of an extension squarely on the Mets.

NEW YORK -- A celebration of Jacob deGrom's present turned into an examination of his future on Monday, when deGrom's agent suggested that the Mets should either sign him to a long-term contract extension or trade him.

Responding to agent Brodie Van Wagenen's assertion to The Athletic that doing nothing "could complicate Jacob's relationship with the club," deGrom put the onus of an extension squarely on the Mets.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: CAA���s Brodie van Wagenen, agent for Jacob deGrom: ���We have discussed Jacob���s future with the Mets at length. Jacob has expressed interest in exploring a long-term partnership that would keep him in a Mets uniform for years to come.��� 1/2

"We've said multiple times that we're open to talking extensions," deGrom said at All-Star media day in Washington. "It's kind of up to them what they want to do."

The Mets' lone All-Star and the Major League ERA leader with a 1.68 mark in 19 starts, deGrom said his agents have spoken multiple times with the Mets about an extension. But the parties have never exchanged salary figures.

Under team control for two more seasons, deGrom cannot become a free agent until age 32 -- something that, in the past, has dampened the Mets' desire to buy out his first few free-agent years. But deGrom has remained healthy into his early 30s, improving at an age when many pitchers begin declining. This season, deGrom is on pace for career bests in ERA, innings and strikeouts. He eclipsed 200 innings last year for the first time in his career.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: More from Van Wagenen: ���If the Mets don���t share same interest, we believe their best course of action is to seriously consider trade opportunities now.The inertia of current situation could complicate Jacob���s relationship with the club and creates an atmosphere of indecision.���

More than that, deGrom has become the Mets' clear ace as others have struggled through injuries and inconsistencies. Despite deGrom's standout season, his team lost more games before the All-Star break than any Mets club in the past 25 years of franchise history.

"I enjoyed winning in 2015," deGrom said. "It doesn't get more fun than that. We made it to the World Series, and we were just a little short of winning it. Hopefully, we can get back there."

Mets assistant general manager John Ricco, one of three executives filling in for GM Sandy Alderson on an interim basis, did not respond to a message Monday seeking comment. Nor did chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, who in January defended his team's middle-of-the-pack payroll.

Adam Fisher, the former Mets senior director of baseball operations who spent 15 seasons with the organization, points out that the Mets have had a "strong working relationship" in the past and noted it would not be surprising if the two sides talk seriously about an extension in the offseason.

Tweet from @adamgfisher: 2) CAA and the Mets have had a strong working relationship in the past. It would not surprise me if they talk seriously about an extension this off-season.

In addition to deGrom, CAA Sports represents current Mets Todd Frazier, Noah Syndergaard, Jason Vargas and Yoenis Cespedes, who opted out of a long-term contract but then signed a $110 million extension with the club after the 2016 season.

Making $7.4 million this season through arbitration, deGrom should be in line for significant raises the next two seasons. Industry sources have suggested that the framework for an extension could look something like the three-year, $75 million base deal that Jake Arrieta signed with the Phillies as a 31-year-old last offseason, with deGrom's two remaining arbitration years tacked on top. A total commitment of around five years and $100 million would thus be a reasonable starting point, according to those sources.

But first, the Mets would have to engage deGrom in talks. If they decide instead to go year to year with deGrom through 2020, there is little that Van Wagenen can do, other than hope deGrom continues performing at an elite level.

The third option is to trade deGrom -- an idea that, until recently, Mets officials have dismissed. Trading deGrom would make competing in 2019, the Mets' stated goal, extremely difficult. But if the Mets do decide to do so, teams such as the Mariners, Cubs and Yankees could dangle significant packages to improve New York's farm system.

"Starting pitching is always big during the Trade Deadline, whether that's me or somebody else who's having a good year," deGrom said. "The talks have been there before. That stuff's kind of out of my control. I just try to go out there and focus on what I can control, and that's throwing a baseball."

deGrom will next do so Tuesday at the All-Star Game, where NL manager Dave Roberts has scheduled him pitch second for the NL behind Washington's Max Scherzer. Though deGrom may be the odds-on favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award thanks to his league-leading ERA, he was unsurprised to learn that Scherzer will start in his home ballpark.

The only other time deGrom pitched in an All-Star Game, back in 2015, he struck out the side on 10 pitches. His family will be with him at this year's game in Washington.

"My first one, I don't think I got to enjoy as much as I'm trying to enjoy this one, because I was so nervous about it," deGrom said. "Anytime you get selected to the All-Star Game is a huge honor. You're surrounded by the best in the game."

While watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, fans can submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, 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.

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

Jacob deGrom

Sale, Scherzer to rematch; ASG lineups revealed

MLB.com @mattkellyMLB

The lineups and starters for the 2018 All-Star Game are set. All that's left to do between now and Tuesday night is dream of the possibilities.

Managers AJ Hinch and Dave Roberts laid out their lineups for the American League and National League on Monday in Washington, and they also announced a marquee starting-pitching matchup for the 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

The lineups and starters for the 2018 All-Star Game are set. All that's left to do between now and Tuesday night is dream of the possibilities.

Managers AJ Hinch and Dave Roberts laid out their lineups for the American League and National League on Monday in Washington, and they also announced a marquee starting-pitching matchup for the 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

Red Sox ace Chris Sale will make his third consecutive start for the AL, while Max Scherzer takes the ball for the NL for a second straight year. It's a reprise of last July's starting matchup in Miami, where Sale posted two scoreless innings and Scherzer matched him with a clean first inning of his own. The last time two starters opposed each other in back-to-back All-Star Games was Red Ruffing and Paul Derringer in 1939-40.

"The proof is in the numbers, and he is the most consistent starting pitcher in our league," Hinch said of his decision to start Sale.

Video: Hinch announces Sale as AL All-Star starter

Boston's ace becomes just the third pitcher in history to start three straight Midsummer Classics, following Hall of Famers Robin Roberts (1953-55, NL) and Lefty Gomez (1933-35, AL).

Scherzer, meanwhile, will be the 12th pitcher to start an All-Star Game at his home ballpark and the first since former Mets ace Matt Harvey started the 2013 contest at Citi Field in Queens.

"So many emotions when you're pitching in your own park," said Scherzer of the chance to start the game at Nationals Park. "It's an honor to have the game here. It's a dream come true."

Video: Scherzer thrilled to be starting 2018 ASG at home

Hinch and Roberts confirmed that New York aces Jacob deGrom (Mets) and Luis Severino (Yankees) -- who were seen as the closest competitors for the starting nods behind Scherzer and Sale -- will pitch second for each league on Tuesday.

Those two aces will have their hands full with dynamic lineups on both sides. Here's who the AL will bring to the plate: 

AMERICAN LEAGUE
1. Mookie Betts, RF, Red Sox
2. Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros
3. Mike Trout, CF, Angels
4. J.D. Martinez, DH, Red Sox
5.Jose Ramirez, 3B, Indians
6. Aaron Judge, LF, Yankees
7. Manny Machado, SS, Orioles
8. Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox
9. Salvador Perez, C, Royals

Chris Sale, P, Red Sox

Tweet from @Feinsand: The American League #AllStarGame starting lineup: pic.twitter.com/YG8q41NSZ1

Betts leads the Majors in average (.359) and slugging (.691) while also getting on base nearly 45 percent of the time this season, making for one of the most dynamic leadoff men imaginable. Altuve and Trout rank among the game's most consistent hitters day in and day out, while Martinez and his MLB-best 80 RBIs will man the cleanup spot. Should the NL pitchers somehow navigate that top half, 2017 AL MVP Award finalists Ramirez and Judge are waiting in the wings.

Video: Hinch announces his lineup for the American League

Here's who will line up for the NL side against Sale: 

NATIONAL LEAGUE
1. Javier Baez, 2B, Cubs
2. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
3. Paul Goldschmidt, DH, D-backs
4. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves
5. Matt Kemp, LF, Dodgers
6. Bryce Harper, CF, Nationals
7. Nick Markakis, RF, Braves
8. Brandon Crawford, SS, Giants
9. Willson Contreras, C, Cubs

Max Scherzer, P, Nationals

Tweet from @Feinsand: The National League #AllStarGame starting lineup: pic.twitter.com/FpMIshMSh4

The free-swinging Baez might not be a conventional choice to bat in the leadoff spot, but Roberts cited the second baseman's energy as his biggest reason for slotting Baez up top. Sale will face three of baseball's greatest run producers in Arenado, Goldschmidt and Freeman, with hometown hero Harper looming in the sixth spot. 

Video: Roberts announces the starting lineup for the NL

While watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, fans can submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, 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.

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

Chris Sale, Max Scherzer

Who did sluggers pick to pitch in Derby?

MLB.com

From family members to longtime instructors, find out who these star sluggers picked to pitch to them at Nationals Park in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, on Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

From family members to longtime instructors, find out who these star sluggers picked to pitch to them at Nationals Park in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, on Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

:: Complete Home Run Derby coverage ::

1. Jesus Aguilar
A trip to the MLB All-Star Game will be a new experience for Brewers first-base coach Carlos Subero, who's never participated in a home run derby of any kind before. But his selection as Aguilar's pitcher is all about familiarity, with two years of experience pitching to the Milwaukee first baseman in batting practice.

"He's been throwing BP for me for almost two years," Aguilar said. "So he kind of knows me good. That's why I chose him." More >

Video: MIL@PIT: Aguilar hammers NL-leading 24th home run

2. Bryce Harper
As he promised earlier in his career, Harper is returning to this year's Derby because of its location: Washington's slugger was waiting for the event to be held at Nationals Park. Harper made official on Monday what most expected: He will call on his father, Ron, to help him capture his first Derby crown.

Harper credits his father for helping shape his swing as a youngster in Las Vegas. The two paired up on the national stage once before, in the 2013 Derby at Citi Field. That year, the 20-year-old Harper became the youngest player to ever reach a Derby final, before losing to Yoenis Cespedes.

Video: WSH@NYM: Harper drives a 2-run homer to right field

3. Max Muncy
Muncy will borrow Dodgers hitting coach Turner Ward from Dave Roberts' National League coaching staff for the Derby. Ward, 53, played 12 years in the Majors with the Indians, Blue Jays, Brewers, Pirates and D-backs from 1990-2001.

Ward has worked closely with Muncy since his call up to the big leagues and Dodgers debut on April 17.

Video: LAA@LAD: Muncy opens the scoring with a solo homer

4. Alex Bregman
Longtime Astros bullpen catcher Javier Bracamonte joins the contingent of Astros representatives heading to Washington for the All-Star festivities and will throw to Bregman. He threw All-Star Game BP to Andruw Jones and Jason Bay in Detroit in 2005 and Miguel Cabrera in '06 in Pittsburgh.

"He'll have fun with it," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "They picked a personality. There's some upside to him because he can put on a show. There's a downside for him if he doesn't put up numbers. There's a group of guys in here that'll probably be paying attention. He'll have fun with it." More >

Video: DET@HOU: Bregman crushes his 20th homer of the season

5. Kyle Schwarber
Mike Sinicola, a real estate agent who played baseball at the University of Miami and has thrown batting practice for Schwarber in Tampa, Fla., will pitch to the Cubs outfielder in the Derby.

Schwarber will take swings with a special red, white and blue bat with his Neighborhood Heroes foundation's logo. More >

Video: CHC@SD: Schwarber hits 2-run homer to opposite field

6. Javier Baez
The Home Run Derby will be a family affair for Baez, who will take pitches from his older brother Gadiel, 27.

"The family wants to be there. I asked him. He wasn't coming [to the All-Star Game] because he just had a baby, too, and he's been really busy. As soon as I told him [about the Home Run Derby], he was really excited." More >

Video: CHC@SD: Baez launches a 3-run homer to right

7. Freddie Freeman
Braves infield instructor Tomas Perez will pitch to Freeman during the Home Run Derby. Freeman has simply grown comfortable with Perez, who became his primary BP pitcher after joining Atlanta's staff on Opening Day. Perez spent portions of 12 Major League seasons (1995-2008) serving as a utility man for four different clubs -- the Blue Jays, Phillies, Rays and Astros. He faced just two batters when he made his only career pitching appearance during the Phillies' 17-3 loss to the Astros on May 13, 2002. Jeff Bagwell reached via an error and Jason Lane hit a lazy fly to end the eighth inning.

Video: ATL@STL: Freeman belts towering 2-run homer to right

8. Rhys Hoskins
"I think [Minor League infield coordinator] Chris Truby is going to throw to me. He throws a good batting practice. We obviously have a really good relationship spending a lot of time together in the Minor Leagues. And, yeah, he throws money BP."

Video: WSH@PHI: Hoskins belts a 2-run homer on 14th pitch

Jesus Aguilar, Javier Baez, Alex Bregman, Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Max Muncy, Kyle Schwarber

Trade Talk: Britton, Hand, Dodgers, 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.

Britton's market picking up; Cubs among interested clubs
July 16: While the Cubs ended the first half with the National League's best record (55-38) and the fourth-best bullpen ERA (3.10) in the Majors, they are among the eight teams talking to the Orioles about closer Zach Britton, an industry source told Bruce Levine of Chicago radio station 670 The Score.

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

Britton's market picking up; Cubs among interested clubs
July 16: While the Cubs ended the first half with the National League's best record (55-38) and the fourth-best bullpen ERA (3.10) in the Majors, they are among the eight teams talking to the Orioles about closer Zach Britton, an industry source told Bruce Levine of Chicago radio station 670 The Score.

The Cubs also have Padres closer Brad Hand on their wish list, per Levine, though Hand will cost far more than Britton, who is set to become a free agent at the end of this season. Hand, meanwhile, is signed through 2020 with a $10 million team option for 2021.

There has been rejuvenated interest of late in Britton, who has made 15 appearances for the Orioles this season after returning from offseason surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles. Though he got off to a rough start, Britton has not given up a run over his past seven outings (seven innings) while showing a dramatic increase in velocity.

The Orioles would prefer to trade Britton and Manny Machado in separate deals, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal for FOX Sports. Rosenthal reports Baltimore feels the return for the pair would be greater if they weren't packaged together -- for example, the Astros have been interested in Britton, but are not in the market for a shortstop/third baseman.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: "The Orioles would prefer to separate Zach Britton from Manny Machado, believing the overall return would be greater if they were traded individually"- @Ken_Rosenthal pic.twitter.com/fcv9rn1omw

The Phillies have also been linked to Britton, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the Red Sox "are being tied" to the southpaw as well.

Padres getting calls on Ross, Yates, Hand
July 16: Brad Hand isn't the only Padres pitcher to be highly coveted by contending clubs. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports San Diego has been "getting a lot of hits" on starter Tyson Ross and several relievers, including Hand and Kirby Yates. Sherman notes the Yankees are among the teams that have checked in with the Padres.

Ross, who can become a free agent at the end of this season, has posted a 4.32 ERA in 2018, though he had a much more impressive 3.32 mark through the end of June before allowing 15 runs over his first two starts of July.

Hand, 28, is among the best relievers in baseball, as he has posted a 2.66 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and an 11.8 K/9 rate since the outset of 2016. In exchange for the two-time All-Star, who is signed through 2020 with a $10 million team option for 2021, the Padres are believed to be asking for a package similar to those the Yankees got for Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller in two separate deals during 2016.

The Cubs also reportedly have Hand on their wish list, according to Bruce Levine of Chicago radio station 670 The Score.

Yates, meanwhile, has quietly recorded a 1.47 ERA with a 0.90 WHIP and an 11.5 K/9 rate this season. The 31-year-old is controllable through 2020.

Rosenthal: 'Almost no doubt' Dodgers will add reliever
July 16: The Dodgers are expected to be a major player in the relief pitching market before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal noted in a Twitter Q&A session for FOX Sports.

The Dodgers are seeking a bullpen arm who can pitch the eighth inning and also spell closer Kenley Jansen from time to time, according to Rosenthal, who said "there's almost no doubt" the club will trade for a reliever.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: .@kryptonic05 #AskKen pic.twitter.com/y7foYiKfyU

Los Angeles leaned heavily on Brandon Morrow during the 2017 postseason as a setup man for Jansen, but Morrow signed with the Cubs in the offseason.

Though Josh Fields, Tony Cingrani and Pedro Baez have had solid campaigns, all three are on the disabled list with arm injuries, and none is on the level of someone such as Zach Britton, Raisel Iglesias, Jeurys Familia or Kyle Barraclough.

Will Archer be traded?
July 16: The Rays face an interesting decision with Chris Archer, whose name has been floated among trade rumors for years. On one hand, they have a young core that has them above .500 and looks promising going forward, especially if Archer is a part of it. On the other, Tampa Bay could take advantage of a weak market for starters and put Archer in play.

"Given the state of the starting pitching market, the incentive for [the Rays] to move him might never be higher," MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal suggested in a Twitter question-and-answer session on @MLBONFOX.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: .@jboy819 #AskKen pic.twitter.com/Gm4QrCgP7Y

That said, Archer just came off the DL a week ago for a left abdominal strain that cost him more than a month of action and his performance so far this season has been somewhat inconsistent (4.29 ERA, 1.38 WHIP). In other words, making Archer available now might be undercutting his full value.

As a 29-year-old making $6.25 million this year and under contract for $7.5 million next year with club options for 2020 ($9M) and 2021 ($11M), Archer would be appealing to just about any club looking for rotation help -- not just 2018 contenders. His team-friendly contract also allows the cost-conscious Rays to be patient with their prized right-hander.

Deal for Machado reportedly 'very close,' with Phillies, Dodgers and Brewers leading race
July 16: Will Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard be the last time Manny Machado appears in an Orioles uniform? It's certainly possible, as former MLB general manager Jim Bowden reported via Twitter on Monday that the shortstop is expected to be traded before the regular season resumes later this week.

Tweet from @JimBowdenGM: Manny Machado will represent the #Orioles in the All Star Game���.but he is expected to be traded before the regular season resumes later in the week according to sources involved in the trade discussions.

A deal reportedly is "very close," but nothing has been agreed upon yet, according to a tweet from Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, who notes the Phillies, Dodgers and Brewers all remain involved.

Tweet from @masnRoch: Multiple sources say #orioles don���t have deal done with #phillies for Machado. #dodgers and #brewers also still involved. Told ���very close��� but nothing has been agreed upon yet

Although the situation remains fluid as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, trade talks for the Orioles shortstop are believed to be in the home stretch. According to a tweet from Buster Olney, the O's have narrowed their focus, with a source saying Baltimore is at the "10-yard line" in trade discussions.

Tweet from @Buster_ESPN: Source indicated last Sunday his sense was that the Orioles were at the 35-yard-line and driving in the Machado trade conversations. Same source this Sunday: "10-yard-line." PHI, Brewers, Dodgers waiting for the goal line call. As mentioned yesterday, Orioles have narrowed focus.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman tweeted Sunday that the Yankees and Indians were "in but perhaps behind," and that the Brewers had made a "good offer" and appeared to be in the "top tier" with the Phillies and Dodgers. More >

Video: O'Dowd, Nelson discuss the Manny Machado sweepstakes

Amid trade rumors, deGrom addresses his future
July 16: As Jacob deGrom continues to be at the center of trade speculation, the All-Star right-hander made it clear he's open to staying with the Mets long term.

deGrom's agent Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Sports initially suggested Monday that the Mets might consider trading their ace sooner than later if they don't plan to offer him a contract extension, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: More from Van Wagenen: ���If the Mets don���t share same interest, we believe their best course of action is to seriously consider trade opportunities now.The inertia of current situation could complicate Jacob���s relationship with the club and creates an atmosphere of indecision.���

The 30-year-old deGrom, who leads MLB with a 1.68 ERA and is under club control through 2020, responded to questions at All-Star media day in Washington, D.C., by stating: "We've said multiple times that we're open to talking [about an] extension. It's kind of up to [the Mets] what they want to do." More >

Astros might stand pat at Trade Deadline
July 16: The Astros have reportedly discussed dealing for a catcher and a reliever, but there's a chance they won't make any major moves before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal in a Twitter Q&A session for FOX Sports.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: .@nnickk22 #AskKen pic.twitter.com/4gWhpCLIMM

With backstop Brian McCann (right knee surgery) expected to return by September and Max Stassi providing solid production (.792 OPS), Rosenthal notes the Astros are more likely to get a reliever than a catcher.

Per Rosenthal, Houston is seeking someone who can be a "true difference-maker" in the bullpen, such as Zach Britton, Brad Hand or Raisel Iglesias.

But with the ability to shift either Lance McCullers Jr. or Charlie Morton to the 'pen during the postseason, as they did last year when they won the World Series, the Astros may not feel a sense of urgency to add a big-name reliever.

Braves not expected to pursue big-name rentals
July 16: The Braves have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2018 season, unexpectedly putting the team in the "buyer" category as executive vice president and general manager Alex Anthopoulos prepares for his first Trade Deadline at the helm. But judging by Anthopoulos' comments in a two-part Q&A with Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves aren't planning to mortgage their bright future for a short-term boost.

"We would prefer not to go after rentals unless the acquisition cost just makes so much sense for us," Anthopoulos said. "There's a lot of pain that has gone into putting together this young talent. We're not ready to throw that all away just because of one season."

MLB Pipeline: Braves Top 30 prospects

Earlier this month, the Braves were mentioned among the contenders for Orioles shortstop Manny Machado, but they appear to have fallen out of the race as the Dodgers, Phillies and Brewers are reportedly leading. Atlanta has also been connected to Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. Both players can become free agents after this season.

One area Anthopoulos could look to address is the bullpen, especially with closer Arodys Vizcaino going back on the DL on Saturday with right shoulder inflammation. The Braves entered the All-Star break with the 19th-best bullpen ERA in the Majors (4.24), and many of their key relievers are inexperienced. However, Atlanta could have limited options if free-agents-to-be such as the Orioles' Zach Britton and the Mets' Jeurys Familia are off the table. More >

Angels unlikely to deal Skaggs or Heaney
July 16: With a 49-48 record at the end of the first half, the Angels remain on the fringe of postseason contention, but they are nine games out of an AL Wild Card spot. That has sparked speculation that the club might consider selling by the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, with southpaw starters Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney mentioned as potential pieces.

That no longer appears to be the case, however, as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reports via Twitter.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: #Angels have no interest in trading Heaney or Skaggs, per source - team needs them to compete in ���19. As I said Saturday, LAA drawing interest in controllable relievers - Parker, Alvarez, Bedrosian, Anderson. Open on any of them, but will want good returns to give up control.

With superstar Mike Trout smack in the middle of his prime and under contract through 2020, the Angels want to win in this window while they can. Both Skaggs (through '20) and Heaney (through '21) are under club control beyond this season, meaning they can be a part of that direction.

It had previously been reported by MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi that the Yankees have recently been scouting Angels games with eyes on Skaggs and Heaney, in particular.

Nationals could 'revisit' Realmuto trade discussions
July 15: The Nationals were believed to have moved on from Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto due to Miami's lofty asking price, but league sources say that Washington could "revisit" its pursuit of the backstop, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for Fancred Sports.

Some think the Nats might consider including top prospect Victor Robles (No. 5 overall, per MLB Pipeline) in a package for Realmuto, who will start at catcher for the National League in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

Per Heyman, the Marlins have long sought Robles and/or infielder Carter Kieboom (Washington's No. 2 prospect, No. 62 overall) from the Nationals, who discussed Realmuto with Miami in the offseason and reached out again several weeks ago but have been unwilling to include the aforementioned prospects to this point.

The Nationals have also been connected to Rays catcher Wilson Ramos, who played in Washington from 2010-16, but Ramos suffered a left hamstring injury Saturday and will miss the All-Star Game.

Listen: Mark Feinsand joins the Morning Lineup Podcast to discuss latest rumors

Are Pirates still on track to sell at Trade Deadline?
July 16: The Pirates were seemingly en route to be Trade Deadline sellers just over a week ago, but the club has ripped off an 8-1 stretch -- including a five-game sweep over the Brewers -- to potentially change its plans.

As Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes, general manager Neal Huntington said before this past week that a 4-4 record in the next eight games wouldn't be enough to convince him to keep the team together beyond the Trade Deadline. But Pittsburgh's red-hot run has put pressure on Huntington to hold off on a major teardown.

True, the Bucs are still only 48-49, putting them in fourth place in the National League Central, and their financial resources remain limited, so it's unlikely they'll significantly add to the roster between now and July 31.

But if Pittsburgh continues to play well coming out of the All-Star break, the onus will be on Huntington to keep veterans such as Jordy Mercer, Corey Dickerson, Ivan Nova, David Freese and Josh Harrison past July 31. The Pirates are also without one of their most valuable trade chips, as catcher Francisco Cervelli returned to the 7-day disabled list Saturday with recurring concussion symptoms.

Cardinals could sell if struggles continue after All-Star break
July 15: The Cardinals picked up a win in their final game before the All-Star break after dismissing manager Mike Matheny on Saturday, but if their recent struggles continue to begin the second half, the expectation is that St. Louis will "seriously consider selling," according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

And if that happens, the Cardinals could shake up the starting pitcher market in a big way by making right-hander Carlos Martinez available.

As Sherman notes, St. Louis' strength is young arms, so the club could use Martinez to address other problems on the roster. Per Sherman, outside executives believe the Cardinals can get peak value for Martinez in a market lacking an ace. The 26-year-old is in the second year of a five-year, $51 million contract with team options for 2022 ($17 million) and 2023 ($18 million).

The Cardinals will enter the All-Star break with a 48-46 record, 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Cubs in the National League Central (five games behind the second-placed Brewers) and four games out in the NL Wild Card race. They'll open the second half with eight games on the road, including five at Wrigley Field.

Red Sox, Braves interested in Moose
July 15: The trade market for impending free agent Mike Moustakas is developing, with the Red Sox and Braves among the teams interested in acquiring him before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick via Twitter.

Tweet from @jcrasnick: The #RedSox and #Braves are both interested in Mike Moustakas as a trade deadline acquisition, sources say. The #Yankees have already been mentioned as a potential landing spot. There's enough of a market for Moose that it's more likely than not the Royals deal him this month.

However, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand notes in a tweet that the Royals may need to wait to trade Moustakas until after Orioles shortstop Manny Machado is dealt.

Tweet from @Feinsand: According to a source, the Royals are trying to find a match for a Mike Moustakas deal, but it appears KC will have to wait until Manny Machado gets dealt first. Manny could be the domino that starts a number of things in motion.

Kansas City could see the list of Moustakas suitors grow once Machado is moved, as some of the clubs that are pursuing the All-Star shortstop may turn their attention to the Royals third baseman if they miss out on Machado.

It's unclear what Boston's interest in Moustakas means for Rafael Devers, who is on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation. Devers, 21, has recorded an underwhelming .715 OPS this season compared to Moustakas' .772 mark.

The Braves have received better-than-expected production from Johan Camargo at the hot corner, though the 24-year-old has posted a .385 OPS with 10 strikeouts in his past nine games.

The Yankees have also been linked to Moustakas, though they were reportedly interested in him to play first base rather than third. Greg Bird has solidified first base for New York lately by producing five homers, 15 RBIs and a .922 OPS over his past 14 games.

Video: Slugger Moustakas delivering at the plate, in field

Could Reds move Gennett?
July 15: Scooter Gennett has made it known that he wants to remain with the Reds -- and based on his conversations with the front office, shared in an MLB.com exclusive, he expects to remain with the club past the Deadline -- but the two sides haven't spoken much about a contract extension, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal for FOX Sports.

Gennett -- a first-time All-Star this season -- has emerged as a surprising force in Cincinnati's lineup after being claimed off waivers from the Brewers in March 2017, batting .309/.356/.529 with 43 homers and 159 RBIs in 232 games in a Reds uniform.

Gennett is in the midst of a career year, and the Reds could look to sell high on the 28-year-old, who is under team control for one more season. Entering Sunday, the left-handed slugger led the National League at his position in batting average and OPS while ranking second in RBIs and fourth in runs and homers.

Cincinnati has infielder Nick Senzel -- the No. 4 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline -- waiting in the wings, giving the team some incentive to move Gennett, especially if it meant upgrading a pitching staff that currently ranks 13th in the NL with a 4.67 ERA. However, Senzel would be unable to provide immediate help, considering he underwent season-ending surgery in late June to repair a torn tendon in his right index finger.

Video: Scooter Gennett continues to amaze in 2018

Olney: NL teams at 'forefront' of Familia trade talks
July 15: With all the talk surrounding Mets starters Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, closer Jeurys Familia has flown under the radar. But Familia remains one of the best relievers available, and ESPN's Buster Olney reports via Twitter that a number of National League teams "appear to be at the forefront" of trade discussions for the impending free agent.

Olney mentions the Phillies and Giants as two of the clubs that are interested, though he notes Philadelphia may wait until its talks with the Orioles regarding Manny Machado and Zach Britton are resolved before honing in on Familia. The Braves, Cubs and Dodgers are also among the NL contenders that could use help in the bullpen. As for clubs in the AL, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the Red Soxhave inquired about Familia

Tweet from @Buster_ESPN: NL teams appear to be at the forefront of the talks about the Mets' Jeurys Familia, who is among the best available relievers. Phillies interested (although they may wait until Britton/Machado talks resolved), Giants, etc.

Familia is peaking at the right time, tossing seven straight scoreless appearances with one hit allowed to open July after posting a 6.94 ERA with a 2.31 WHIP from May 23 through the end of June.

Twins open to trading Odorizzi, Gibson
July 15: The Twins' rotation could look strikingly different after the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, as the club is reportedly willing to trade a number of its veteran starters.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Minnesota is said to be open to dealing Kyle Gibson and Jake Odorizzi, who are both controllable through 2019.

Gibson, 30, is having a career year, as his 3.42 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 rate would all be personal bests. Odorizzi, 28, owns an unimpressive 4.54 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP, but he's striking out more than a batter per inning (9.4 K/9) and has been a solid mid-rotation option over the past five seasons (3.91 ERA, 1.25 WHIP).

Lance Lynn is another obvious trade candidate, as he can become a free agent at the end of this season. After struggling in his first eight starts (7.47 ERA), Lynn has posted a 3.67 ERA over his past 10 outings.

And though Ervin Santana has yet to pitch in the Majors in 2018 after undergoing finger surgery in February, he's currently on a rehab assignment and was an All-Star last year. With a $14 million team option and a $1 million buyout for '19, Santana could be a reasonable trade target for a rotation-needy club if he proves to be healthy before July 31.

Will Mariners trade for rotation help?
July 15: Though the Mariners haven't made the postseason since 2001, rank 15th in the Majors in rotation ERA (4.09) and currently have both James Paxton and Felix Hernandez on the disabled list, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times writes that the Mariners' rotation isn't "a lock to be upgraded at the Trade Deadline."

Per Divish, Erasmo Ramirez's impending return from a strained teres major muscle in his right shoulder makes it unlikely Seattle will trade for a "replacement-level starting pitcher," as Ramirez can fill that role.

General manager Jerry Dipoto may look to swing a deal if it considerably improves the rotation, but as Divish points out, Seattle might not have the prospects to acquire a front-of-the-rotation starter such as the Rays' Chris Archer.

The Mariners have been linked to the Rangers' Cole Hamels, but according to Divish, sources say Seattle's interest in the left-hander was "greatly overplayed."

Divish also notes that some people in the Mariners ownership group and upper-level management aren't in favor of trading for rental players, which could potentially rule out free-agent-to-be J.A. Happ, another pitcher who has been connected to Seattle.

D-backs seeking starting pitcher
July 15: The D-backs are in the market for a starting pitcher, according to reporter Robert Murray, recently of FanRag sports. Arizona's starting rotation, which entered Sunday ranked ninth in the National League with a 4.09 ERA, currently consists of Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Patrick Corbin and Zack Godley. The No. 5 slot is open for now, with Clay Buchholz (strained left oblique) and Shelby Miller (right elbow inflammation) on the disabled list.

Greinke and Corbin have provided the D-backs with an excellent one-two punch -- entering Sunday with a combined 3.14 ERA in 39 starts -- but both Godley (4.61 ERA) and Ray (5.03 ERA) have struggled in 2018 after strong '17 campaigns.

There are several viable starters likely to be available leading up to the Deadline, including the Rangers' Cole Hamels and the Blue Jays' J.A. Happ, or Arizona could choose to make a bigger splash by acquiring an ace like the Mets' Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard.

Here's how Derby sluggers' stats stack up

MLB.com

A new champion of the long ball will be crowned during tonight's T-Mobile Home Run Derby (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), as eight competitors take the field at Nationals Park as part of the festivities leading up to the 89th MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX).

Statcast™ will be there to track each and every big fly, and that's important, because by hitting two home runs that travel at least 440 feet in a round, batters receive 30 seconds of bonus time.

A new champion of the long ball will be crowned during tonight's T-Mobile Home Run Derby (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), as eight competitors take the field at Nationals Park as part of the festivities leading up to the 89th MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX).

Statcast™ will be there to track each and every big fly, and that's important, because by hitting two home runs that travel at least 440 feet in a round, batters receive 30 seconds of bonus time.

:: Complete Home Run Derby coverage ::

Former National League MVP Award winner and the hometown favorite, Washington's own Bryce Harper, headlines the field, but he will have to take down NL East rival Freddie Freeman of the Braves in the first round of the single-elimination tournament. The other opening matchups feature the Dodgers' out-of-nowhere star Max Muncy against electrifying Cubs infielder Javier Baez; red-hot Astros sparkplug Alex Bregman against Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber; and Brewers breakout star Jesus Aguilar against 2017 rookie sensation Rhys Hoskins of the Phillies.

Before they take their cuts in D.C., here is a look at some notable Statcast™ facts for each of the competitors, who are listed in order of seed.

1. Aguilar (24 HR)
Longest HR of 2018:
433 feet, July 6 vs. Braves
Hardest-hit HR of 2018: 108.5 mph, July 6 vs. Braves

• Aguilar didn't hit his first homer of the season until April 21, and through May 12, he totaled just two homers in 33 games (17 starts). But he has been on a torrid pace ever since, walloping 22 big flies in 54 games (51 starts) -- two more than any other big leaguer since May 13.

Play the T-Mobile Home Run Derby Bracket Challenge game

• Aguilar has proven himself dangerous regardless of count. His 12 homers with two strikes this season tie him with Aaron Judge and the Indians' Jose Ramirez for the MLB lead.

• Only Manny Machado has homered more times against sliders than Aguilar (seven).

Video: ATL@MIL: Aguilar launches a 3-run homer to center

2. Harper (23 HR)
Longest HR of 2018:
473 feet, May 4 vs. Phillies
Hardest-hit HR of 2018: 115.1 mph, May 13 at D-backs

• Harper's 473-foot blast to dead center field on May 4 set a record for the longest home run by a Washington player at Nationals Park since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015. The ballpark has seen only one ball hit farther during that time -- a 476-foot shot off the bat of the Brewers' Domingo Santana last July 26.

• Harper not only holds the Nationals' Statcast™ record for exit velocity on a home run (116.3 mph last June 15), he is all over the club's leaderboard. Harper is responsible for eight of the 13 hardest-hit Nats homers in Statcast™ history, all of them registering 112.1 mph or more. Harper's 15 homers of 110-plus mph are more than twice as many as any other Washington hitter has during that time.

• Harper sees pitches in the zone less often than any other big league regular, but when he gets one over the heart of the plate, he takes advantage. His 15 homers against pitches in the middle third of the strike zone -- rather than the inner or outer third -- lead the Majors.

Video: PHI@WSH: Harper clubs his 2nd HR of the game 473 feet

3. Muncy (22 HR)
Longest HR of 2018:
450 feet, June 3 at Rockies
Hardest-hit HR of 2018: 110.6 mph, July 3 vs. Pirates

• Muncy didn't appear in the Majors this season until April 17, and his 279 plate appearances are the fewest of any Derby contestant, but he has made up for lost time with great efficiency, leading the Majors by converting 5.3 percent of his swings and 13.7 percent of his batted balls into homers.

• Muncy prefers moonshots to screaming liners. Whereas the average MLB homer has a launch angle of about 28 degrees, Muncy has connected at 30 degrees or higher on 15 of his 22 big flies, including a 42-degree skyscraper on May 19 against the Nats that is tied for the highest homer at Nationals Park this year. Muncy's average of 31.2 degrees on homers is the highest in the Derby field and is tied for ninth of the 134 players who have gone deep at least 10 times in 2018.

• All but three of Muncy's 22 homers have come with the bases empty, including each of the past 13.

Video: LAD@COL: Muncy rips a 3-run homer on 11th pitch of AB

4. Bregman (20 HR)
Longest HR of 2018:
420 feet, June 8 at Rangers
Hardest-hit HR of 2018: 104.7 mph, June 29 at Rays

• Bregman should tell his Derby pitcher to aim high, as he has smacked 17 of his 20 home runs this season off pitches to the middle or upper thirds of the strike zone.

Check out a complete history of the Home Run Derby

• Don't look for Bregman to take an all-fields approach. More than three-quarters of his homers this year (16) have been pulled.

• Bregman has homered three times this season while behind 0-2 in the count. Giancarlo Stanton is the only other player to match that.

Video: HOU@TEX: Bregman clubs solo homer off Fister in 5th

5. Kyle Schwarber (18 HR)
Longest HR of 2018:
439 feet, June 15 at Cardinals
Hardest-hit HR of 2018: 117.1 mph, April 24 at Indians

• Schwarber's 117.1-mph laser beam into the right-field seats at Progressive Field on April 24 set a Cubs record for exit velocity since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015. In fact, Schwarber is responsible for three of the Cubs' four hardest-hit homers and six of their top 11.

• Schwarber is one of seven players to hit a home run at least 117 mph this season, along with Joey Gallo, Judge, Nomar Mazara, Marcell Ozuna, Hanley Ramirez and Stanton.

• Schwarber's average launch angle of 26.3 degrees is the lowest in the field, and he has gone deep four times on balls hit at an angle below 20 degrees. Stanton, Machado and Mazara are the only other players with that many low homers this season.

Video: CHC@CLE: Schwarber ropes solo home run to right field

6. Javier Baez (19 HR)
Longest HR of 2018:
434 feet, April 11 vs. Pirates
Hardest-hit HR of 2018: 111.3 mph, April 17 vs. Cardinals

• Baez's three longest homers of the season came in a two-day span from April 10-11, when he put together consecutive multihomer games against the Pirates. Baez is one of five players this season to go deep multiple times in back-to-back games.

• Although he won't have to face any in the Derby, Baez is one of seven players this season to homer at least eight times against curveballs and sliders.

• With a clock now in play, there is an element of speed to the Derby, and that should be fine with the free-swinging Baez, who doesn't tend to wait around. Fifteen of his 19 homers this season have come within the first three pitches of an at-bat.

Video: PIT@CHC: Baez belts three-run HR as Cubs' pen dances

7. Freddie Freeman (16 HR)
Longest HR of 2018:
426 feet, July 1 at Cardinals
Hardest-hit HR of 2018: 107.9 mph, June 6 at Padres

• Freeman is adept at handling heat -- not that he'll need to during the Derby. His six homers on pitches 97 mph or faster since the start of 2015 tie him for the most in MLB.

• Most Derby contestants try to pull the ball, but perhaps Freeman will spray it around instead. Over the past three seasons, 61.5 percent of his homers have gone to either the opposite field or straightaway. That's the seventh-highest rate among 66 batters with at least 75 total homers during that time.

• Freeman leads all left-handed batters this season with eight home runs against southpaws. Only five right-handed hitters have more.

Video: ATL@STL: Freeman belts towering 2-run homer to right

8. Rhys Hoskins (14 HR)
Longest HR of 2018:
431 feet, May 20 at Cardinals
Hardest-hit HR of 2018: 112 mph, June 16 at Brewers

• Hoskins should be plenty comfortable at Nationals Park, as he has four home runs in 10 career games there over the past two seasons, his most at any road stadium. Hoskins is the only Derby participant other than Harper to have gone deep there multiple times this year.

• Hoskins loves the heat, having smacked 24 of his 32 career big flies off fastballs. No other NL hitter has hit more than 21 homers against fastballs since Hoskins' MLB debut last Aug. 10.

• Hoskins has pulled three-quarters of his home runs in his career and hit just two to the opposite field.

Video: PHI@STL: Hoskins homers into the Phillies' bullpen

All you need to know: Home Run Derby rules

Bracket format
• Single-elimination tournament in which loser of each bracket is eliminated.

Timing
• Four minutes per batter, per round. Timer starts with release of the first pitch.
• A round ends when the timer strikes zero. A home run shall count provided the pitch was released before the timer strikes zero.
• A pitcher cannot throw a pitch until a batted ball has hit the ground, was caught or left the field of play in foul territory.

Bonus time
• Thirty seconds of bonus time awarded for two home runs that each equal or exceed 440 feet.
• Distances will be tracked and posted using MLB Advanced Media's Statcast™ powered by AWS.
• Any bonus time awarded will be added at the end of the initial four-minute round, and the timer will not stop during the bonus time period.

Scoring/Advancement
• Batter with most home runs hit in each matchup will advance to next round.
• Ties in any round will be broken by a 60-second swing-off with no stoppage of time or additional time added; if a tie remains after the swing-off, batters will engage in successive three-swing swing-offs until there is a winner.
• If the second batter hits more than the first batter in any matchup, he will be declared winner and not attempt to hit additional home runs.
• Each batter entitled to one 45-second "time out" in the first round and semifinals. Each batter entitled to two "time outs" in the final round -- a 45-second time out first, and then a 30-second time out.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

Jesus Aguilar, Javier Baez, Alex Bregman, Freddie Freeman, Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Max Muncy, Kyle Schwarber

The 4 most outrageous possible Derby targets

Most home runs end up in places you expect, be it the bleachers or the bullpen or the batter's eye. But every ballpark also has that special spot, the landmark that separates the truly gargantuan dingers from the rest: the warehouse in Baltimore, McCovey Cove in San Francisco, the train tracks in Houston -- hit a ball there, and they'll be telling stories about it for years.

With the T-Mobile Home Run Derby set to take place in the nation's capital on Monday night (8 p.m. ET on ESPN), let's find that spot in Nationals Park.

The Futures Game had 8 homers. Let's rank 'em

he best prospects in baseball gave us a glimpse into the future on Sunday, and we're happy to report that the future is apparently full of dingers. There were a whopping eight homers in Team USA's 10-6 win over Team World in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park, and if you happened to miss any of them, have no fear: In the name of historical documentation, we went ahead and ranked them all.

Philly outslugs KC in Commissioner's Cup

Young players squared off Monday at Nationals Youth Baseball Academy
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- After the Philadelphia Youth Academy's 10-6 win in the Commissioner's Cup championship game Monday afternoon at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, the team huddled together for a photo.

After posing for about five shots, Steve Bandura, who runs the Philadelphia Youth Academy, wanted to savor the moment, so he asked the photographer to send him the picture.

WASHINGTON -- After the Philadelphia Youth Academy's 10-6 win in the Commissioner's Cup championship game Monday afternoon at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, the team huddled together for a photo.

After posing for about five shots, Steve Bandura, who runs the Philadelphia Youth Academy, wanted to savor the moment, so he asked the photographer to send him the picture.

Monday afternoon wasn't Philadelphia's last chance to pose for photos, though. With Philadelphia's victory over the Kansas City Youth Academy in seven innings, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will present the squad with a championship trophy on the field at Nationals Park before the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday night, so Bandura is already brainstorming all the photos and videos his team will take.

• TUNE IN: T-Mobile Home Run Derby (8 ET, ESPN)

The inaugural Commissioner's Cup, which took place throughout this weekend, is a tournament made up of 10 teams for players ages 17 and under from MLB Youth Academies. Philadelphia and Kansas City finished round-robin play with the best records in the National League and American League, respectively, to face off in the title game.

"I've been involved with [Reviving Baseball In Inner Cities, another youth baseball program] since the early '90s, when we started," Bandura said. "This tournament has been one of the best I've been in, with the camaraderie. No trash talking or anything like that. They respect each other as ballplayers. With this much talent, you have to respect each other."

Bandura said the Commissioner's Cup featured more talent than some college showcases he's attended.

Kansas City broke out first Monday with a six-run fifth inning, during which teammates yelled, gave each other chest bumps and chanted "KC!" But Philadelphia responded with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth frame while performing less dramatic celebrations. Many of Philadelphia's batters reached base via walks, but shortstop Jared Sprague-Lott handed his team an 8-6 lead with a two-run single.

Many of Philadelphia's players have known each other through the Academy since they were about 10 years old, so they've come back from large deficits together before. Plus, the players have developed chemistry on the field over the years -- and by eating at some of their favorite restaurants in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia players came out to home plate and congratulated right-hander Jonathan Bautista in the seventh inning, after the 16-year-old hit the game's lone home run, which sailed more than 326 feet, to give Philly a 10-6 lead. Bautista, who said that was his first dinger of the tournament, is the youngest player on Philadelphia's roster.

"It definitely boosted my confidence," Bautista said. "When it went out, my emotions just took over. I was just pumped up and excited because that was just insurance runs."

Those emotions were on display when Bautista closed the seventh inning. He shook his head up-and-down to Cardi B's "I Like It" while warming up before recording the final three outs and pumping his fist.

Sprague-Lott's favorite part of the tournament has been visiting Washington and learning about its culture. The players' most exciting experience is still to come, though.

"Just being on the [Nationals Park] field, hearing everybody loud," Sprague-Lott said. "I'm super excited."

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

O's reportedly "very close" to moving Machado

Dodgers, Phillies, Brewers leading race for O's shortstop
MLB.com

Will Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard be the last time Manny Machado appears in an Orioles uniform? It's certainly possible, as former MLB general manager Jim Bowden reported via Twitter on Monday that the shortstop is expected to be traded before the regular season resumes later this week.

Will Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard be the last time Manny Machado appears in an Orioles uniform? It's certainly possible, as former MLB general manager Jim Bowden reported via Twitter on Monday that the shortstop is expected to be traded before the regular season resumes later this week.

Tweet from @JimBowdenGM: Manny Machado will represent the #Orioles in the All Star Game���.but he is expected to be traded before the regular season resumes later in the week according to sources involved in the trade discussions.

A deal reportedly is "very close," but nothing has been agreed upon yet, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, who notes the Phillies, Dodgers and Brewers all remain involved.

Tweet from @masnRoch: Multiple sources say #orioles don���t have deal done with #phillies for Machado. #dodgers and #brewers also still involved. Told ���very close��� but nothing has been agreed upon yet

Although the situation remains fluid as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, trade talks for the Orioles shortstop are believed to be in the home stretch. According to a tweet from Buster Olney, the O's have narrowed their focus, with a source saying Baltimore is at the "10-yard line" in trade discussions.

Tweet from @Buster_ESPN: Source indicated last Sunday his sense was that the Orioles were at the 35-yard-line and driving in the Machado trade conversations. Same source this Sunday: "10-yard-line." PHI, Brewers, Dodgers waiting for the goal line call. As mentioned yesterday, Orioles have narrowed focus.

Listen: Morning Lineup Podcast discusses the latest on the Machado trade talks

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman tweeted Sunday that the Yankees and Indians were "in but perhaps behind," and that the Brewers had made a "good offer" and appeared to be in the "top tier" with the Phillies and Dodgers.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: 5 teams still in for Machado. brewers have made ���good offer��� and appear to be in top tier with phillies and dodgers. yankees and indians also in but perhaps behind. situation fluid though.

Per previous reports, the Yanks were believed to have submitted one of the strongest offers for Machado, who can become a free agent at the end of this season. But with Miguel Andujar at third base and Didi Gregorius at shortstop, New York has less of a need for Machado than some of the other teams involved in discussions and may be more focused on adding a starting pitcher.

Catch up on the latest Trade Talk

George A. King III of the New York Post initially reported Sunday that the Yankees are unwilling to move any of their top 10 prospects for Machado, and youngsters who have graduated off their prospect list such as Andujar, Gleyber TorresClint Frazier and Tyler Wade are also off the table. However, another source dispelled the notion that New York isn't offering any of its top 10 prospects, King later wrote.

Video: O'Dowd, Nelson discuss the Manny Machado sweepstakes

The Phillies had previously viewed the Orioles' asking price as too high, but MLB.com's Todd Zolecki wrote Saturday that they were ramping up their push for Machado after seizing first place in the National League East within the past week.

While the Phillies remain steadfast in their refusal to deal top prospect Sixto Sanchez (MLB's No. 23 overall prospect, per MLB Pipeline), MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal tweeted Friday that they are open to trading from their starting pitching depth at all levels of the Minors.

According to a tweet from Olney on Saturday, the prospects being evaluated by the O's include pitchers Adonis Medina (Philadelphia's No. 2 prospect, No. 74 overall) and Franklyn Kilome (the Phillies' No. 7 prospect), outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz (the Phils' No. 5 prospect) and middle infielder Arquimedes Gamboa (Philadelphia's No. 8 prospect).

A source told Morosi that the Phillies are more willing to include Medina than the Dodgers are to give up pitcher Dustin May (Los Angeles' No. 10 prospect), which could make the difference as the Orioles weigh their offers.

Video: Lorenzo Cain on Manny Machado trade rumors

Meanwhile, Milwaukee arguably has as much of a need for Machado as any club, with Eric Thames and Ryan Braun on the disabled list, Orlando Arcia in the Minors and Brewers second basemen carrying a collective .663 OPS into Sunday's slate. The Brewers have lost six straight games, allowing the Cubs to pull ahead in the NL Central.

Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.

Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, Manny Machado

Complete HR Derby and All-Star rosters

MLB.com

MLB's top talents are ready to take the spotlight in the nation's capital in two of baseball's most iconic events: tonight's T-Mobile Home Run Derby (8 p.m., ESPN) and the main event, Tuesday's 89th MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard (7:30 p.m ET, FOX).

MLB's top talents are ready to take the spotlight in the nation's capital in two of baseball's most iconic events: tonight's T-Mobile Home Run Derby (8 p.m., ESPN) and the main event, Tuesday's 89th MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard (7:30 p.m ET, FOX).

:: Complete Home Run Derby coverage ::

HOME RUN DERBY
Bracket (left side) 1. Jesus Aguilar, Brewers vs. 8. Rhys Hoskins, Phillies
4. Alex Bregman, Astros vs. 5. Kyle Schwarber, Cubs

Bracket (right side)
2. Bryce Harper, Nationals vs. 7. Freddie Freeman, Braves
3. Max Muncy, Dodgers vs. 6. Javier Baez, Cubs

Rules
The Derby is a single-elimination tournament in which loser of each bracket is eliminated. Each batter gets four minutes per round with 30 seconds of bonus time awarded for two home runs that equal or exceed 440 feet. The batter with the most homers in each matchup advances to the next round, and any ties will be broken by a 60-second swing-off. 

Seeding was determined based on 2018 home run totals entering Wednesday's play. Tiebreakers were determined by home run totals since June 15. Complete Home Run Derby rules >

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

ALL-STAR GAME
Below are the rosters for the All-Star Game. Starters were voted in by fans via the Camping World All-Star Ballot, with the pitchers and reserves selected by the player ballot and MLB. Two additional players were chosen via the Camping World MLB Final Vote.

American League
Starters
C: Salvador Perez, Royals ^ &
1B: Jose Abreu, White Sox
2B: Jose Altuve, Astros
3B: Jose Ramirez, Indians
SS: Manny Machado, Orioles
OF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox
OF: Mike Trout, Angels
OF: Aaron Judge, Yankees
DH: J.D. Martinez, Red Sox

Reserves
C: Yan Gomes, Indians + 
C: Wilson Ramos, Rays =
1B: Mitch Moreland, Red Sox ^
2B: Gleyber Torres, Yankees ^ %
2B: Jed Lowrie, Athletics +
3B Alex Bregman, Astros ^
SS: Francisco Lindor, Indians ^
OF: Michael Brantley, Indians ^
OF: Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers ^
OF: Mitch Haniger, Mariners ^
OF: George Springer, Astros ^
OF: Nelson Cruz, Mariners ^

Pitchers
RHP: Trevor Bauer, Indians *
RHP: Jose Berrios, Twins *
LHP: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees ^ @
RHP: Gerrit Cole, Astros ^
RHP: Edwin Diaz, Mariners ^
LHP: J.A. Happ, Blue Jays *
RHP: Joe Jimenez, Tigers *
RHP: Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox ^
RHP: Corey Kluber, Indians ^ @
RHP: Charlie Morton, Astros +
LHP: Chris Sale, Red Sox ^
RHP: Luis Severino, Yankees ^
LHP: Blake Snell, Rays +
RHP: Blake Treinen, Athletics *
RHP: Justin Verlander, Astros @

Final Vote winner
SS: Jean Segura, Mariners

• Breakdown of each team's All-Star contingent

National League
Starters
C: Willson Contreras, Cubs
1B: Freddie Freeman, Braves
2B: Javier Baez, Cubs
3B: Nolan Arenado, Rockies
SS: Brandon Crawford, Giants
OF: Nick Markakis, Braves
OF: Matt Kemp, Dodgers
OF: Bryce Harper, Nationals

Reserves
C:
Yadier Molina, Cardinals +
C: Buster Posey, Giants ^ %
C: J.T. Realmuto, Marlins *
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs *
1B: Joey Votto, Reds ^
2B: Ozzie Albies, Braves ^
2B: Scooter Gennett, Reds *
3B: Eugenio Suarez, Reds ^
SS: Trevor Story, Rockies ^
OF: Charlie Blackmon, Rockies ^
OF: Lorenzo Cain, Brewers ^
OF: Christian Yelich, Brewers ^

Pitchers
LHP: Patrick Corbin, D-backs *
RHP: Jacob deGrom, Mets ^
LHP: Sean Doolittle, Nationals ^ %
RHP: Mike Foltynewicz, Braves ^
RHP: Zack Greinke, D-backs +
LHP: Josh Hader, Brewers ^
LHP: Brad Hand, Padres ^
RHP: Kenley Jansen, Dodgers *
RHP: Jeremy Jeffress, Brewers +
LHP: Jon Lester, Cubs ^ @
RHP: Miles Mikolas, Cardinals @
RHP: Aaron Nola, Phillies ^
RHP: Max Scherzer, Nationals ^
RHP: Ross Stripling, Dodgers ^
LHP: Felipe Vazquez, Pirates *

Final Vote winner
1B: Jesus Aguilar, Brewers

^ Player Ballot-elected
* Choice of MLB
@ Inactive 
% Injured
= Elected as starter, missing game due to injury
& Selected as reserve, will start as injury replacement
+ Replacement