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Trade Talk

Harper and Machado in Philly in '19? Why not?

MLB.com

Will Bryce Harper or Manny Machado end up in Philadelphia next season? Why not both?

According to a report from Fancred's Jon Heyman on Friday, multiple rival executives think the Phillies might be able to land both of the biggest superstar free agents on the market this offseason.

Will Bryce Harper or Manny Machado end up in Philadelphia next season? Why not both?

According to a report from Fancred's Jon Heyman on Friday, multiple rival executives think the Phillies might be able to land both of the biggest superstar free agents on the market this offseason.

Philadelphia has come up plenty of times as a potential destination for Harper and Machado. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki has previously reported that Philadelphia will target both players when they hit free agency after this season, and that the club could sign both.

Making such a big splash would certainly make the Phillies a favorite to contend for a playoff spot in the National League East in 2019. The team's rebuild has accelerated faster than expected -- the Phils entered Friday 74-71 and in second place in the division -- and Harper and Machado are two of the top position players in the game. Adding either one, let alone both, could be the difference-making piece for a postseason push.

The Phillies have shown they're willing to spend in the offseason, having brought in big-ticket free agents Jake Arrieta and Carlos Santana this past offseason to complement their core of homegrown young stars like Aaron Nola and Rhys Hoskins. Even with the deals they handed out to Arrieta and Santana, the Phils still have a relatively low payroll and plenty of room to add another marquee player or two entering 2019.

The 25-year-old Harper is hitting .247/.388/.503 with 33 home runs and 94 RBIs for the Nationals this season. Machado, who's 26, is hitting .302/.374/.545 with 34 homers and 93 RBIs between the Orioles and Dodgers.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Philadelphia Phillies, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado

Trade Talk: All the moves before the deadline

MLB.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glossary: Trade Waivers & Aug. 31 'Deadline'

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

Yankees officially land McCutchen
Aug. 31: The Yankees have officially acquired outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Giants for a pair of Minor League prospects.

With Aaron Judge still recovering from a fractured right wrist, New York adds a veteran outfield bat to the lineup in McCutchen, who is hitting .255/.357/.415 with 16 home runs and 13 steals this season.

In exchange for McCutchen, the Yankees are sending No. 23 prospect Abiatal Avelino, a 23-year-old infielder slashing .287/.333/.446 with 15 homers in 123 games between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre in 2018, and Class A short-season pitcher Juan DePaula to San Francisco. More >

Video: Aaron Boone on what Andrew McCutchen adds to Yankees

Donaldson traded to Indians
Aug. 31: Star third baseman Josh Donaldson has been traded from the Blue Jays to the Indians, a source has confirmed to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. Donaldson cleared revocable waivers earlier in the day, making him free to be traded to any of the other 29 teams, as MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported.

The 32-year-old has been limited to 36 Major League games this season by injuries, most notably a calf issue that kept him out of game action for three months. Donaldson, who is set to become a free agent this winter, has posted his worst OPS (.757) since 2012. In 2017, the three-time All-Star and former American League Most Valuable Player posted a .944 OPS with 33 homers in 113 games for Toronto.

The Indians have AL MVP candidate Jose Ramirez at third base, but Ramirez could be moved to second and current second baseman Jason Kipnis, who has struggled at the plate (.690 OPS), could be moved to a bench role. More >

Video: Antonetti discusses acquisition of Donaldson

Brewers acquire Gio Gonzalez, Granderson
Aug. 31: The Brewers and Nationals agreed to a deal that will send Gonzalez to Milwaukee in exchange for two Minor League prospects, catcher/first baseman KJ Harrison and infielder Gilbert Lara. With Jimmy Nelson not likely to pitch again for the Brewers this season, and the club making a push to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011, Gonzalez joins a rotation featuring Chase Anderson, Jhoulys Chacin, Junior Guerra and Wade Miley. 

In 27 starts this season for Washington, Gonzalez has a 4.57 ERA. In 2017, he posted a 2.96 ERA over 32 starts and finished sixth in NL Cy Young Award voting.

Milwaukee wasn't done adding, however, also acquiring veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson from the Blue Jays and lefty reliever Xavier Cedeno from the White Sox for two other prospects, outfielder Bryan Connell and right-hander Johan Dominguez. Granderson, 37, hit .243/.340/.429 with 11 home runs in 103 games for the Blue Jays this season, his 15th in the Majors. While Milwaukee's outfield is set with Ryan Braun, Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain, Granderson could provide a veteran bat off the bench. More >

Video: MIL@WSH: Gonzalez talks about trade to Brewers

Dodgers acquire Madson, Freese
Aug. 31: The Dodgers have acquired right-hander Ryan Madson from the Nationals, completing a trade for the reliever after claiming him off waivers earlier this week.

Los Angeles was in great need of some bullpen help, with a number of relievers on the disabled list and Kenley Jansen struggling since he returned from nearly two weeks off due to an irregular heartbeat.

Madson, 38, has an unimpressive 5.28 ERA in 49 appearances for Washington this season, his 13th in the Majors. However, the right-hander has extensive postseason experience and a pair of World Series rings. He's also just one season removed from posting a 1.83 ERA.

Just prior to Friday's deadline to add players to rosters for postseason eligibility, the Dodgers also acquired veteran infielder David Freese from the Pirates in exchange for Minor League infielder Jesus Manuel Valdez. Freese has extensive postseason experience from his time with the Cardinals, including performances in 2011 that earned him the NLCS and World Series MVP awards. In 94 games for Pittsburgh this season, he hit .282/.336/.444 with nine homers. More >

Video: ARI@LAD: Roberts on Dodgers acquiring Freese

Yankees acquire Hechavarria from Pirates
Aug. 31: The Yankees bolstered their middle infield depth by adding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from the Pirates in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. Hechavarria, who was traded from the Rays to the Pirates earlier this season, is hitting .254/.287/.342 in 76 games (61 with Tampa Bay, 15 with Pittsburgh). More >

A's add Gearrin
Aug. 31: The A's added to an already deep bullpen by acquiring reliever Cory Gearrin in a trade with the Rangers, sending Minor League pitchers Abdiel Mendoza and Teodoro Ortega to Texas. Gearrin has a 3.51 ERA in 56 appearances between the Giants (35) and the Rangers (21) this season. He is the latest relief pitcher acquisition in a long line of them for Oakland this year, including Jeurys Familia, Fernando Rodney and Shawn Kelley. More >

Garcia nearing deal with Cubs
Aug. 31: The first-place Cubs appear close to adding another veteran arm to their bullpen mix for the stretch run, as MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reports southpaw Jaime Garcia is likely to sign with Chicago on a Minor League deal. The Cubs, whose 40-man roster is currently full, have not confirmed Garcia's signing.

The Cubs made a similar move in July when they traded Minor League pitcher Tyler Thomas to the Rangers in exchange for right-hander Jesse Chavez, though Garcia figures to serve as a situational lefty should he eventually get a callup to the big league roster. Though the Blue Jays formally released Garcia on Wednesday amid a tough season, the veteran has held left-handed hitters to a .188 average -- a skill that could prove useful to Chicago down the stretch.

Overall, the 32-year old Garcia is 3-6 with a 5.93 ERA in 2018, with 13 starts and 12 appearances out of the bullpen.

Braves acquire Rivera from Angels, Duda from Royals
Aug. 29: The Braves made a pair of moves to improve the fringes of their roster Wednesday, acquiring catcher Rene Rivera from the Angels on a waiver claim and first baseman Lucas Duda from the Royals for cash considerations.

This is the second straight year that Rivera and Duda have changed teams during the season, as they were teammates with the Mets before Duda was traded to the Rays last July and Rivera was claimed off waivers by the Cubs the following month.

Rivera, 35, recently returned from the disabled list after missing nearly three months with right knee inflammation. He has posted a .244/.287/.439 slash line with four homers and 11 RBIs over 87 plate appearances in 2018.

Rivera doesn't figure to see a great deal of playing time down the stretch, as he is joining a Braves club that already has a productive catching tandem in Tyler Flowers, who signed a contract extension Tuesday, and Kurt Suzuki.

As for Duda, the 32-year-old has posted a .242 average with 13 homers over 341 plate appearances this season. With Freddie Freeman entrenched at first base, the left-handed-swinging Duda will likely contribute primarily as a pinch-hitter. The slugger has some experience as an outfielder, but he hasn't started out there since 2013.

Video: Duda discusses being traded to the Braves

Phillies acquire Bautista from Mets
Aug. 28: The Phillies added another bench bat for their postseason push with the acquisition of Jose Bautista from the Mets on Tuesday for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman previously reported that the Mets weren't willing to let Bautista go on waivers for nothing, as the club didn't have much financial incentive to do so due to the 37-year-old's reasonable salary, which is a prorated portion of the league minimum. The veteran slugger has amassed 302 plate appearances since joining the Mets in May, hitting just .204 but posting a solid .351 on-base percentage with nine homers.

Bautista is the Phillies' second bench acquisition following the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, as Philadelphia traded for Justin Bour on Aug. 10 after claiming the first baseman off waivers from the Marlins. Bautista offers a veteran right-handed complement to the lefty-hitting Bour, though Bour is currently on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.

The Phillies are the third National League East team Bautista will play for this season, as he signed with the Braves in April and appeared in 12 games before being released. More >

Video: MLB Tonight panel on Phillies acquiring Bautista

Yankees add another MVP, trade for Cutch

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- For the second time in nine months, the Yankees have added a former National League MVP Award winner to their lineup. This time it is Andrew McCutchen, who was acquired from the Giants with cash considerations ($1.2 million) on Friday morning.

Trade Talk: The latest before the deadline

NEW YORK -- For the second time in nine months, the Yankees have added a former National League MVP Award winner to their lineup. This time it is Andrew McCutchen, who was acquired from the Giants with cash considerations ($1.2 million) on Friday morning.

Trade Talk: The latest before the deadline

New York sent a pair of Minor League prospects to San Francisco for the 31-year-old McCutchen, who is expected to don the pinstripes for Saturday's 4:05 p.m. ET matinee against the Tigers. McCutchen has shaved his beard and said that he is ready to help the Yanks, who have been without Aaron Judge since July 26 due to Judge's fractured right wrist.

Video: Sherman discusses Yankees acquiring Andrew McCutchen

"I talked to him this morning, and he's super excited," said Neil Walker, a teammate of McCutchen's with the Pirates. "He's a guy who holds himself to a very high standard. He's always accountable, and he thrives in big situations and the spotlight. He proved that in Pittsburgh. I think it's going to carry over into this stretch for us."

Tweet from @Cut4: Who is he? pic.twitter.com/F8XbhaVSf5

As his club closes in on a postseason berth, general manager Brian Cashman agreed to part with infielder Abiatal Avelino and right-hander Juan De Paula. Avelino was rated as the Yankees' No. 23 prospect by MLB Pipeline, while De Paula slotted in at No. 26.

The price was acceptable, because McCutchen figures to bolster a lineup that has largely been anchored by reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton in Judge's absence. McCutchen batted .255/.357/.415 with 28 doubles, two triples, 15 homers and 55 RBIs in 130 games for San Francisco.

Video: Aaron Boone on what Andrew McCutchen adds to Yankees

"We're getting a really good player, so I think that's exciting for us," manager Aaron Boone said. "I'm just looking to him getting here tomorrow and hopefully putting him in the lineup and seeing him help us. I think his reputation precedes him. This is as high character a person as we have in our game, and I know he'll fit well in our room."

Boone may use McCutchen as a leadoff hitter, particularly against left-handed pitching. McCutchen's 73 walks were tied for seventh most in the NL, and McCutchen has stolen 13 bases in 19 attempts.

"He's definitely a leadoff option for us, but you could also see him hitting third, fourth, fifth, sixth for us as well," Boone said. "We'll just see where we're at on a day-to-day basis, see who we're facing on that day, all those things. But I would say yeah, he's definitely a leadoff option for us."

With the Giants picking up part of the approximately $2.5 million that McCutchen is due through the end of the season, the Yankees are still able to keep payroll under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold. The right-handed-hitting McCutchen is earning $14.75 million this year.

This was McCutchen's first year in San Francisco after being traded in January following nine seasons with Pittsburgh, a stint that included the NL MVP Award in 2013, as well as three other top-five finishes.

A four-time NL Silver Slugger winner (2012-15), McCutchen also won a Gold Glove Award in 2012. The native of Fort Meade, Fla., has played all but one of his games in right field this season, committing just two errors in 255 total chances (.992).

"Any time you're adding a player of Andrew's caliber, regardless of what his numbers look like, he's going to be able to help," Walker said. "He's going to be able to contribute. He's been around a long time, and he's not a guy that gets too high or too low with ups and downs. He's not too worried about the spotlight or whatever the case may be."

Avelino, 23, combined to hit .287 with 15 homers and 66 RBIs in 123 games between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 20-year-old De Paula was 2-2 with a 1.71 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 10 games (nine starts) with Class A Short-Season Staten Island.

Although the Yankees showed interest in McCutchen prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, no deal was close, as the Yankees continued to believe that Judge would soon return. Instead, New York moved to bolster its pitching staff by adding J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn in separate trades; both have contributed.

However, Judge's recovery has been slower than expected -- he said this week that his pain is still at a "four" out of 10 -- and the outfield has been exposed in the interim.

With Shane Robinson and Walker clocking regular duty since Judge went on the DL, Yanks right fielders have ranked near the bottom of the Majors in batting average (.179, last), slugging percentage (.299, 29th) and on-base percentage (.252, 29th). Brett Gardner has also slumped in August.

"I think this [McCutchen trade] is something that just really helps us in the here and now," Boone said. "And even when Aaron comes back, it's another really good player to give us options to match up things how we want to and just bring another really good player in the fold."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.

New York Yankees, Andrew McCutchen

Donaldson HRs in rehab game as clock ticks

MLB.com

TORONTO -- The saga surrounding Josh Donaldson took yet another turn on Thursday afternoon when the three-time All Star homered in his first at-bat during a rehab game for Class A Advanced Dunedin.

Donaldson's solo shot to left-center field came approximately 24 hours after it was revealed that he was not available to play on Wednesday because of soreness in his legs. Dunedin's game that night was postponed, but Donaldson was not scheduled to start even if rain was not a factor.

TORONTO -- The saga surrounding Josh Donaldson took yet another turn on Thursday afternoon when the three-time All Star homered in his first at-bat during a rehab game for Class A Advanced Dunedin.

Donaldson's solo shot to left-center field came approximately 24 hours after it was revealed that he was not available to play on Wednesday because of soreness in his legs. Dunedin's game that night was postponed, but Donaldson was not scheduled to start even if rain was not a factor.

The 32-year-old began a rehab assignment with Dunedin on Tuesday night and went 1-for-2 with a walk. He resumed his rehab on Thursday and went 1-for-3 while playing six innings at third base in the first game of a doubleheader. Donaldson grounded out to third base in his second at-bat and flied out to the warning track in right field during his third.

In the field, Donaldson was charged with a fielding error and caught a popup. He has been out since May 28 with what the club has called a strained left calf muscle, but he could possibly be nearing a return.

It's believed that the Blue Jays are hoping to move Donaldson to another team before the end of the week. Teams have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday to acquire players and have them eligible for the postseason. That still might be able to happen with Donaldson, but his health, or lack thereof, will be a major sticking point.

According to a source, there are three criteria for trading a player who is about to be removed from the disabled list:

1. The player has served the minimum amount of DL time and is eligible to be reinstated.
2. The club trading the player in question certifies that he is healthy.
3. The player will be active on the Major League roster immediately upon joining his new team.

The only way Donaldson can be traded is for the Blue Jays to confirm that he is healthy, and for Major League Baseball's medical director to confirm that is the case along with the medical staff of whatever team he goes to. It's still unclear whether Donaldson would pass any of those tests one day away from the postseason roster deadline.

If Donaldson is claimed on waivers, the Blue Jays will have three options at their disposal:

1. Work out a standard trade with the claiming club within 48 hours.
2. Allow Donaldson -- and all money remaining on his contract -- to go to the claiming club with no return.
3. Pull Donaldson back off waivers.

The issue is Donaldson has to be healthy in order for any of that to happen, and it's unclear whether that will be the case by Friday night.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson

Rangers open to more moves before Friday

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers made a flurry of trades leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Deadline and are still exploring the possibility of doing more before Friday.

Friday is the deadline for teams to acquire a player and have him still be eligible for the postseason roster. Players first must either clear waivers or be traded to the team that claimed him off waivers. Players can be pulled back from a waiver claim if a deal can't be worked out.

View Full Game Coverage

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers made a flurry of trades leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Deadline and are still exploring the possibility of doing more before Friday.

Friday is the deadline for teams to acquire a player and have him still be eligible for the postseason roster. Players first must either clear waivers or be traded to the team that claimed him off waivers. Players can be pulled back from a waiver claim if a deal can't be worked out.

View Full Game Coverage

"Nothing has changed really," general manager Jon Daniels said. "I've had a couple of conversations but don't expect anything at this point."

The Rangers made four trades in July that sent pitchers Cole Hamels and Jesse Chavez to the Cubs, Keone Kela to the Pirates and Jake Diekman to the D-backs, getting a total of eight players in return.

Clubs do not reveal which players have cleared waivers. But the Rangers have had enough players clear to give Daniels something to talk about with other clubs. Third baseman Adrian Beltre has dealt with trade speculation all summer, but he is dealing with a strained left hamstring that has all but totally eliminated the possibility.

"I know when we were on the other side, sometimes it's better for contending clubs to add on Aug. 31," Daniels said. "The guy doesn't have to show up until the next day and you don't have to make a roster move. You never know. Somebody might get an injury late and something might come up. We'll see."

Rangers consider Rays' pitching ploy
As the Rangers mull their pitching options for September, manager Jeff Banister admitted he is intrigued with a pitching concept used by the Rays this season.

The Rays have occasionally been using their top relievers in the first one or two innings of a game to get through the top part of a lineup. Once that pitcher is done, the Rays bring in the traditional "starter" to pitch multiple innings behind him.

Veteran Sergio Romo, who has 628 career relief appearances and leads the Rays with 18 saves, has started five games in that manner. They are the first starts of his career.

"There is the intriguing part of what some other teams have been doing that have shown some success and could possibly be part of, or some form of the future of how pitchers are deployed," Banister said. "Tampa has shown a system that does allow -- what are starters -- multi-inning guys that have the ability to maneuver through a set of hitters that prolong their stay into the game deeper by using an opener, if you will, whether it's a one-inning or two-inning set for the first guy.

"That's intriguing. That doesn't say that right now that the personnel is exactly the same [as Tampa Bay's], but it's the look of it, and how that works. Before we say it's something that we wouldn't do, it's something that we'd like to be able to take a look at and see what the benefits are."

Banister said Chris Martin would be a good candidate to fill that role while saving Jose Leclerc and Cory Gearrin for the back of the bullpen.

Rangers beat 
• The Rangers are still undecided on their rotation beyond Drew Hutchison pitching against the Twins on Friday. But there is a possibility Bartolo Colon could come off the disabled list on Saturday and start that game.

• Banister said the Rangers won't be experimenting in September when they play the Athletics and the Mariners. Those are the two teams on their September schedule that still have a chance for postseason.

"You want to be able to competitively go out and be the best that you are," Banister said. "You still want to make sure that those games are played in a way that [is competitive]."

• Class A Hickory left-handed reliever Demarcus Evans has been selected to the South Atlantic League Postseason All-Star team. He is 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA and nine saves over 34 relief appearances.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers

Twins 'going to listen' to Aug. 31 trade offers

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- Despite having already traded veterans Eduardo Escobar, Ryan Pressly, Zach Duke, Lance Lynn, Brian Dozier and Fernando Rodney since late July, Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said he'll continue to listen to trade offers up until the Aug. 31 deadline from teams wishing to acquire a player who can be active for the postseason.

The Twins don't have much in the way of trade candidates left, however, as right-hander Ervin Santana is out indefinitely with another setback to his surgically repaired finger and first baseman Joe Mauer has a full no-trade clause. The only impending free agent who could be moved is infielder Logan Forsythe, who was acquired from the Dodgers in the Dozier trade. Forsythe has played well since joining the Twins and cleared waivers earlier this month, meaning he can be traded to any team.

View Full Game Coverage

CLEVELAND -- Despite having already traded veterans Eduardo Escobar, Ryan Pressly, Zach Duke, Lance Lynn, Brian Dozier and Fernando Rodney since late July, Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said he'll continue to listen to trade offers up until the Aug. 31 deadline from teams wishing to acquire a player who can be active for the postseason.

The Twins don't have much in the way of trade candidates left, however, as right-hander Ervin Santana is out indefinitely with another setback to his surgically repaired finger and first baseman Joe Mauer has a full no-trade clause. The only impending free agent who could be moved is infielder Logan Forsythe, who was acquired from the Dodgers in the Dozier trade. Forsythe has played well since joining the Twins and cleared waivers earlier this month, meaning he can be traded to any team.

View Full Game Coverage

"I do think the reality is, just like July 31 is an active day in terms of deadlines for decisions, I wouldn't be shocked if there's a lot of conversations around baseball over those final 24 hours," Falvey said of Friday's deadline. "I would think there would be a possibility of that. We're going to listen if teams call. I just think right now it's more likely than not you'll have a conversation about somebody, and that's been my history on every Aug. 31, honestly."

Video: DET@MIN: Forsythe lines ground-rule double to score 2

Complicating things for the Twins is they don't have much in the way of position-player depth available as potential September callups, so keeping Forsythe down the stretch could make sense. The only healthy position players on the 40-man roster not currently on the 25-man roster are outfielders Byron Buxton, Johnny Field and Zack Granite. Top middle-infield prospect Nick Gordon, the No. 72 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline, has struggled offensively at Triple-A Rochester and isn't expected to be added to the 40-man roster and recalled.

Buxton is hitting .386/.413/.659 over 10 games at Rochester in August, but Falvey and Twins manager Paul Molitor said nothing has been officially decided on Buxton's status. They could decide to let him get fully healthy over the final month, but he's playing so well it could help his confidence for next year if he can carry over his recent success into the Majors in September.

"We're taking the long-term view about our players," Falvey said. "Any player we bring up, we're thinking about what's the benefit to the September experience -- whether it's hitting, pitching, defense or an opportunity that's here in terms of at-bats and playing time. … Our focus should exclusively be what we think is the best for Byron long term, and that's where it's going to be."

As a result of the roster construction, Molitor said he expects most of the September callups to be pitchers, coming in waves on Saturday, when rosters expand, and then again on Tuesday, a day after the Triple-A season ends.

"We're getting closer to being convinced that the six-man rotation, in some shape or form, will be the way to go," Molitor said. "The fact is that our bullpen, even though we've had a large number out there all year, I would like to have the protection for a couple more arms out there, too."

One September callup that was leaked by Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire is his son, Toby, who will join Minnesota's coaching staff for a short spell down the stretch. Toby Gardenhire guided Class A Cedar Rapids to the postseason in his first year as manager and is one of several Minor League coaches who will be cycled in next month.

"Gardy got a little ahead of that one," Falvey said with a laugh. "I've found that that experience is so beneficial for young coaches that haven't been up here before. It's maybe more beneficial to them than it is for the Major League staff to have an extra body around. So I want to make sure we give that opportunity to a few different guys."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins

9 players who could be traded by Friday night

MLB.com

With a few days remaining until the calendar turns to September, baseball's next deadline is rapidly approaching.

Unlike its July 31 predecessor, Friday night at midnight ET does not present a trade deadline, as teams may continue making deals through the end of the season -- provided they have either cleared revocable trade waivers or are being dealt to the team that was awarded a claim on the player in question.

With a few days remaining until the calendar turns to September, baseball's next deadline is rapidly approaching.

Unlike its July 31 predecessor, Friday night at midnight ET does not present a trade deadline, as teams may continue making deals through the end of the season -- provided they have either cleared revocable trade waivers or are being dealt to the team that was awarded a claim on the player in question.

Glossary: Trade waivers & Aug. 31 deadline

Friday marks a "roster deadline" of sorts, as any player acquired after Sept. 1 is not eligible to be on a club's postseason roster. The most notable recent late-August addition was Justin Verlander, who was traded from the Tigers to the Astros with just minutes -- some say it was even seconds -- to spare on the clock.

Latest Trade Talk

Will one of this season's contenders bolster their roster in the final hours of August, giving them a better chance to reach the postseason or succeed deep into October once they get there?

Here are some names to watch between now and Friday night. All players listed have reportedly already cleared trade waivers, with the exception of Josh Donaldson, who started a rehab assignment this week and is widely expected to clear before Friday.

Donaldson, 3B, age 32
Donaldson hasn't played since May 28 thanks to a left calf injury, but he's slated to start a rehab assignment this week, setting him up for a September return. With a relatively steep $4.5 million still coming his way this season, the 2015 American League MVP Award winner would be the ultimate risk/reward scenario for any contender. But given his history on the field, Donaldson may be the most impactful player available in the coming days.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

Video: TEX@SF: McCutchen leads off with a 422-foot home run

Andrew McCutchen, OF, age 31
While the veteran outfielder hasn't come close to replicating his 2013 National League MVP Award-winning numbers, McCutchen has been a solid performer throughout the season for the Giants. San Francisco owes him a little less than $3 million over the final month, a sum it might be willing to send some of his salary back in a deal in exchange for a prospect of any value. A move to a contender could energize McCutchen.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

Video: WSH@NYM: Gonzalez limits Mets to 1 run over 7 frames

Gio Gonzalez, LHP, age 32
The Nationals have already been sellers this month with the trades of Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams, but general manager Mike Rizzo may not be done. Gonzalez appears to be the most likely of the remaining players to be dealt by Washington, which owes the lefty about $2.4 million. Gonzalez has three outstanding starts since the All-Star break, allowing one earned run over seven innings in each of those games. Unfortunately, the other four starts since the break have seen him allow 23 combined runs over 18 innings. It's difficult to imagine a team trusting Gonzalez in a postseason start, but a contender dealing with rotation injuries (the Red Sox? Indians?) could do worse for a September fill-in.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

Video: MIN@CWS: Forsythe plates Kepler with a single to left

Logan Forsythe, 2B, age 31
Forsythe was having a terrible season when he was shipped from Los Angeles to Minnesota as part of the Brian Dozier deal, but the veteran has shown signs of rebounding since joining the Twins. Forsythe is hitting .326/.402/.372 with nine RBIs in 24 games since the trade, and with only about $1.7 million left on his contract, a contender in need of middle-infield help could take a chance on him.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

Video: TOR@NYY: Granderson doubles, advances on an error

Curtis Granderson, OF, age 37
Granderson has driven in a run in only two of his past 22 games, while his strikeout-to-walk ratio is about 2.5-to-1 during that stretch. Many thought the Yankees might have interest in the veteran as a fill-in for the injured Aaron Judge, but New York seems content with its current replacements, taking his former club out of the equation. Granderson, who was an August acquisition by the Dodgers a year ago, is owed about $1 million.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

Video: CHC@DET: Liriano induces key double play in the 5th

Francisco Liriano, LHP, age 34
Liriano has had a tough year with the Tigers, posting a 4.82 ERA and a 1.519 WHIP in 21 outings. But the southpaw has been excellent against left-handed hitters, holding them to a .138/.233/.225 slash line. Liriano is owed about $800,000 this season, a modest amount for a contender looking for left-on-left bullpen help.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

Video: CLE@KC: Duda lifts a 2-run homer to right

Lucas Duda, 1B, age 32
Duda has been effective since the All-Star break, hitting six homers with 22 RBIs and a .784 OPS in his past 30 games. Duda has crushed right-handed pitching this season, his .814 OPS bettering his mark against lefties (.513) by more than 300 points. Duda is owed about $700,000 this season, making him a reasonable option for a team seeking left-handed pop off the bench.
Contract: Free agent this offseason

Video: NYY@BAL: Cashner gets Hicks swinging to end top 7th

Andrew Cashner, RHP, age 31
Since he gave up 10 runs in 1 2/3 innings against the Rangers on Aug. 2, Cashner has pitched well for the Orioles, posting a 3.67 ERA over his past four starts. Given the dearth of available starting pitching, he could be an attractive option for any team in need of an arm every five days. The right-hander is owed about $1 million for the rest of this season and is inked through 2019 at a reasonable price. The Orioles also passed Alex Cobb through waivers, though he's owed $43 million over the next three years, making it far more unlikely he will be moved.
Contract: Signed for $8 million in 2019 ($10 million club option for '20)

Video: BAL@TOR: Smoak ropes a solo home run to left field

Justin Smoak, 1B, age 31
It was interesting that Smoak cleared waivers given his moderate salary (he's owed about $825,000 this season) and team-friendly $6 million club option for 2019. Smoak has 20 home runs and an .813 OPS this season, so while he hasn't matched his breakout 2017 campaign, he's been well worth the money for Toronto. Unless a team is willing to part with a legitimate prospect or two, it's difficult to imagine the Blue Jays trading their first baseman this month.
Contract: $6 million club option for 2019

Mark Feinsand, executive reporter for MLB.com, has covered the Yankees and MLB since 2001 for the New York Daily News and MLB.com.

Andrew Cashner, Josh Donaldson, Lucas Duda, Logan Forsythe, Gio Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson, Francisco Liriano, Andrew McCutchen, Justin Smoak

Luhnow sees no need for waiver deal this year

Astros GM likes roster's makeup leading up to Aug. 31 deadline
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Don't look for the Astros to pull off another major trade prior to the Aug. 31 playoff roster deadline the way they did last year, when they acquired Justin Verlander from the Tigers in the minutes leading up to the deadline.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Tuesday the club has claimed many players on waivers, which is standard practice this time of year, but that other teams have pulled the player back or the Astros haven't been able to work out a trade. Luhnow said the Astros feel good about their chances in October without making any additional roster additions.

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HOUSTON -- Don't look for the Astros to pull off another major trade prior to the Aug. 31 playoff roster deadline the way they did last year, when they acquired Justin Verlander from the Tigers in the minutes leading up to the deadline.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Tuesday the club has claimed many players on waivers, which is standard practice this time of year, but that other teams have pulled the player back or the Astros haven't been able to work out a trade. Luhnow said the Astros feel good about their chances in October without making any additional roster additions.

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"Last year at this time, there was a clear opportunity to improve the team by bringing in an elite starting pitcher," he said. "There's no clear missing piece on this team this year. It doesn't mean there's not a potential move out there that could happen in the next few days that could upgrade our team. I'll be satisfied if we don't do anything, but it doesn't mean we don't continue to look for things.

"Like with most deadlines, a lot of activity happens in the day or waning hours or even waning minutes of the deadline, so we'll have to wait and see what happens. I feel really good about our 25-man roster, plus our injured players that are coming back, as well as the Minor League players we could potentially promote."

To be eligible for the postseason roster, players need to be on a team's 40-man roster, the 60-day DL, or the bereavement/family medical emergency list by Aug. 31, which is Friday. Any player who clears waivers is free to be traded to any team, which is what happened to Verlander last year.

"We'd have to be convinced that whoever we acquire is going to be an upgrade over one of the guys that's likely to be in the lineup going forward," Luhnow said.

Here's how Astros landed Verlander last August

McCann likely activated Saturday
Veteran catcher Brian McCann, who had surgery on his right knee in early July to repair a torn meniscus, rejoined his teammates Tuesday in Houston after going 4-for-22 with a home run and three walks during a Minor League rehab assignment. It's expected the Astros will activate him Saturday, which is the first day rosters can be expanded for the final month of the season.

"I got some really good work in," he said. "My knee feels better than it has in three years probably. To have the stability that I have, just showed me it was the right decision to make. I got to the point I was collapsing my front side. I couldn't be a productive Major Leaguer, so it was nice to come back and know that my knee's healthy and I can make an athletic move on it."

McCann, 34, was hitting .206 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 155 at-bats for the Astros through June 30, including .119 (8-for-67) with two homers in his final 67 at-bats before going on the DL.

"I can attack baseballs again," he said. "It was really hard for me to keep my weight balanced to where I can hit certain pitches and sit fastball and hit the changeup and vice versa."

Outfielder Jake Marisnick (left groin) and right-handed reliever Chris Devenski (left hamstring) are also expected to be activated Saturday from the DL.

Whitley on DL with lat strain
Luhnow said Monday he expects top prospect Forrest Whitley -- ranked as the No. 7 prospect overall by MLB Pipeline -- to pitch again this season despite being placed on the disabled list Tuesday (retroactive to Aug. 25) with a right lat strain. He was on the DL earlier this year with a right oblique strain after missing the first 50 games of the season for a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Whitley, who owns a 3.76 ERA and 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings over eight starts at Double-A, was scratched from his start on Friday due to right lat discomfort as a precaution. The Astros had hoped Whitley would reach the Majors this year, but that won't happen.

"He's young and a lot of young pitchers, especially in the Minor Leagues, have seasons like that where some combination of events, they don't get as much done as they'd like to," Luhnow said. "We still have a chance to make up for it, though, playing some fall ball and so forth.

"For him, the focus is getting in a position he can come to camp next year and impress AJ [Hinch] and the staff and everybody else and put himself in position to be a reasonable option at some point next year. That's the goal with him and I think he certainly can accomplish that."

Whitley, the team's first-round pick in 2016, is a candidate to pitch in the Arizona Fall League in October or get in more work during the instructional league after the season ends.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Houston Astros

Nats drawing interest in possible deal for Gio

MLB.com

The Nationals have traded Daniel Murphy, Matt Adams, Shawn Kelley and Brandon Kintzler over the past month, and sources say at least one more move is expected before Friday night's deadline to set postseason rosters.

Left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez -- a free agent after this season -- has drawn interest from multiple teams in recent days, sources said. Gonzalez has cleared trade waivers and is eligible to be dealt to any Major League team, as first reported by Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post.

The Nationals have traded Daniel Murphy, Matt Adams, Shawn Kelley and Brandon Kintzler over the past month, and sources say at least one more move is expected before Friday night's deadline to set postseason rosters.

Left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez -- a free agent after this season -- has drawn interest from multiple teams in recent days, sources said. Gonzalez has cleared trade waivers and is eligible to be dealt to any Major League team, as first reported by Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post.

Trade waivers and Aug. 31 deadline

According to one source, the Nats also have received recent interest in veteran reliever Ryan Madson, who returned from the disabled list Monday and has surrendered at least an earned run in three consecutive outings.

Gonzalez, 32, could fit with teams that have prominent starters on the disabled list, such as the Red Sox, Indians or Brewers. He holds particular appeal to teams with head-to-head games against the Dodgers or Phillies -- in the regular season or possibly the playoffs -- because both teams rank in the bottom half of the Majors in OPS against left-handed pitchers.

Gonzalez has started six games across four postseasons with the Nationals. However, he did not record an out in the sixth inning or later in any of them, largely because he has issued 19 walks in 26 1/3 playoff innings. Gonzalez started (and received no-decisions) in games that eliminated the Nats from the 2012, '14 and '17 postseasons.

Gonzalez is earning $12 million in the final season of his contract, meaning he's owed roughly $2 million over the balance of the year. He's been slightly below league-average this season by ERA+, meaning it's far from assured that the Nationals would extend him a one-year qualifying offer for 2019. Last year, the value of a qualifying offer was $17.4 million.

The Nationals will be especially motivated to trade Gonzalez this week if they do not plan to offer him a 2019 contract, since the qualifying offer is the only mechanism through which the Nats receive Draft-pick compensation if and when he signs with another team.

Jon Paul Morosi is a reporter for MLB.com and MLB Network. He has also covered baseball for FOX Sports, the Detroit Free Press, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Washington Nationals

Phils claim Bautista, working on deal with Mets

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The Mets are working on a trade of outfielder Jose Bautista to the Phillies after Philadelphia claimed him on Monday on revocable waivers, a source confirmed. The clubs have until Tuesday to work out a deal.

Bautista, 37, is batting .207 with nine home runs and a .724 OPS in 82 games since the Mets signed him to a prorated minimum contract in May. Although Bautista has helped the club patch together lineups on a daily basis, playing five positions, he is a pending free agent unlikely to return to New York. That gives the Mets little incentive to keep him as they look to give as many at-bats as possible to their younger players down the stretch.

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CHICAGO -- The Mets are working on a trade of outfielder Jose Bautista to the Phillies after Philadelphia claimed him on Monday on revocable waivers, a source confirmed. The clubs have until Tuesday to work out a deal.

Bautista, 37, is batting .207 with nine home runs and a .724 OPS in 82 games since the Mets signed him to a prorated minimum contract in May. Although Bautista has helped the club patch together lineups on a daily basis, playing five positions, he is a pending free agent unlikely to return to New York. That gives the Mets little incentive to keep him as they look to give as many at-bats as possible to their younger players down the stretch.

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For the Phillies, Bautista offers cheap right-handed bench power for the stretch run. The Mets previously sent infielder Asdrubal Cabrera to the Phils last month for right-handed pitcher Franklyn Kilome, ranked as New York's No. 5 prospect by MLB Pipeline.

If Bautista, who also played for the Braves this season, is dealt, he would become just the third player to appear for three teams in one division in a single season, joining Kelly Johnson (Red Sox, Yankees and Orioles in 2014) and Bob Reynolds (Tigers, Indians and Orioles in 1975).

But as of Monday afternoon, no deal was done, prompting manager Mickey Callaway -- after discussion with the Mets' front office -- to insert Bautista into his starting lineup. Although Callaway said he could not discuss the reported waiver claim, he noted that he wanted Bautista's bat in the lineup against left-hander Jon Lester "to make sure we have the best chance to win."

"The leadership that he brings, the quality at-bats, I feel like he plays really solid defense at multiple positions," Callaway said when asked of Bautista's attributes. "I can definitely see why somebody would want to snatch him up, and give him a chance to be on a contending team."

Bautista, citing the fluid nature of the situation, declined comment. If the Mets and Phillies cannot work out a deal, the Mets can still pull Bautista off waivers, forfeiting the chance to trade him this season.

Best known for a 10-year run with the Blue Jays that saw him reach second place in franchise history with 288 home runs, Bautista has gone deep 342 times overall in a 15-year career spent mostly with Toronto and Pittsburgh. He remains particularly effective against left-handed pitchers, reaching base at a .373 clip against them this year. But Bautista is hitting just .163 through 23 August games.

Although the non-waiver Trade Deadline passed on July 31, teams can still trade players after that date if they pass them through revocable waivers. Claimed players, such as Bautista, can be dealt only to the claiming team. Unclaimed players can be traded anywhere.

The caveat is that traded players are only eligible for the postseason with their new team if they're already in that organization before Sept. 1, making Friday a de facto second Trade Deadline. It is rare that clubs out of the postseason picture acquire veterans on waiver deals.

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

New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Jose Bautista

Phils claim Bautista, working on deal with Mets

Clubs have until Tuesday to complete trade; Eickhoff set to return Saturday
MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are trying to acquire another hitter before Friday's postseason roster deadline.

Sources confirmed Monday afternoon that Philadelphia has claimed Mets outfielder Jose Bautista on revocable waivers. The teams have until Tuesday to complete a trade. If the Phillies and Mets strike a deal -- the Phillies would also have to clear a 40-man roster spot -- Bautista will join Philadelphia as another bench option for manager Gabe Kapler.

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are trying to acquire another hitter before Friday's postseason roster deadline.

Sources confirmed Monday afternoon that Philadelphia has claimed Mets outfielder Jose Bautista on revocable waivers. The teams have until Tuesday to complete a trade. If the Phillies and Mets strike a deal -- the Phillies would also have to clear a 40-man roster spot -- Bautista will join Philadelphia as another bench option for manager Gabe Kapler.

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"We're not there yet," Kapler said before Monday night's series opener against the Nationals. "I don't have much for you guys on that front. He's a really good player. That's about it." 

Bautista, 37, is hitting .207 with nine home runs and a .724 OPS in 82 games since the Mets signed him in May. But it's been a tale of two performances for Bautista. He posted a .921 OPS in his first 39 games with New York, and he has a .592 OPS in 43 games since. Bautista started for the Mets against the Cubs on Monday at Wrigley Field.

"We have been fairly aggressive this month in claiming players on waivers," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said. "One of those claims led to a trade for Justin Bour a couple of weeks ago. Most of our claims have not led to any trades happening.

"We have added five players in the past few weeks that we feel have shored up our most pressing needs. We are very cognizant of the fact that August 31 is close and that's the roster deadline, and if there is anything else we need to do we need to do it by Friday. At this stage, it's tough to handicap whether that's likely or not."

Bour is sidelined with a strained left oblique. He is optimistic he will not miss much time, but there is no timetable for his return. His injury could be one reason why the Phillies are taking a shot at Bautista.

It remains unlikely that the Phillies will add a starter before Friday's roster deadline. They did not pursue pitchers like Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ or Chris Archer before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline because they like their rotation.

That has not changed.

"We have made claims on starting pitchers, none of which have led to a trade," Klentak said. "The fact that we've made claims on those guys says nothing. It doesn't diminish our confidence in our current group. I think we just have to be smart about recognizing value when we see it. I don't expect us to add a starter between now and Saturday. I don't think that's a pressing need for us. We really like the guys we run out there."

The Phillies entered Monday three games behind the first-place Braves in the National League East and two games behind the Brewers for the second NL Wild Card. 

"I actually think we're in a perfectly good spot right now," Klentak said. "We are a team that has lost 90-plus games three years in a row and hasn't been to the playoffs since 2011. That doesn't change the fact that we have had some really tough losses this year -- not only in the last week, but all year long, and yet we are still where we are in the standings. There are 32 games left to play, seven of which are against the Braves. We are in a good spot. We get hot and play well in September, we can do some damage and play some October baseball. That is the goal for these players, for this coaching staff and for this organization."

We like Eick
Jerad Eickhoff pitched six scoreless innings Sunday in a rehab start with Triple-A Lehigh Valley and he will join the team when rosters expand Saturday. Klentak said there will be two waves of roster additions in September. The first will come Saturday, and the second will come following the Triple-A postseason.

But how will Eickhoff be used once he joins the team?

"The way I view Eick, very early on, is easing him back in," Kapler said. "Probably coming out of the bullpen for some longer work, always keeping him as an option to start a baseball game, but really easing his way back onto our roster."

Eickhoff has not pitched in the Majors this season, first because of a strained right lat and then because of a nerve issue in his right fingers.

Sixto update
Class A Advanced Clearwater right-hander Sixto Sanchez, who is the organization's No. 1 prospect and the No. 17 prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, has not pitched since June 3 because of inflammation in his right elbow. But he is nearing a return, albeit not with the Threshers. He could pitch in instructional league and later the Arizona Fall League to make up for lost developmental time.

Minor moves
• The Phillies made one trade Monday, dealing Gulf Coast League Phillies first baseman Jack Zoellner, 23, to the Orioles for international slot money. The Phillies selected Zoellner in the seventh round of the 2017 Draft.

• Left-hander Austin Davis (lower back tightness) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Monday with Lehigh Valley. Infielder Pedro Florimon (broken right foot) will continue his rehab with the IronPigs.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Jose Bautista, Jerad Eickhoff

Deadline approaching, Donaldson to start rehab

MLB.com

Josh Donaldson will officially begin his rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Dunedin on Tuesday, per a tweet from Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The deadline to trade for a player and have him be eligible for the postseason is 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday.

Donaldson has been out of the Blue Jays' lineup since May with a strained left calf muscle. But if the veteran third baseman makes significant progress over the next few days, he could be placed on revocable trade waivers and join a playoff-bound roster before hitting free agency in the offseason. 

Josh Donaldson will officially begin his rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Dunedin on Tuesday, per a tweet from Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The deadline to trade for a player and have him be eligible for the postseason is 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday.

Donaldson has been out of the Blue Jays' lineup since May with a strained left calf muscle. But if the veteran third baseman makes significant progress over the next few days, he could be placed on revocable trade waivers and join a playoff-bound roster before hitting free agency in the offseason. 

When a waiver claim is placed, the player's original club has three options:

• Work out a standard trade with the claiming club within 48 hours
• Allow the player -- and all money remaining on his contract -- to go to the claiming club with no return
• Pull the player back off waivers

Donaldson began ramping up the intensity of his workouts over the past week, increasing Toronto's chances of flipping the 32-year-old's $23 million salary to a postseason contender.

The three-time All-Star slashed .234/.333/.423 with five homers and a .757 OPS in 36 games prior to landing on the 60-day disabled list three months ago. Donaldson's locker was notably emptied on Sunday at Rogers Centre, and the third baseman attempted to clear the air with a statement.

"I want to play soon and wanted to make sure I have everything I need to do that," Donaldson said in the statement, which was issued through a club official. "So I asked the staff to pack my locker, then I can go through it."

Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.

Toronto Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson

Brewers don't complete deal for Harvey

Milwaukee had claimed right-hander on waivers
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Matt Harvey stayed put Friday after the Reds and Brewers couldn't work out a trade for the Cincinnati right-hander.

The Brewers were the team that claimed Harvey on revocable trade waivers this week and had until 12:30 p.m. CT to work out a trade with the Reds, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported. When those talks fizzled, Harvey made his start as scheduled against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

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MILWAUKEE -- Matt Harvey stayed put Friday after the Reds and Brewers couldn't work out a trade for the Cincinnati right-hander.

The Brewers were the team that claimed Harvey on revocable trade waivers this week and had until 12:30 p.m. CT to work out a trade with the Reds, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported. When those talks fizzled, Harvey made his start as scheduled against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

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"We couldn't come to an agreement that made sense for us," Reds general manager Nick Krall said in a conference call with reporters. "We felt that it made more sense to keep him and gain positive momentum for our club for the end of this season and heading into next season, and he's been a positive influence on that club, so that was our decision-making process."

Trade Talk

That came as something of a surprise, since Harvey can be a free agent at season's end, and the Reds now risk getting nothing for a player they acquired from the Mets earlier this season for catcher Devin Mesoraco and cash.

After the Brewers made the claim, the Reds had three choices: work out a trade, let Harvey and the roughly $1.1 million left on his contract go to the Brewers or pull Harvey back. They chose the third option.

Without commenting specifically about Harvey, Brewers GM David Stearns said, "I think we have a lot of discussions that are ongoing at all times of year, and most of them don't work out. Most of the interactions with other teams don't lead to deals."

The Brewers reportedly showed interest in Harvey in July, when Milwaukee landed a late-inning reliever (Joakim Soria from the White Sox) and two infielders (Mike Moustakas from the Royals and Jonathan Schoop from the Orioles) but did not get a starting pitcher. It wasn't for lack of trying, said Stearns, who indicated he was close to acquiring a starter, only to see the deal fall apart.

It marked the second straight year that Stearns tried to trade for a starting pitcher and couldn't find a match. He had talks with the White Sox for Jose Quintana and with the A's for Sonny Gray before those players were dealt to the Cubs and Yankees instead.

Stearns said he remained confident in the way he values pitching.

"On different players, we're going to use different ways to value them," Stearns said. "Like I've said, we have confidence in our starting staff and our pitching staff. They've pitched competitively through the vast majority of this season, and we think they will continue to do so."

Brewers manager Craig Counsell said he was kept in the loop by Stearns, but said he was somewhat surprised that details were publicized.

"I think this is just a possible transaction that was made public, which they rarely are," Counsell said. "I think this happens more frequently than we all think. It was just out there."

Milwaukee's starters are 19th in the Major Leagues with a 4.63 ERA since the start of August, but that figure has come down over the past week, with the group combining for a 2.05 ERA over Milwaukee's last six games including rookie Freddy Peralta's seven scoreless innings against Cincinnati on Wednesday afternoon.

Brewers reinstate Soria, option Knebel and Davies
After it was clear they wouldn't land Harvey, the Brewers officially optioned slumping former closer Corey Knebel to Triple-A Colorado Springs and activated Soria from the 10-day disabled list. Soria had been sidelined since suffering a groin injury on Aug. 9 against the Padres while working in hasty relief of Knebel.

The Brewers also optioned right-hander Zach Davies to Class A Wisconsin as Davies' Minor League rehab assignment for back tightness came to an end. That was an indication they did not think Davies was quite ready to rejoin the Major League starting rotation.

Knebel and Davies will both be eligible to join the Major League team on Sept. 2.

"Our anticipation is that Zach will make starts for us in September," Stearns said.

As for Knebel, who has a 5.08 ERA this season, Stearns said, "In the case of Corey, this isn't really a demotion, it's a break. Allow him some time to really work on some things in bullpen sessions. It's really tough for active relief pitchers at the Major League level to do that during the normal course of a season because they need to pitch in games every single night."

Counsell said the hope is that Knebel will get squared away for the stretch run.

"We don't have a lot of time left to make adjustments, so it's difficult," Counsell said. "We thought the best chance for us to get Corey throwing the ball well again is to give him this break, give him some time to work, and then see what we've got and go after it in September."

Minor League pitcher suspended
Franklin Hernandez has received a 76-game suspension without pay after testing positive for stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The 22-year-old right-hander was taken in the 37th round of the 2018 Draft and pitched in five games in the Rookie-level Arizona League, posting a 2.53 ERA before being promoted on July 26 to Helena, where he allowed two runs over 2 2/3 innings.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Brewers, Matt Harvey

FA-to-be Harvey to stay with Reds through '18

Righty works 5 1/3 innings after waiver deal deadline passes with Crew
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- There was no guarantee that Matt Harvey (Harv) would pitch for the Reds on Friday until an hour before the game began. He rewarded their decision not to trade him with 5 1/3 solid innings of one-run ball in their eventual 3-2 extra-innings loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

The Brewers had claimed Harvey off waivers on Wednesday, and the two teams had until 1:30 p.m. ET Friday to finalize a deal. However, the Reds felt it was in their best interest to keep Harvey -- who will be a free agent this offseason -- for the remainder of the 2018 season.

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CHICAGO -- There was no guarantee that Matt Harvey (Harv) would pitch for the Reds on Friday until an hour before the game began. He rewarded their decision not to trade him with 5 1/3 solid innings of one-run ball in their eventual 3-2 extra-innings loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

The Brewers had claimed Harvey off waivers on Wednesday, and the two teams had until 1:30 p.m. ET Friday to finalize a deal. However, the Reds felt it was in their best interest to keep Harvey -- who will be a free agent this offseason -- for the remainder of the 2018 season.

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"I've said it all along, I've really enjoyed being here and playing with these guys," said Harvey, who is 6-5 with a 4.14 ERA in 18 starts with Cincinnati. "For them to give me that opportunity in May and stick with me, it really means a lot.

"It's been fun, and I'm glad I'm staying here for the rest of the year."

As was perhaps expected, Harvey said, the circumstances leading up to Friday's start made it somewhat more challenging to focus on it. He said he turned to his agent, Scott Boras, to understand how the waiver-trade process works, and he relied on Boras to worry about all the logistics so all he had to think about was pitching.

To further ensure Harvey's attention was on his approaching start, nobody in the Reds' clubhouse said anything about the pending Deadline for the potential trade. Even after it became official that Harvey wasn't leaving, nobody from the Reds told him directly that he was staying.

"It was definitely different to feel like I was getting ready for a start and may not end up making it," Harvey said. "Scott helped me through the whole process. He just kept pushing me to get ready and stay mentally focused. I was able to go out and be successful."

It wasn't the best Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said he has seen Harvey pitch, but given all that was going on, the 29-year-old right-hander more than did his part to keep the Reds in the game.

Harvey faced the minimum through five innings, with the only two baserunners coming on a hit from pitcher Alec Mills (Millsy) and a walk to Javier Baez (El Mago). He also racked up six strikeouts, four of which came in the first two frames.

Video: CIN@CHC: Harvey hurls 5 1/3 frames of 1-run ball

Harvey was considered one of the more likely players to be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. That ended up not happening, but there were reportedly a number of teams still interested in acquiring him off waivers before the end of August.

The Brewers specifically had been linked to Harvey prior to the July 31 Deadline, as they are one of the contenders most in need of an established starting pitcher with postseason experience. Harvey went 2-0 with a 3.04 ERA in four postseason starts for the Mets in 2015.

Still, when it came time to finalize a trade, the Reds felt Harvey was more valuable than anything other teams were willing to give up in return.

"We felt that it made more sense to keep [Harvey] and gain positive momentum for our club through the end of this season and into next season," Reds general manager Nick Krall said via conference call. "He's been a quality influence on a lot of the guys on our club.

"He's a guy we felt really good about keeping on this year around the young kids through the end of the season."

Harvey has had an interesting year altogether, beginning with his early-season fallout with the Mets (0-2, 7.00 ERA) that led to the Reds dealing for him. This time, though, Harvey became a trade candidate not because the Mets were trying to get rid of him but because other teams wanted him.

"It's a lot better than being put to the shelf by another team, which obviously happened earlier this year," Harvey said. "To be on the other end of that and have some success and be wanted, it's kind of where you want to end up."

Votto's status
First baseman Joey Votto is progressing toward returning to the Reds' lineup, though it is uncertain whether he will be ready to be activated when he is eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list on Sunday.

"That's going to be his and the trainer's call," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said of Votto. "Pretty significant injury he got there from the hit-by-pitch. It hit a nerve there that really has stifled him."

Video: CIN@WSH: Votto gets plunked by Madson in the 8th

Votto sustained a lower right leg contusion after he was hit by Nationals reliever Ryan Madson's 96.2-mph fastball on Aug. 4. He tried playing through the injury but ultimately landed on the DL on Aug. 17, retroactive to the day before.

"This thing has really hung on there," Riggleman said. "He's still not right. If we were going to try to activate him today -- if he was due today -- I wouldn't be comfortable doing it.

"But I'm getting more and more encouraged from him and the trainers."

Matthew Martell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Cincinnati Reds, Matt Harvey