Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.

It seems Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira are taking turns being the New York Yankees offensive leader. That's pretty impressive considering Yankees fans didn't know what to expect from either, with A-Rod coming off his suspension and hip surgery and Mark Teixeira battling back from wrist problems.

On Friday, it was definitely Teixeira's turn to do the damage. New York's first baseman muscled up to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in their 13-6 victory against the Chicago White Sox.

Batting right-handed against White Sox starter Carlos Rodon, Teixeira launched a second-inning grand slam that broke the game wide open early. Two innings later, Teixeira stepped up left-handed against Matt Albers and connected for a two-run blast.

In doing so, Teixeira has now homered from both sides 14 times, which sets a new MLB record.

Teixeira has now homered from both sides of the plate 14 times, a MLB record. He was tied with Nick Swisher.

— Scot Gregor (@scotgregor) August 1, 2015

To have 14 multi-homer games in a career would be pretty remarkable. The added caveat of homering from each side only makes it more special.

Teixeira finished the game with three hits, adding a double in the fifth, while driving in six. Rodriguez was far from quiet too. He reached base five times and scored four times as New York slugged its way to victory.

STARLING MARTE SAVES THE DAY

Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte was a man on a mission in the ninth inning of their 5-4 win against the Cincinnati Reds. With no margin for error, Marte made two terrific defensive plays that helped preserve the victory and extend Mark Melancon's 21-game scoreless streak.  

In that ninth inning alone, Marte cut down Brandon Phillips at home plate as he attempted to score the tying run. Home Run derby champion Todd Frazier started the play by lacing a single to left that Marte fielded and fired home for the second out of the frame. 

One batter later, Marlon Byrd lined a 3-2 breaking ball toward Marte that he caught with a dive just before the ball landed on the grass. It was a somewhat risky play. With the runners moving and two outs, both would have scored easily and given Cincinnati a walkoff win had the ball squirted away from Marte. As it turned out, he made the play, and the Pirates escaped with a huge victory. 

With the win, Pittsburgh finished July with a league-best 17-9 record. They're currently 5 1/2 behind St. Louis in the NL Central while maintaining a four-game lead in the NL wild-card race. 

TEMPERS FLARE AS RANGERS TOP GIANTS

Friday night was a rough night for San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. 

The 2014 World Series MVP was touched up for six runs in the first two innings during San Francisco's 6-3 loss to the Texas Rangers. A rare bad start to be sure, and his frustrations seemed to spill over into the fourth inning when he reacted unfavorably to a reaction from Delino DeShields. 

DeShields had just popped out to second base to end the inning when he tossed his bat down in his own fit of frustration. That didn’t appeal to Bumgarner, who then exchanged words with DeShields. At that point the benches emptied but nothing came of it other than Bumgarner getting into a shouting match with Adrian Beltre. 

It was quite strange, but thankfully it didn't escalate beyond words. 

DeShields also had an RBI single against Bumgarner in the second inning but there didn't appear to be any issues there. Beltre and Elvis Andrus each homered, but nothing there appeared to tick off Bumgarner either. The general feeling is Bumgarner just doesn't like when an opponent feels comfortable enough to express anger that he missed a hittable pitch. 

It's a unique way of thinking, but Bumgarner is competitive enough that it makes sense. Thankfully, we'll never have that problem with him. 

ORIOLES RALLY TO UPEND TIGERS

A six-run deficit was nothing for the hot-hitting Baltimore Orioles. 

Starting in the fourth inning, Baltimore scored eight unanswered runs over three innings to take the lead and ultimately walk away with an 8-7 victory. 

Adam Jones delivered perhaps the biggest swing when he cracked a three-run homer off Detroit starter Buck Farmer. That cut the deficit to 6-4. One inning later, Manny Machado put them ahead for good with a two-run shot against Jose Valdez. 

The Orioles found themselves in a similar position one night earlier against Detroit, but fell short 9-8. That made Friday's comeback all the more important as Baltimore attempts to stay above water in the AL East. With the win, they remained six games behind the Yankees and tied with the Blue Jays. They're also very much alive in the wild card race at one game behind Minnesota. 

Whew. 

Thus concludes a wild July in MLB.

Bring on August. 

Want to see more from Friday’s slate of games? Check out our scoreboard.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

Author: Mark Townsend
Posted: August 1, 2015, 5:45 am

You couldn't write a more dramatic script if you spent years trying.

Two days after Wilmer Flores fought back tears on the field, thinking he was about to be traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in a blockbuster Carlos Gomez trade, the New York Mets shortstop brought Citi Field to its feet with a 12th-inning walk-off home run against the Washington Nationals. 

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Talk about a roller coaster of emotions. 

Flores, who's been with the Mets since signing as a 16-year-old in 2007, was understandably upset when word of the looming Gomez trade trickled to the field on Wednesday night. He's grown up with the team. He's made a home in New York. It's all he knows as a professional baseball player. And though the fans weren't always sold on his development as a player, they were definitely in his corner when he wore his heart on his sleeve for all to see.

(Getty Images)It was simply among the most heart-wrenching things we've seen play out on the field. Knowing how he was feeling, and knowing his future was likely to change at any moment. We almost wondered why he was being put through that stress so openly, but as we later learned, the trade itself was never meant to be completed.  

Flores remained a Met on Wednesday night. He remained a Met through Friday's non-waiver trade deadline. And it's a darn good thing he did, because that allowed him to cap an emotional week on the highest of highs in the world of baseball.

Indeed, there is crying and there are happy endings in baseball, and everybody felt the joy right along with him.  

How about THAT standing ovation, Wilmer Flores? #WALKOFF

— MLB (@MLB) August 1, 2015

Wait Wilmer Flores hit a walkoff?? That is literally the coolest thing ever

— Austin Green (@GZSportz) August 1, 2015

That was truly amazing what a story book ending. Well deserved @Mets Wilmer Flores !!!! pic.twitter.com/jJFOexuxt2

— anthony mazza (@roetony) August 1, 2015

That's why baseball is awesome. #WilmerFlores

— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) August 1, 2015

Who's crying now? #WilmerFlores #Mets

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) August 1, 2015

Credit to the Mets radio booth on WOR 710 AM. Moments before Flores' blast, they absolutely called it.

Flores winning the game here would make a good story. We have newspaper people on the payroll, don't we? They might like a story like that.

— Mets Booth (@MetsBooth) August 1, 2015

Well played. That will definitely make a headline or two. 

Flores' game-winner came off Nationals reliever Felipe Rivero. In the big picture, it got them back on track after losing two straight to the struggling San Diego Padres. That included a real gut punch on Thursday provided by Justin Upton. 

With the win, the Mets move to within two games of Washington in the NL East standings, and there's still games left to go this weekend. Needless to say, it's getting exciting in New York, and with Yoenis Cespedes also coming into the fold, it may only get better

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

Author: Mark Townsend
Posted: August 1, 2015, 3:58 am

(Getty Images)Coming off one of the most aggressive offseason's in recent memory, San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller surprisingly allowed Friday's non-waiver trade deadline to pass without making a major deal. 

As has been reported, Preller remained active in talks for many of his big trade pieces, which included All-Star outfielder Justin Upton, starting pitcher Tyson Ross and closer Craig Kimbrel, but couldn't lock down a return that appealed to him.  

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The market for Kimbrel in particular seemed to heat up in the final hours, with teams like the Yankees and Diamondbacks all known to have interest. However, if the words of Arizona general manager Dave Stewart are to be believed, then it's quite easy to understand why Preller came up empty. 

Dave Stewart says Paul Goldschmidt's name came up in talks with Padres but he's not sure if it was "realistic or if it was play."

— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) July 31, 2015

That's three-time All-Star and 2013 NL MVP runner-up Paul Goldschmidt, whom the Diamondbacks have signed to a team-friendly deal through the 2018 season. 

"I don't know if there was sincerity in it, but the name did come up," Dave Stewart said of Paul Goldschmidt in talks with Padres.

— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) July 31, 2015

In sincerity or in jest, that's a conversation that's going to lead nowhere quickly.

The Diamondbacks have no urgency to approach a potential Goldschmidt deal, and they certainly have no desire. The very thought of it would be absurd, unless perhaps you're Preller. Swinging for the fences is one thing though, but making the opposing general manager question your sanity is quite another. This ventures into sanity-questioning territory. 

That's one side of the coin. As we wrote about earlier on Friday, the line Preller himself is selling to explain his inactivity is that he still sees his team as postseason contenders. As Yahoo's own Jeff Passan points out though, the standings tell a much different story for San Diego.

Here are the current wild-card standings. The Padres are closer to the Brewers than they are a postseason spot. pic.twitter.com/yGBxEgJlSV

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2015

The reality is San Diego is an extreme long shot to make a run at the NL West or the wild-card this season. It is still possible? Perhaps, but that's a long, long way to go and a lot of teams to pass in a relatively short amount of time. 

To not sell is one thing. That's certainly Preller's prerogative. But to not acknowledge where the Padres truly stand indicates stubbornness or perhaps serves as a cover to the bigger issues here, which is that he miscalculated the trade market. 

That theory, by the way, was already picking up steam early on Friday. 

One exec on what went wrong for the #Padres: Miscalculation of a market that turned on them. "Buyer's market. Didn't suit A.J."

— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 31, 2015

The Goldschmidt reports only add fuel to that fire.

For as thrilling as the A.J. Preller ride was during the offseason, perhaps there's now reason for pause and real concern that his approach will ultimately backfire. 

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

Author: Mark Townsend
Posted: August 1, 2015, 12:45 am

(USA TODAY Sports)There was much rejoicing in Metsville on Friday as general manager Sandy Alderson finally landed the big bat he's been seeking.

After a proposed deal for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez fell apart on Wednesday, Alderson took things down to the wire as Friday's non-waiver trade deadline neared. Literally moments before the clock struck 4:00 p.m. on the east coast, word trickled in that New York had landed slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers, which is exactly the boost New York's long-struggling offense needed.

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Understanding the impact Cespedes can immediately have on the offense, it's no wonder why fans are so thrilled. Especially for those diehad fans, such as comedy and television legend Jerry Seinfeld, who have stood by the team through years and years of frustration. 

In fact, when learning of the deal on Friday, Seinfeid joined fans in celebration in the most Seinfeld way possible, with a Festivus joke.  

Oh my god. @Mets I can't believe I can actually say this, but is it true that there is now "A Cespedis for the rest of us"? #mets #T7L

— Jerry Seinfeld (@JerrySeinfeld) July 31, 2015

Spelling mishap aside...

Sorry, *Cespedes.

— Jerry Seinfeld (@JerrySeinfeld) July 31, 2015

That line is ... 

@JerrySeinfeld @Mets Gold, Jerry. Gold.

— Chris Jung (@ChrisJungKNE) July 31, 2015

The line doesn't require vast knowledge of Seinfield's long-running sitcom to understand its meaning, though those who follow him closely immediately jumped with glee after connecting the reference to one of the show's most famous episodes.  

We're guessing Jerry Seinfeld never imagined he'd be tweaking that joke in reference to his beloved Mets, but these are different times. Good times even, and we imagine he's hoping that 'Cespedes' never ends in New York. 

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

Author: Mark Townsend
Posted: July 31, 2015, 11:14 pm

Overall, the 2015 trade deadline was completely bonkers. Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Reyes were traded for each other, Johnny Cueto turned the Royals into an unstoppable force and Carlos Gomez was shipped to Houston after some initial confusion. The Cole Hamels trade finally happened and David Price was dealt again too.

All of those moves were made prior to the actual deadline day. While some major names were still floating around Friday, only a few big moves were made. That shouldn't lessen our enjoyment of the deadline, but it was a bit of a let down compared to the last week or so. The focus Friday seemed to be on relief pitchers, with teams maneuvering for that last piece to help them down the stretch.

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If you missed anything, here's a look at every single deal that went down Friday.

(AP Photo)METS MAKE THEIR MOVE, PICK UP YOENIS CESPEDES
It happened. The Mets finally made their move. Cespedes will head to New York for minor-league pitchers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa. After a couple days of trying, the Mets found a way to pick up a nice bat. Cespedes helps the club's abysmal offense immediately. Fulmer is considered a nice return for a rental player, so it looks like both teams did well. [More]

BLUE JAYS PICK UP BEN REVERE
The Jays struck again at the deadline, landing Ben Revere from the Phillies. In return, the Phillies will receive pitchers Jimmy Cordero and Alberto Tirado. Revere is under team control through 2017, so he could stick around longer than this season. He should give the Jays some speed, and can provide adequate defense. He's definitely a defensive upgrade over some of the guys the Jays have thrown out there this season. [More]

TWINS GET SOME RELIEF
The Minnesota Twins had remained quiet until Friday, but were finally able to make a deal. The team solidified its bullpen, adding Kevin Jepsen from the Rays. In return, Tampa will receive pitchers Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia. Jepsen's 2.81 ERA is solid on the surface, but walks are an issue. The Rays are believed to have gotten a nice return, particularly with Hu. [More]

CUBS UPGRADE ROTATION WITH DAN HAREN
The Chicago Cubs were mostly quiet at the deadline, but managed to add Dan Haren from the Marlins. The Marlins are set to receive shortstop Elliot Soto and pitcher Ivan Pineyro. Haren should slot in at the back-end of the team's rotation. He's a free-agent at the end of the season, so the move is nothing more than a rental. Haren has been solid this season, but home runs have been a problem. That's something to watch out for in his new park. [More]

JAYS AT IT AGAIN
The Revere trade wasn't all the Blue Jays did. The club also dealt for reliever Mark Lowe from the Mariners. Seattle will receive Nick Wells, Jacob Brentz and Rob Rasmussen. None of those three are considered top flight prospects, but Lowe has impressive this season and can help Toronto's shaky pen. [More]

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

CARDINALS GET BROXTON
The Cardinals didn't make any big moves Friday, but still jumped into the fray. The team picked up Brewers reliever Jonathan Broxton. Broxton's 5.89 ERA is awful, but he's shown solid peripherals this season. He's also been much better against righties. If used properly, he could turn into a nice addition for St. Louis. The Brewers received 20-year-old outfielder Malik Collymore for Broxton. [More]

(Getty Images)

BALTIMORE GETS PARRA
The Orioles made a modest upgrade Friday, dealing for Gerardo Parra of the Brewers. Milwaukee received pitcher Zach Davies in return for Parra. Parra is having a huge season on offense, and has generally been regarded as a strong defensive player. He should help the Orioles stay in the AL East race. [More]

PIRATES GET ROTATION HELP
The Pirates snagged J.A. Happ from the Mariners in a last-minute deal. Happ's numbers have been underwhelming in Seattle, but a switch to the National League should help a bit. The Pirates have had success turning around pitchers in the past, so that's something to watch for. The Mariners will get pitcher Adrian Sampson in return for Happ. [More]

(Getty Images)CUBS GET A HUNTER
The Cubs improved their bullpen Friday, grabbing Tommy Hunter from the Orioles. In return, Baltimore receives outfielder Junior Lake. Hunter should help a Cubs pen that has been shaky in the mid innings. Lake will likely provide depth with the Orioles. [More]

RANGERS SHORE UP PEN
The Texas Rangers made a minor deal, picking up relief pitcher Sam Dyson from the Marlins. Miami receives catcher Tomas Telis and pitcher Cody Ege in return. Dyson should help a bullpen that ranks last in baseball with a 4.68 ERA. Telis is expected to back up J.T. Realmuto in Miami. [More]

[On this week's StewPod: Go behind the scenes of the trade deadline with an ex-GM.]

PADRES WIND UP BUYING
The Padres didn't sell off pieces like everyone expected. Instead, the team actually added at the deadline. Indians left-hander Marc Rzepczyski will head to San Diego in exchange for Abraham Almonte. Rzepczyski's 4.43 ERA is nothing special, but his peripherals indicate he could be much better down the stretch. [More]

RED SOX COOK UP A RELIEVER
The Red Sox made a small move Friday, grabbing reliever Ryan Cook from the Athletics. Cook has mainly been used in the minors this season, but should see time in the majors with Boston. The Athletics will get a player to be named later. [More]

MORSE MOVES ON
The Pirates were able to get an upgrade at first base, trading for the recently DFA'd Michael Morse. The Dodgers will receive outfielder Jose Tabata in return. Morse has struggled to hit for average this season, but can usually provide strong pop. He should fill in at first and possibly in the outfield with Pittsburgh. [More]

A'S GET DOUBRONT
The Athletics picked up Felix Doubront from the Blue Jays for cash considerations. Doubront has solid numbers in the minors, but hasn't performed well in the majors over the past few seasons. He's nothing more than pitching depth at this point. [More]

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 31, 2015, 10:43 pm

A.J. Preller (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)For all the big moves we saw Friday and in the week leading up to the trade deadline, one of the biggest surprises is that the San Diego Padres didn't make any.

The potential was there for them to pull of a handful of trades. Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, James Shields, Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner, Ian Kennedy, Joaquin Benoit and Will Venable were all mentioned in rumors recently but the deadline has come and gone and they all remain in San Diego. At least for now, anyway.

It's not only that San Diego decided not sell, they even went out Friday and acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski from Cleveland for reserve outfielder Abraham Almonte to solidify their bullpen.

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General manager A.J. Preller was famously active this offseason, overhauling the Padres' roster and putting together a team he thought was capable of winning the World Series.

The season hasn't been a great success so far – San Diego is 49-53, fourth in the NL West, and Bud Black was fired as the manager and replaced by Pat Murphy back in June – but just like he did four months ago, Preller stills thinks the Padres can reach the postseason according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal:

#Padres largely standing pat because GM A.J. Preller believes the team can reach the postseason, source says.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2015

Here are the current wild-card standings. The Padres are closer to the Brewers than they are a postseason spot. pic.twitter.com/yGBxEgJlSV

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2015

The Padres are on a bit of a roll of late, winning 10 of their last 14 games, but it feels like they would have to play close to that pace over the next two months to really get back in the race. The good news is that their next six series are against teams below .500.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

This doesn't mean San Diego won't do anything. Rosenthal points out that players like Kennedy, Benoit and Venable could still be moved in August after they're placed on waivers.

It's still a bit of a stunner though that Preller and the Padres were quiet when everyone expected them to be the most active team on the market.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr

Author: Israel Fehr
Posted: July 31, 2015, 9:35 pm

The New York Mets were laughed at and scolded this week, pointed to as the MLB contender that looked like it wouldn't get done the deal it most needed. Things fell apart — in spectacular fashion, we might add — when they tried to bring Carlos Gomez to town. They pursued Jay Bruce for a bit, but that didn't work out.

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In the last few minutes of the MLB trade deadline, though, the Mets got the big bat they need. It's Yoenis Cespedes, the slugging outfielder traded from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for two minor-league pitchers — Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa, ranked No. 7 and 16 in the Mets' farm system.

Cespedes is a great fit and he's thrilled New Yorkers in the past. Remember when he hit 30 homers at Citi Field to the win 2013 Home Run Derby? Sure you do. And you bet Mets fans will he riding high all weekend thinking about that and imaging how much power he can bring to the team's production-starved lineup.

The Mets rank last in total runs, last in batting average, last in hits. On the strength of their fantastic starting pitching, though, the Mets are postseason contenders. They're 52-50, three games back in the NL East, 4.5 back for an NL Wild-Card spot.

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Cespedes isn't Mike Trout. He's not a cure-all for the team's offensive woes, but he'll definitely help. He's a middle-of-the-order bat, hitting .293 this season with 18 homers and 61 RBIs. Those are aided some by Detroit's lineup, but Cespedes still should add a spark to the Mets' lineup. Even famed Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld thinks so.

Oh my god. @Mets I can't believe I can actually say this, but is it true that there is now "A Cespedis for the rest of us"? #mets #T7L

— Jerry Seinfeld (@JerrySeinfeld) July 31, 2015

Cespedes has shown us more than once he has a flair for the dramatic — whether it's crushing homers on national TV or throwing out base runners from deeeeeeep in the outfield. You know what else is a big task on a big stage? Guiding the Mets back to the postseason. 

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 31, 2015, 8:44 pm
Ben Revere (Getty Images)

Alex Anthopoulos and the Toronto Blue Jays aren't done dealing yet.

As reported by MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, outfielder Ben Revere is going from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Blue Jays, joining Troy Tulowitzki, LaTroy Hawkins, David Price and Mark Lowe as Anthopoulos' trade acquisitions this week.

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That's an ace, an All-Star shortstop, two bullpen arms and now a starting left fielder for those of you keeping track.

The Phillies will be receiving right-handers Jimmy Cordero and Alberto Tirado from Toronto for Revere.

With his .298/.334/.374 slash line and 24 steals, Revere will fit perfectly near the bottom of the Blue Jays' all-powerful lineup. He also gives them a left-handed bat to provide some balance on a roster stacked with righties.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

In the outfield – he'll likely see most of his playing time in left – his range is good but he's reputed to have a weak throwing arm. However, he's a definite defensive upgrade over Chris Colabello, Danny Valencia and Ezequiel Carrera. If Revere impresses, there's a chance he could stick around beyond this season as he's only 27 and under club control through the 2017 season.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr

Author: Israel Fehr
Posted: July 31, 2015, 7:15 pm
(Getty Images)

Coming into Friday, the Minnesota Twins were one of five teams that hadn't made a trade this week. Considering they're currently a wild-card team and the rest of the American League is racing to catch them, the Twins needed to do something.

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Their first move is in the books: They've acquired relief pitcher Kevin Jepsen from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The return for the Rays is two minor leaguers. SB Nation's Chris Cotillo is reporting they're pitchers Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia.

The Twins, a surprising 53-48, are hoping to bolster a bullpen that is seventh-worst in MLB. Jepsen has a 2.81 ERA in 46 games this year in Tampa, so he should help. Previously, he pitched his entire career for the Angels before being traded for Matt Joyce last December.

The Twins are chasing the Royals in the AL Central (they're eight games back) and trying to fend off the likes of the Toronto Blue Jays for a wild card. Those teams have gotten better in trade season, it was time the Twins did too. 

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

Now we see if this is their last move before Friday's 4 p.m. ET deadline. Might the Twins, sensing an opportunity to get into the playoffs, go grab one of the available bats on the market? Wouldn't be the worst idea.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 31, 2015, 6:31 pm
David Price (AP Photo)

David Price hasn't even arrived in Toronto yet and isn't expected to make his first start for the Blue Jays until Monday, but he's already faced his first challenge with his new team.

Price encountered some car troubles on the drive up to the city from Detroit on Friday, delaying his arrival by a couple hours.

According to Price's Twitter account, his back tire blew out and he was having difficulty finding a replacement. After some time passed, a tow truck showed up to take his sports car, which he has apparently named Jenny, and he had to hitch a ride all the way to Toronto.

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Sweet tire blew out on my way to the six... waiting on #AAA with bubble guts is always fun!! To trust or not to trust 🚶🏾💨?!

— David Price (@DAVIDprice14) July 31, 2015

Uncccllleeeeee...no one has tires to fit the back of my car so my presence in the 6 is gonna be delayed another couple hours...unreal!

— David Price (@DAVIDprice14) July 31, 2015

Jenny got a busted lip but she will be just fine! Things can always be worse...find a positive in negative situations pic.twitter.com/xsi5H0LgqZ

— David Price (@DAVIDprice14) July 31, 2015

The Blue Jays made the blockbuster deal for the 29-year-old left-hander on Thursday, the latest and greatest indication that they're all-in this season.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr

Author: Israel Fehr
Posted: July 31, 2015, 6:20 pm

(Getty Images)With the aces already off the market, a lot of attention will be paid to relief pitching on MLB trade-deadline day.

While we wait to see if the bigger names, such as Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel get moved, the Toronto Blue Jays got in on the action and acquired Mark Lowe in a trade with the Seattle Mariners.

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The Jays are giving up three minor leaguersNick Wells, Jacob Brentz and Rob Rasmussen. None of them are considered a high-level prospect.

Lowe isn't the biggest name in the relief-pitching world, but he's enjoying a revival this season in Seattle. And his numbers show he should help what's been a shaky bullpen in Toronto. The 32-year-old veteran has a 1.00 ERA in 34 appearances this season, giving up just four earned runs in 36 innings while working the seventh or eighth inning for the Mariners. His strikeout-per-nine-innings rate is a wowing 11.8. The Blue Jays will take that.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

Toronto's bullpen ERA is 3.36, but that stands to drop with the additions of Lowe and LaTroy Hawkins, who came over in the Troy Tulowitzki trade. The Jays also got Aaron Sanchez back last week. With their splashy moves this week — getting Tulowitzki and David Price — shoring up the bullpen is a necessity if the Jays want to be a well-rounded team come September.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 31, 2015, 6:03 pm

We've reached the home stretch of the MLB Trade Deadline. Clubs can complete non-waiver trades until 4 p.m. ET Friday, and as the seconds tick toward that deadline, there will be no shortage of news and rumors.

Check out our daily digest for all of Thursday's action you might have missed. Since we're getting closer to the deadline, The Stew's writers will be chatting live with users, answering questions and giving analysis as the news and rumors roll in.

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The Twitter tracker gives you every bit of info from the Yahoo Sports crew and the industry's top reporters. So keep an eye on it for up-to-the-second news.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 31, 2015, 5:09 pm
Jonathan Broxton (Getty Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals certainly buy into the old baseball adage that you can never have too much pitching, even when you have the best record in baseball.

Reliever Jonathan Broxton was traded from the Milwaukee Brewers to the Cardinals on Friday, just a week after the Cards made a deal with the Miami Marlins to bring in former closer Steve Cishek. ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick was the first to report that Broxton was on his way to St. Louis.

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The 31-year-old right-hander is not the same dominant force he was during his prime with the Dodgers. Broxton has a 5.89 ERA in 36 2/3 innings as a set-up man for Milwaukee this season, but he has been pitching better of late with seven consecutive scoreless appearances.

With St. Louis he'll be just another late-inning option, given how deep their bullpen already is.

Cardinals bullpen depth is immense. Rosey, Siegrist, Cishek, Tui, Maness, Socolovich, Villanueva, Choate. Add Broxton, and Walden back soon.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2015

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

Malik Collymore is the player heading to the Brewers. Collymore is a 20-year-old prospect currently playing rookie-ball as an outfielder after beginning his time in the Cardinals' system as a middle infielder.

The Brewers have now unloaded Broxton, Gerardo Parra, Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers and could still move Francisco Rodriguez, Adam Lind, Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza before the trade deadline passes at 4 p.m. ET.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr

Author: Israel Fehr
Posted: July 31, 2015, 4:30 pm
Gerardo Parra is headed to Baltimore. (AP Photo)

The Baltimore Orioles continue to hang around the playoff picture in the American League and they believe they're good enough to stay in the mix that they've made a move on trade deadline day.

Outfielder Gerardo Parra is heading to Baltimore, with the Orioles sending pitching prospect Zach Davies to Milwaukee to get it done.

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Compared to what the Toronto Blue Jays have done this week adding Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, the Parra deal won't bring the same level of excitement, but he definitely fits Baltimore's needs. Both teams are six games back of the New York Yankees in the AL East standings and two games out of the second wild-card spot.

A two-time Gold Glove award winner, Parra is in the midst of a career offensive year, hitting .328/.369/.517 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs. Parra, 28, is a strong option to lead off and will absolutely solidify Baltimore's outfield defense. The Orioles were getting very little production from their left fielders, so even though Parra is a free agent after this season, it's a trade that helps them stay in contention. They were linked to Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes too, but odds are they were a little too costly for their taste.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

The potential rental didn't come cheap though. Davies is a 22-year-old right-hander who has spent 2015 in Triple-A. Baseball America ranked him as No. 6 prospect in the Orioles' system before the season and he has put up a 2.84 in 19 games, 18 of them starts, with the Norfolk Tides this year. With the Brewers in rebuilding mode, adding a young pitcher who projects to be a starter in the big leagues is a good get.

The Orioles think they've got a shot at making the postseason for the third time since 2012. At 51-50, they'll have to play some pretty good ball to close the gap in the division and there are a few other teams currently on the outside looking in making wild-card runs, but Baltimore's chances of being the team that breaks through are better after bringing in Parra.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr

Author: Israel Fehr
Posted: July 31, 2015, 3:30 pm

You know that old paradox about when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

Well, it looks like we finally have answer to that question: they take batting practice and crush baseballs together.

With the Los Angeles Angels in Houston for a series this week, reigning American League MVP Mike Trout spent some time on the field pregame Thursday with Houston Texans stud J.J. Watt.

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Too much awesome. pic.twitter.com/wOcg3isEr8

— MLB (@MLB) July 30, 2015

Watt stopped by Minute Maid Park before Texans training camp kicks off Friday and reportedly hit at least seven home runs into the Crawford Boxes. It is absolutely no surprise to hear that he's a dead-pull hitter.

Even for Trout, who is widely recognized as the best player in baseball and has already accomplished so much in the big leagues, it was a thrill to meet an NFL superstar like Watt.

[On this week's StewPod: Go behind the scenes of the trade deadline with an ex-GM.]

From the Los Angeles Times:

“He’s a special guy, he’s gifted,” Trout said. “He’s 6-6, 290 pounds and just shredded. It’s pretty impressive. I wouldn’t want to be a running back and get hit by him, that’s for sure.

“It was pretty cool to meet him. All the things you hear about, all the big plays he makes on TV watching football on Sundays, it’s finally good to meet him.”

The two exchanged phone numbers and it shouldn't be long before they become text buddies. They can talk about, among a long list of other things, what it's like to completely dominate their respective sports.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr

Author: Israel Fehr
Posted: July 31, 2015, 2:45 pm

It's officially Major League Baseball's trade-deadline day. Many of the big names of trade season are off the board already. That includes Cole Hamels, David Price, Johnny Cueto and Carlos Gomez. But lots of talent is still on the market too — Yoenis Cespedes, Carlos Gonzalez, Yovani Gallardo, almost any of the San Diego Padres.

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Likewise, there are a number of teams who would still use a boost heading into the postseason run. The Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals have been the most active traders so far, but plenty of teams still could use a boost heading into their attempts at making the postseason. Making the right move could be the difference between October and early vacations. With that, the Big League Stew crew is here to pick five teams that most need to strike a deal to improve themselves before the 4 p.m. ET deadline.

After you've read this, head over to our Trade Deadline Tracker for up-to-the-second news and rumors from what should be a busy day of wheeling and dealing. 

METS
It's like the New York Mets don't even realize they could be a serious contender. Their trade-deadline season has been as such: minor trade to get Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe, almost trading for Carlos Gomez, watching that fall apart, then spending about 12 hours attacking social media. Get it together, Mets! They're 52-50, three games back in the NL East and 4.5 back for a wild card if the season ended today.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

Just look over at the San Francisco Giants. Their World Series runs are proof that good pitching can take you to baseball's highest point. And you don't need a world-beating offense to go along with it. You just need enough offense. The Mets pitching, of course, is really good. Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard — they've been impressive. But, Sandy Alderson, get them some bats. At the time of this writing, the Mets would get a big boost from Justin Upton, Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce and Carlos Gonzalez. These windows to make a run are small. The Giants and the Kansas City Royals showed us last year you don't need to be a perfect team, you just need to be good enough to win in October. (Mike Oz)

• • •
(Getty Images)

CUBS
The Chicago Cubs have been relatively quiet so far, which is somewhat surprising given their need in the starting rotation and their known interest in pitchers like Cole Hamels and David Price. Team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer obviously haven't felt comfortable meeting the asking prices for either. That's understandable to some degree given their commitment to their long-term plans. However, the Cubs are relevant right now and could really use that extra reliable starter to make an actual push in 2015.

Whether it's Tyson Ross or Andrew Cashner from San Diego. Whether it's Yovani Gallardo from the Rangers. There are some solid options available. Certainly they aren't the impact arms Hamels or Price would be, but they're obvious upgrades that look would pretty darn good following Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta. (Mark Townsend)

• • •
(Getty Images)

TWINS
The Minnesota Twins have been one of the best stories of the 2015 season. Rookie manager Paul Molitor has them playing beyond anyone’s expectations and they head into deadline day holding on to the second American League wild-card spot. The problem for the Twins, though, is there are six teams within four games of them, and some are loading up for a playoff run.

The Twins are jacks of all trades, but master of none. You won’t find them near the top of any offensive or pitching categories, so it’s hard to say exactly what they should do, especially without leveraging their future. But with Byron Buxton on the DL, and a tough August schedule full of games against teams chasing them, they’re in danger of falling out of the race. A cheap, reliable No. 3-type starter might be enough to help them keep their surprising season going. If they stand pat we probably won’t be talking about them in late September. (Ian Denomme)

• • •
(AP)

YANKEES
The New York Yankees have a fairly comfortable lead over their AL East rivals, but that certainly shouldn't preclude them from making a trade on deadline day. While the Toronto Blue Jays pulled off two splashy deals this week, trading for All-Stars Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, the Yankees have stayed relatively quiet. New York did make a depth move Thursday acquiring Dustin Ackley from the Mariners. However, news that right-hander Michael Pineda could miss up to a month with a forearm injury makes them more likely to dip back into the trade market.

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The big names like Price, Cole Hamels and Johnny Cueto are no longer available, but there are still a number of starting pitchers out there and the Yankees would be wise to pick one up before the deadline passes. It would be the right call for a team looking to solidify their status as a bona-fide World Series contender. (Israel Fehr)

• • •
(Getty Images)

WHITE SOX
A recent seven-game win streak suddenly turned the Chicago White Sox into mild buyers at the deadline. Many had speculated that Jeff Samardzija would be on his way out a week ago, only to have the rug pulled out from under them now. If Samardzija is going to stay, it makes sense for the White Sox to make some type of addition before the end of the deadline. Given how much the team has struggled until recently, there are a lot of areas in which they could use an upgrade.

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The rotation is probably set (unless the club wants to finally get rid of John Danks), but nearly everything else is up for grabs. A bullpen addition would be nice, as would a second baseman, third baseman, catcher, corner outfielder or upgrade at DH. As currently constructed, this doesn't look like a playoff team. But if they are actually keeping Samardzija, it makes sense to double-down on the offseason plan and make a play for another big piece. (Chris Cwik)

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Yahoo Sports Staff
Posted: July 31, 2015, 7:45 am

Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.

The Carlos Gomez trade wasn't the biggest thing to happen to the Houston Astros on Thursday. The club also celebrated a 3-0 win over the division-rival Los Angeles Angels.

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The win was significant for a number of reasons. Not only did the Astros complete the sweep of Los Angeles, but they did so on a walk-off home run.

With the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, Jose Alvarez was brought on to take things into extras. It didn't work out for him. Alvarez sandwiched a walk between two outs before he was lifted from the game for Fernando Salas.

Salas promptly gave up a single, putting men on first and second for Jason Castro. On the fourth pitch of the at-bat, Castro belted a three-run walk-off home run out to right center field. 

After the game, Castro said the dinger was probably the biggest hit of his career. 

Jason Castro calls #Astros walkoff HR biggest hit of his life

— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 31, 2015

With the win, Houston improved to 58-45 on the year. The team holds a two-game lead over the Angels in the American League West.

SOX STOP SOX'S STREAK

The Chicago White Sox win streak has come to an end. The club couldn't make it eight in a row, losing 8-2 against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday.

Surprisingly, it was ace Chris Sale who struggled during the contest. Sale allowed seven runs on 12 hits over five innings. He struck out seven and walked one.

Following the game, Sale put the loss on his shoulders.

Sale: "We have 24 guys in here that didn’t deserve tonight. I should have been better."

— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) July 31, 2015

Sale was hit in the ankle with a line drive early in the game, but he didn't blame that incident for his struggles. He admitted that it hurt to get hit, but said he didn't think it was enough to alter his mechanics during the start.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

With the loss, the White Sox fall to 49-51 on the year. Though the winning streak is over, the club is still expected to buy at the trade deadline.

HAMILTON WALKS IT OFF

The New York Yankees had a tough time stopping Josh Hamilton on Thursday. Hamilton picked up the walk-off hit during the Texas Rangers' 7-6 win over New York.

The Yankees did all they could to neutralize Hamilton, making sure he faced lefties during the contest. That didn't really matter. Hamilton managed to strike in the first inning, smacking a three-run homer against CC Sabathia. 

He was held in check until the ninth, when Andrew Miller attempted to take on the slugger. With the game tied, and the bases loaded, all Hamilton needed to do was smack a single to pick up the victory. He was able to come through.

On the third pitch of the at-bat, Hamilton sent a single to right field, ending the game. Hamilton was so excited after his big hit that he decided to celebrate with the Rangers' mascot.

@Lana @TBrownYahoo they shared a moment. pic.twitter.com/S53ffOkLWi

— Ray Cartwright (@RayCartwright) July 31, 2015

With the win, the Rangers improved to 49-52 on the season.

PAPELBON GETS THE SAVE

The Washington Nationals new closer might be OK. Jonathan Papelbon was tested his first time out, but still managed to preserve a 1-0 victory over the Miami Marlins on Thursday.

He was tested, of course. The one run lead didn't leave Papelbon with a huge margin for error. In the end, it didn't matter.

Papelbon tossed a perfect inning of work against the division rival Marlins. He got Ichiro Suzuki on a weak groundout, Christian Yelich on a lineout to second and struck out Michael Morse to end the game. 

Though Drew Storen is no longer the closer, Papelbon came away impressed with Storen's scoreless eighth inning performance. 

It appears the two are going to be good friends. 

Jonathan Papelbon: "I was in the shower with Storen, I said ‘can you show me that slider grip tomorrow?’ He was really, really good."

— Chris Johnson (@masnCJ) July 30, 2015

With the win, Washington improved to 54-46 on the season.

Want to see more from Thursday’s slate of games? Check out our scoreboard.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 31, 2015, 7:31 am

(AP Photo)

The Stew's Trade Deadline Digest recaps the day in news and rumors as MLB gets closer to the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. If you missed any of Thursday's action, we're here to help you catch up with all the important links and tidbits.

PRELLER PRYING: The Padres and Astros are believed to be working on "something big." [Jeff Passan]

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DONE DEAL: The aggressive Toronto Blue Jays added former Cy Young Award winner David Price in a trade with the Detroit Tigers. [Jeff Passan]

EXPLORING OPTIONS: The New York Mets all looking for another bat, with possible options including Reds outfielder Jay Bruce. [Ken Rosenthal](Getty Images)

DONE DEAL: Carlos Gomez is on the move — it's for real this time — to the Houston Astros along with up-and-coming starter Mike Fiers. Four prospects will be headed back to Milwaukee. [Tim Brown]

WAITING GAME: The Diamondbacks have made an offer for Reds closer Aroldis Chapman and now await their response. [Jon Heyman]

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

DONE DEAL: The Pirates upgraded their bullpen with the addition of Tigers closer Joakim Soria. What might be next? [The Stew]

BULLPEN BONANZA: The Yankees are showing interest in both Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman. Either player would add to an already dominant bullpen. [Ken Rosenthal]

CLEAN SHAVE: Dustin Ackley has a new team and a new look after being traded from the Mariners to the Yankees. [The Stew]

DONE DEAL: The wild three-time, 13-player deal involving the Dodgers, Marlins and Braves was finally completed on Thursday. [The Stew]

WELP: The Mariners aren't planning to deal pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma. [Jeff Passan]

IN THE HUNT: After a recent hot stretch improved their standing, the Chicago White Sox are looking at adding Justin Upton or Yoenis Cespedes to their outfield mix. [Jon Heyman]

DONE DEAL: The Giants picked up Mike Leake from the Reds for two prospects. [The Stew]

[On this week's StewPod: Go behind the scenes of the trade deadline with an ex-GM.]

UP NEXT: Rangers right-hander Yovani Gallardo made his scheduled start on Thursday, but could still go on Friday. The Cubs, Dodgers and Blue Jays have all shown interest. [Jon Heyman]

Follow all of Friday's up-to-the-minute action in our Trade Deadline Tracker

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 31, 2015, 6:03 am
(Getty Images)

The San Francisco Giants may not have made the biggest trade of the 2015 deadline, but it sure looks like the perfect fit for them. The team acquired Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Leake for two prospects. 

#SFGiants acquire RHP Mike Leake from #Reds in exchange for minor league IF Adam Duvall, RHP Keury Mella

— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) July 31, 2015

The price for Leake was actually quite steep. Keury Mella was considered the Giants best pitching prospect, and he goes to the Reds for a rental player. The 21-year-old has a 3.31 ERA at High A this season.

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Adam Duvall is more of a throw in. At age-26, he's pretty old to still be in the minors. He already has 26 home runs, so he has a ton of power, but it's tough to consider a 26-year-old a true prospect. 

On the surface, that looks to be a significant get for the consistent, yet unspectacular Leake. Dig a little deeper, though, and it becomes pretty obvious why he's a great fit for the Giants.(Getty Images)

For three seasons now, Leake has been a pretty solid workhorse. His end of season numbers don't blow you away, but he's quietly posted a 3.54 ERA over that period. 

Leake isn't an elite strikeout pitcher, but is able to produce value in other ways. He's fairly stingy with walks, and he does a great job keeping the ball on the ground. The lack of strikeouts prevent Leake from being a true ace, but plenty of pitchers have had success with his skill set.

That skill set, by the way, should play much better now that he'll be pitching in AT&T Park. One of Leake's other issues is that, since he doesn't have exceptional swing and miss stuff, when he gets hit, he gets hit hard.

That can lead to some high home run totals. Some of those issues were due to Leake pitching in one of the friendlier hitter's parks while he was in Cincinnati. According to Statcorner.com, Great American Ball Park has one of the highest home run park factors in the game. Basically, it's really easy to hit homers there. AT&T Park, on the other hand, is pretty stingy when it comes to dingers. That should help Leake immensely. 

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

Leake isn't going to magically turn into an ace with his new club, but the switch in ballparks makes him a pretty nice fit. On top of that, it was clear the Giants needed a boost in the rotation.

Madison Bumgarner is great, and Chris Heston has been a nice surprise, but there are some questions behind those two. Tim Lincecum is currently on the disabled list, and there has been talk about him transitioning to the bullpen for weeks now.

Both Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy have shown signs of age this season. Peavy's 4.12 ERA isn't awful, but his strikeout rate has declined and he's giving up a fair amount of home runs.  The team's 3.84 rotation ERA and 3.97 FIP don't look bad on the surface, but there is still a lot of risk in the rotation.

That's precisely what makes Leake a great addition for this club. Leake's consistency and track record, gives the team a safe third option. You know what Leake will give you, and that it will be pretty good. Can the Giants say the same about Lincecum, Peavy or Hudson at this point?

It may have cost the team one of their top prospects, but Leake seems like the ideal fit for San Francisco.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 31, 2015, 5:36 am

The first rule of baseball should be "always wear a cup." Taking a hit to the groin is never enjoyable, and taking that risk on a field where a small, hard ball is flying around at crazy speeds is insane.

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It's not a rule, of course, and some players are willing to take that chance. New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius became the latest player to be thankful he was wearing one.

Elvis Andrus avoids the tag by whacking Didi Gregorius in the junk while sliding into 2nd https://t.co/1qdq8nYNnl

— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) July 31, 2015

Based on Gregorius' reaction, we're going to guess taking that hit wasn't too enjoyable. 

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Turns out, Gregorius was wearing a cup. While it helped, it still hurt.

Well getting hit in the private part with a cup on its not fun... It still hurts imagine if I wasnt wearing any :-o...

— Sir Didi Gregorius (@DidiG18) July 31, 2015

It all started with a routine ground ball to second base. With Elvis Andrus on first, Gregorius ran over to cover second for the force out. That's when disaster struck.

We've heard of players going into their slides with their spikes up, but Andrus opted for the rare "arms up" technique. It was effective. The ball sailed over Gregorius' head, and Andrus was safe despite over-sliding the bag initially. 

According to MLB's Gameday, there was actually a brief injury delay following the play. Gregorius was able to remain in the game, however.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

The throw probably wasn't good enough to get Andrus anyway, so it's not like the incident really had an impact on the play. Gregorius' night, however, was probably ruined, at least for a brief period of time.

Wear a cup out there, kids. In fact, consider wearing two cups. Sometimes, one isn't enough.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 31, 2015, 4:34 am

All-Star outfielder Justin Upton can be had if the price is right. The San Diego Padres have made that very clear with the trade deadline looming on Friday afternoon. He could even be had by the New York Mets if they were so inclined to take the plunge and take on the remainder of his $14.5 million salary. 

That doesn't seem likely as of Thursday evening, and even if it did, it would be far too late to overturn the second significant gut punch Mets fans have received since Wednesday night. 

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With the rains pouring down on Citi Field on Thursday afternoon, the Mets were one out from victory when the umpires were forced to the call for a delay. When play resumed 45 minutes later, the Mets were still that one out away from victory, and closer Jeurys Familia was still the man on the hill. Then the chaos began. After a pair of singles from Derek Norris and Matt Kemp, Justin Upton launched a three-run home run that stunned the crowd and gave San Diego an 8-7 lead. 

Then the rains intensified again, or perhaps those were Mets tears from heaven. Either way, the tarp was brought back out, and the Mets were forced to sit around for nearly three hours and digest what had just happened. 

Not quite, guys. pic.twitter.com/9a50HKeZDA

— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) July 30, 2015

Like the Citi Field grounds crew, they didn't respond well.

Craig Kimbrel made quick work of them in the ninth inning to complete the improbable comeback. 

Amazin' pic.twitter.com/CGLbSNO3mw

— Neil Greenberg (@ngreenberg) July 30, 2015

Amazin' indeed. 

Aside from deflating, the only word that could aptly describe the Mets 24-hour period beginning around 7:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday evening and ending the same time on Thursday would be chaos.

Pure, unadulterated, chaos.

Think about all of the absurdity they were able to squeeze into that relatively short amount of time. There was the trade with Milwaukee that would have brought Carlos Gomez back to the organization, but reportedly crumbled because the Mets either balked at Gomez's medical history or the financial obligations required of them. You can decide which was more likely.

There was the on-field madness surrounding Wilmer Flores, who was overcome by emotions after learning in the middle of Wednesday's game that he was headed to Milwaukee if and when said Gomez deal became official. It didn't, and manager Terry Collins was left to explain why Flores was forced to play through tears.

And then there was Thursday afternoon's game against the Padres, which may go down as the Mets worst loss of the entire season. A six-run seventh-inning lead dissolves after two swings — a Derek Norris grand slam and the Justin Upton game-winner.  

We won't call those 24 hours a season killer, but these events will certainly be a test of the Mets resolve and will shine an even brighter spotlight on their next 24 hours.   

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

Author: Mark Townsend
Posted: July 31, 2015, 12:52 am
(Getty Images)

The Houston Astros are World Series contenders. It would have been crazy to read that sentence four months ago, but things have changed drastically in that period. 

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With the team's offseason additions, there was no doubt the club would be better. Still, few were willing to project a division title for a team that had lost 416 in the last four seasons.

Those people, myself included, look foolish now. The Astros jumped out to a strong start, quieted some doubters. There may have been some question about whether the team could sustain their success, but the addition of Scott Kazmir confirmed that Houston was ready to compete.

Thursday's trade for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers takes that decree a step further. Houston isn't just looking to stay in the race, they are looking to win the World Series. 

#Astros officially acquire OF Carlos Gomez, RHP Mike Fiers and slot #76 in the 2015-16 international pool from the Milwaukee Brewers.

— Houston Astros (@astros) July 30, 2015

In return, the Astros had to give up four of their top 30 prospects according to Baseball America, but this isn't a do or die deal for them.

The Astros will send LHP Josh Hader, RHP Adrian Houser, OF Brett Phillips and OF Domingo Santana to Milwaukee to complete the deal.

— Houston Astros (@astros) July 30, 2015

That's because both Gomez and Fiers are under team control a bit longer. Gomez is signed for just $9 million next season, a small price to pay for a player of his caliber. He'll be 30 next season, so the team shouldn't expect to see a lot of decline. Gomez is hitting .262/.328/.423 over 314 plate appearances this season.(AP Photo)

That's a slight drop from his previous offensive heights, but it's still strong. Combine that with the fact that he's considered an elite defensive center fielder, and the Astros got one heck of a player for the next year and a half.

Fiers is under control through 2019. He's a soft-tosser with elite strikeout numbers, but tends to give up a ton of home runs when he misses his spot. Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh aren't exactly known for their velocity, either, so perhaps the Astros see something the believe they can fix with Fiers.

Through 118 innings, Fiers has a 3.89 ERA and a 3.79 FIP. He's not always the most efficient pitcher, but he'll put up solid numbers. He's a useful mid to back end starter as is, and that's good enough for Houston right now. 

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Once George Springer is able to return, Houston should be able to trot out a pretty impressive lineup. Jose Altuve should stick at the top, with Carlos Correa, Gomez, Springer and Evan Gattis in the middle. That doesn't include Luis Valbuena or Chris Carter, both of who have shown big-time power, or Jed Lowrie, who the team just got back from injury. There's still risk in that lineup, particularly with strikeouts, but there's also a ton of power.

All of those guys will be on the team next season as well. In fact, the only major player Houston stands to lose is Kazmir. Other than that, only Colby Rasmus and Tony Sipp are set to be free agents. Houston will be fine if they lose all three players to other teams in the offseason.

Trading for Gomez and Fiers not only makes the team stronger this season, but announces that Houston needs to be taken seriously moving forward. The first sign that the rebuild had finished was the Kazmir deal, the Gomez trade signifies this team has much larger goals than simply staying in the race.

By bringing in Gomez and Fiers, the Astros have turned themselves into a legitimate World Series contender. It's crazy how things can change in just a few months.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 31, 2015, 12:36 am
(Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Pirates made their first acquisition of the trade deadline Thursday, picking up reliever Joakim Soria from the Detroit Tigers.

The #Tigers today have acquired SS JaCoby Jones from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for RHP Joakim Soria.

— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) July 30, 2015

The Pirates bullpen may not have been the team's biggest area of need, but grabbing Soria is a clear upgrade for a team that has been on fire over the past month or so. By traditional numbers, the Pirates' pen actually rates well. The team's relievers have compiled a 2.71 ERA, which ranks fourth in the game.

The advanced stats tell a slightly different story. The team's 3.59 FIP puts them in the middle of the pack. Looking at some of the peripherals of the players currently in the team's pen, you can see why that's the case.(Getty Images)

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Tony Watson has been excellent, and should continue to be a useful part. Despite some decline in his strikeout rate, Mark Melancon has also been strong. After that, there's some uncertainty. Jared Hughes strikeout and walks rates don't blow you away, but he has a 1.99 ERA this season. Hughes posted a 1.96 ERA last year with similar peripherals, so maybe that's just his thing?

Those three should continue to operate in high-leverage roles. Soria probably slides in somewhere between Melancon and Watson. Despite the fact that Melancon is the closer, Watson is probably the best reliever on the club. Soria and Melancon probably have equal value moving forward.

In other words, Soria definitely helps the clubs bullpen. He's seen some decline from last season, but remains effective. And though he's been hit by the home run bug a bit this year, that could just be small sample shenanigans. He and Watson should share late-inning duties, while Melancon takes the ninth. Hughes will slot in there somewhere, giving the Pirates a number of solid options.

The bigger question is whether this will lead to more trades for Pittsburgh. The St. Louis Cardinals just lost Matt Holliday, and are starting to look pretty vulnerable at the top of the National League Central. They've been effective despite injuries all season, but you have to wonder if things are going to catch up with them at some point.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

The same can be said with both the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both teams have been good despite some injuries, but both have holes.

With another big move or two, the Pirates can really set themselves up as an elite contender in the NL. The team has already played like one lately, but a move for an offensive piece could make them the favorite.

By wRC+, an advanced stat that measures team offense, the club is about middle of the pack. Gregory Polanco, while young, hasn't hit well this season and we know Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes are available. An upgrade at first wouldn't hurt either.

The addition of Soria is a good start, but the Pirates can really make waves with another big addition. The NL, and the division, could be up for grabs, and the Pirates can really take hold of both with another move.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 30, 2015, 10:57 pm

(Getty Images)While many people in Toronto were happy that the Blue Jays made another big move and traded for ace David Price from the Detroit Tigers, the happiest guy might have been sitting in a classroom in North Carolina.

Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman is recovering from an ACL tear suffered in spring training and working toward his degree at Duke University while he's away from the baseball field. Even though he's not with the Jays, Stroman is still very much a cheerleader for his squad and the news that Price was coming aboard had Stroman quite stoked.

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So stoked, in fact, that he couldn't contain himself while in class. He had to tweet about it. Here's the play-by-play from his perspective:

Heading to class. Trying to keep up with this trade deadline. Y'all will know before me. Keep me in the loop!

— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) July 30, 2015

Omg.

— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) July 30, 2015

Excitement at an all-time high. Get to compete and chill with one of my role models in baseball. See you in September my man! @DAVIDprice14

— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) July 30, 2015

I have the chills right now. Lol #excited

— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) July 30, 2015

Pardon my rudeness for being on my phone Professor. We just picked up @DAVIDprice14 and it's kind of a big deal. Lol @DukeU @BlueJays

— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) July 30, 2015

After class Stroman did the best he could to join the jovial atmosphere in the Blue Jays clubhouse. He called them on Facetime. Ah, 2015, you're something else.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 30, 2015, 10:39 pm

There's a lot of pressure involved in running a baseball team. When things are bad, fans are quick to let you hear about it. Every move is scrutinized, and every observer is quick to share their opinion. Front office members probably hear the phrase, "if I were running the team ..." pretty often.

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Having to listen to that stuff is probably frustrating, but most front offices are capable of dealing with fan dissatisfaction internally. The Miami Marlins are not one of those front offices.

#Marlins' Mike Hill: “I would hope our fans are educated enough to see what we’re doing here.”

— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) July 30, 2015

That's Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill, telling fans he hopes they are smart enough to understand the moves the Marlins are making. (Getty Images)

The quote is incredibly condescending to fans, not to mention confusing. Does anyone actually know what the hell the Marlins are doing these days?

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That seems like a fair question, and we would love to hear Hill explain the club's current plan. After attempting to go for it this winter, it appears the club is trying to save money again.

Latos and Morse looks like salary dumps, and dealing the competitive-balance pick adds to the confusion. You would think a team looking to restock would want that draft pick, but the Marlins just dealt it away.

Observers can say what they want about how the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros operated the past couple seasons, but at least the fans knew what was going on. Both teams committed to a plan and followed it, even if that meant the fans would suffer for a few seasons. Both teams were upfront about that plan, and it softened the blow among fans when the franchises were awful. 

If the Marlins have a plan, it's not that clear. The team will add in the offseason to convince fans that they might contend, but then they immediately sell at the first sign of trouble. As always, it seems like money plays a huge role in their decisions. 

Given the aimlessness of the club's recent moves, the fans have a right to be angry and confused. Insulting them for having a legitimate opinion is not a good look for this front office.

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At the same time, I guess we shouldn't consider this a shock. When have the Marlins ever cared about the fans?

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 30, 2015, 9:46 pm

(Getty Images)Somebody get Dustin Ackley a razor, he's been traded to the New York Yankees.

Ackley, the very-much-bearded Seattle Mariners outfielder, will be headed to the Bronx in a three-player deal that Ackley confirmed himself to reporters Thursday outside the Mariners clubhouse.

Seattle is getting 23-year-old outfielder Ramon Flores and 25-year-old pitcher Jose Ramirez from the Yanks. Jack Curry of the YES Network was first to report the trade.

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The Yankees famously don't allow beards, so Ackley needs to shave before he reports to the team (lots have done it, Dustin, join the club). But the Yanks do like left-handed bats, so they're hoping that Ackley can turn himself around on their short porch.

This isn not the type of earth-shattering move we've seen from the Yankees over the years, especially considering what the Toronto Blue Jays have done this week, but the Bombers are leading the AL East right now, so they're buying low on Ackley and hoping for the best.

Ackley calls trade news to Yankees "crazy," but says "I'm excited for what the future has to bring."

— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) July 30, 2015

Ackley is a former first-round pick, No. 2 overall in 2009 actually, who has never lived up to his potential. He's hitting a lackluster .215/.270/.366 this season with six homers and 19 RBIs. Even at his best, Ackley has been up-and-down offensively. He hit .273 as a rookie in 2011, but dipped down to .226 the following season. Last year, his power numbers were up by his standards, hitting 14 homers with 65 RBIs. There's talent there and the Yankees hope that at age 27, it can still be extracted.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

Though, Ackley has played all but one of his games as an outfielder or DH the last two seasons, they Yankees could return him to where he started — second base. The M's moved Ackley into the outfield permanently when Robinson Cano signed there, but Ackley played his first two seasons mostly at second. Starter Stephen Drew is hitting .192 this season, so it's not the worst idea around to see what Ackley can do there. He can also backup the Yankees outfield trio of Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran. 

If he takes advantage of Yankee Stadium and starts knocking homers, you can bet Ackley will have somewhere to play down the stretch.

UPDATE: Ackley already shaved. That didn't take long. 

Knowing his new team's rules, just traded Dustin Ackley sports a distinct new look. pic.twitter.com/YyVRtSttOx

— Dave Sims (@TheDaveSimsShow) July 30, 2015

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 30, 2015, 9:19 pm

When you're moving 13 players between three teams, things take a little longer. So that's why it took more than 24 hours to wrinkle out all the details in a wild three-way trade between the Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves. The upshot: It's a done deal, according to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, with the Dodgers adding seven players in the swap.

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This whole thing started Wednesday morning, with the news that the Marlins were sending starting pitcher Mat Latos and outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse to L.A. along with a draft pick for a prospect. And it grew from there. Soon, we heard the Braves were involved. We heard medical records needed to be checked out. It got big, confusing and — like most trades this time of year — pretty fun.

Via Passan, here's how the entire thing shakes out now that it's finished:

Alex Wood will help the Dodgers in the immediate and the long-term. (Getty Images)The Dodgers get: Latos and Morse from the Marlins, starting pitchers Alex Wood and Bronson Arroyo, relievers Luis Avilan and Jim Johnson, plus second base prospect Jose Peraza from the Braves. Wood and Latos should slide into the beaten-up Dodgers rotation immediately. Arroyo, meanwhile, is recovering from Tommy John surgery last summer and is a free agent after this season. He may never suit up for L.A.

The Braves get: infielder Hector Olivera, reliever Paco Rodriguez and pitching prospect Zach Bird from the Dodgers, plus the Marlins' competitive-balance pick in the 2016 draft. That happens between the first and seconds rounds of the draft. Olivera is the prize for the Braves. He's a recent signee from Cuba who was too rich for Atlanta when he hit the market. He's 30 and believed to be big-league ready, but the Dodgers started him in the minors, where he's played 19 games and worked his way up to Triple-A. He's hitting .348/.392/.493 so far.

The Marlins get: Jeff Brigham, Victor Araujo, Kevin Guzman, all Single-A pitchers, from the Dodgers. They also get salary relief by dumping Morse and Latos. Latos is a free agent after this season, but Morse was going to make $7 million next year.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

There are two overarching threads here and they both mostly involve L.A. The Dodgers got a lot of parts that can help them muscle up for the postseason, filling out both their rotation and adding to their bullpen. Wood, a promising 24-year-old lefty who isn't a free agent until 2020 and Peraza, a 21-year-old who ranked No. 1 on the Braves prospect list, gives the deal some long-term value for the Dodgers too.

The other side of this is that the deep-pocketed Dodgers are taking on a few contracts that other teams don't want instead of giving up more prospects. The Dodgers are taking on an additional $43.5 million in salary. Both Morse and Arroyo have little value for L.A. More than anything, they're eating the money for the Braves and Marlins.

The next question for the Dodgers: Where do they fit all these guys on their 25-man roster?

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 30, 2015, 7:15 pm
(AP Photo)

Trading for David Price is far from the first blockbuster deal that Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has pulled off in his six years running the team. It's not even the first one this week, after the Blue Jays stunned the baseball world Tuesday by getting Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies.

But it's by far the boldest move he's ever made.

Toronto agreed Thursday to send pitching prospects Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Jairo Labourt to the Detroit Tigers to acquire Price. If you needed any more proof that the Blue Jays are all-in and eager to break their 22-year playoff drought, there you have it.

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There's no questioning Price's pedigree. He's been one of the best pitchers in the game for years and is proving that again this year, posting a 2.53 ERA in 21 starts to go with a 9-4 record.

There's also no question that the Blue Jays really needed a starting pitcher. The team ranks 12th in the American League with a 4.34 starter's ERA and despite having outscored opponents by 100 runs are just 51-51. When Price became available, Toronto pounced and upgraded their rotation in a big way.

What makes this trade different than all of Anthopoulos' past dealings is that Price is set to become a free agent after the season ends.

"Ideally you don’t shop in the rental market, that doesn’t mean we’ll rule it out, we’re open to it, but our preference is always to have guys under control that can be here for a while," Anthopoulos told reporters Tuesday.

Tulowitzki is under contract through the 2021 season. Before that, Josh Donaldson arrived in Toronto with four more seasons of club control. Even the two big trades that came ahead of the 2013 season guaranteed that R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes would be around for a few years.

There's no guarantee Price sticks around after he hits the open market. In fact, it's fairly unlikely. He's going to be highly-sought after as a free agent and the 29-year-old left-hander will command a huge, possibly historic contract

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors]

Considering they were going to have trouble keeping Price too, Detroit did well to come away with the package they got from Toronto. Norris, 22, came into this year as a top-20 prospect according to ESPN's Keith Law and Boyd and Labourt are well-regarded as well. It's a high-price to pay for a rental, but given where the Blue Jays stand, it will be all worth it if Price can help get them into the playoffs. He's expected to make his first start for Toronto on Sunday at home against the Kansas City Royals.

Heading into Thursday's action they trail the New York Yankees by seven games in the AL East and are two games out of the wild-card play-in game. With 13 games left to play against the Yankees, the division title is still in reach if the Jays play up to their potential over the next 60 games.

Anthopoulos managed to improve what was already the league's most dangerous offense by slotting Tulowitzki next to Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Russell Martin in the lineup. Now they have their ace. And they might not be done either. Toronto is still in the mix for an outfielder or even another starter and they've fortified the back end of their bullpen with LaTroy Hawkins coming over from Colorado and Aaron Sanchez returning to the late-inning role he excelled in last year after opening this season in the rotation.

Will it be enough to push the Blue Jays into the postseason for the first time since 1993? Anthopoulos and his front office are thinking it is. They've shown us that by making the kind of move we weren't quite sure they would ever make.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr

Author: Israel Fehr
Posted: July 30, 2015, 7:00 pm

As if Troy Tulowitzki's monster debut with the Toronto Blue Jays wasn't enough, we can only hope Colorado Rockies fans still upset by the trade weren't watching Jeopardy on Wednesday night.

Because sometimes when the trivia isn't about Victorian Era literature or 18th century European rulers, sports answers will be weaved into the game show and in this case, be there to crush the spirit of Colorado baseball fans.

Jeopardy answer tonight... pic.twitter.com/Sq3qoJS7an

— Michael Rathburn (@FantasyRath) July 29, 2015

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Of course, "this team" is the Colorado Rockies, and as of Tuesday, Tulowitzki no longer plays for them. Ouch.

Jeopardy is taped weeks in advance, so at the time it was the right response and answering correctly netted contestant Jonathan Marcus a cool $600 in Jeopardy money. It's a comical coincidence though that it aired the same night Tulowitzki put on a Blue Jays uniform for the first time, just a day after the deal was made official.

And how did that go? Pretty well, we'd say. Tulowitzki went 3-for-5 with a home run and two doubles to lead Toronto to a win over the Phillies.

BLS H/N: CBS Eye on Baseball

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr

Author: Israel Fehr
Posted: July 30, 2015, 4:45 pm

Entering the Los Angeles Dodgers' game with the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night, Yasiel Puig only had two hits in his previous 24 at-bats. But then things took a good turn: He had two hits, including a homer and three RBIs as the Dodgers thumped Oakland 10-7.

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There were a few factors that could have motivated Puig to step his game up. He's been the subject of trade rumors with the deadline approaching, yet he doesn't want the Dodgers to deal him. It was his bobblehead night Wednesday. And his mom was there to throw out the first pitch. Always nice to make mama proud.

Puig, however, attributed his slump-breaking performance to something else entirely: Video games. From Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times

"I just stopped playing soccer video games," he said. "I've found, when I play baseball video games, I do better."

 Question here is whether Puig is being sincere or finding a savvy way to promote a product he's involved in. "MLB 15: The Show," the preeminent baseball video game, features a celebratory Puig on its cover. He's appeared in commercials for the game too.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors]

Puig also joked after the game that the Dodgers should have more bobblehead nights for him, so he can continue to produce like this. Bobbleheads, video games, whatever — if Puig can heat up for the stretch run, the Dodgers won't care what his motivation is. They'll just be happy their star outfielder is playing well again.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 30, 2015, 3:47 pm
(AP Photo)

It didn't take long for the St. Louis Cardinals to strike a deal for outfield depth after Matt Holliday reinjured his right quad Wednesday night.

The Cardinals are bringing in Brandon Moss from the Cleveland Indians and sending back top pitching prospect Rob Kaminsky. SN Nation's Chris Cotillo first reported St. Louis' interest in Moss and the trade details were confirmed Thursday morning by MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.

Moss, 31, has struggled at the plate this season, hitting just .217/.288/.407 in 94 games. However, the Cardinals are hoping he can recapture the form he found in Oakland where he hit .254/.340/.504 between 2012 and 2014. He'll likely see time in the outfield and at first base, where Mark Reynolds has been playing in place of the injured Matt Adams. At the very least, he can be an impact bat off the bench with home run power, having hit 15 this season with Cleveland. Moss is eligible for arbitration this offseason and will become a free agent following the 2016 season.

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The Indians have to be happy with what they're receiving. Kaminsky was selected in the first round of the 2013 draft by St. Louis, and we know the track record the Cardinals have when it comes to picking pitchers. The 20-year-old left-hander has a 2.15 ERA in 217 1/3 minor league innings and has spent the 2015 season in the Florida State League.

On the Holliday front, he already missed over a month earlier this year with a similar injury and is expected to be sidelined for multiple weeks again. He's scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday to assess the severity of the damage.

Coming off Wednesday's trade madness, it's nice to have a simple one-for-one swap to work with. The Cardinals get another bat as they gear up for another run in October, while the Indians add a fine young pitcher to the fold and continue building for the future as they sit in last place in the AL Central.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr

Author: Israel Fehr
Posted: July 30, 2015, 2:15 pm

Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.

The Toronto Blue Jays stunned the baseball world when they acquired All-Star Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. 

On Wednesday, shock turned to awe, as Tulowitzki put on an offensive display that reinforced his position as baseball's top all around shortstop.

With cheers raining down at every mention of his name, Tulowitzki whipped the 27,060 in attendance at Rogers Centre into a frenzy in the third inning with a blistering two-run homer off Philadelphia's Jerome Williams. The home run actually snapped an 0-for-21 streak for Tulowitzki at the plate, which was the longest hitless stretch of his career. 

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That was just the beginning though, as Tulowitzki followed with a pair of doubles and scored two more runs to pace Toronto's 8-2 victory.  

It's also interesting to note that Tulowitzki started a game in the leadoff spot for the first time in his 10-year career. He didn't seem to mind at all, and now the Blue Jays already ultra-dangerous offense has an entirely new dimension of destruction.  

Speaking of which, Tulowitzki was one of seven Blue Jays to record a multi-hit game. Overall, they collected 16. 

The happiest man in the ballpark was Blue Jays RA Dickey, who along with Mark Buehrle, Drew Hutchinson and others will benefit nicely from Tulowitzki's addition on both sides of the field. 

ASTROS BEAT ANGELS, TAKE OVER FIRST PLACE

The western division races are shaping up to be the most interesting down the stretch. Entering play on Wednesday, there was a chance for both divisions to have a new sole leader by the end of the night. 

How did it play out?

Very well if you're a Houston Astros fan. The Astros separated themseleves from the Los Angeles Angels to reclaim sole possession of first place for the first time since the All-Star break. 

On this night, the Astros rode the right arm of rookie right-hander Lance McCullers. The 21-year-old pitched seven innings of one-run ball to notch his fifth victory and lower his season ERA to 2.48. McCuller is quickly moving himself into the AL Rookie of the Year conversation along with teammate Carlos Correa, who was 1-for-4 in the game. 

Preston Tucker and Jon Singleton each connected for solo homers, with Singleton later adding an RBI single. All of those runs would be important as Los Angeles threatened in the ninth. Albert Pujols connected for his 30th homer during the mini-rally, but Luke Gregorson was able to close the door after allowing a pair of runs. 

The Astros have won each of the first two games in the series and will go for the sweep on Thursday with newly-acquired Scott Kazmir on the hill. The Angels will counter with Matt Shoemaker.

Meanwhile, in the NL West, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants were both victorious, meaning the Dodgers will maintain their half-game lead. 

JON LESTER CARVES UP ROCKIES FOR 14 STRIKEOUTS

Chicago Cubs ace Jon Lester provided a silver lining to an otherwise gloomy home stand against the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies.

In Wednesday's 3-2 victory, Lester pitched eight dominant innings, allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out a season-high 14. In doing so, Lester became the first Cubs pitcher to strike out 14 in a game since Mark Prior had 16 on Sept. 30, 2004. But it's not a first for Lester.

Jon Lester is only the 23rd LHP to have multiple 14+ SO games. Also holy cow, Randy Johnson! http://t.co/o3qFLlHZFR pic.twitter.com/zJAdwdMDzE

— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) July 29, 2015

Of course, Kerry Wood struck out 20 against the Houston Astros back on May 6, 1998. That's the team record.

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Lester was striking them out early and often, racking up seven in the first three innings. Closer Hector Rondon added two strikeouts during his scoreless ninth inning, bringing the total to 16.

Offensively, Chicago did its damage early. Dexter Fowler led off the first inning with his 10th home run of the season. Anthony Rizzo then ended his 17-game homerless streak with a two-run shot in the third. It was his 17th long ball of the season, and it proved to be the difference as Chicago wrapped up the 2-4 home stand.

INDIANS OUTBURST SNAPS SIX-GAME LOSING SKID

The Cleveland Indians don't have much to sell, but they also don't have much to look forward to after their six-game losing streak dropped them to 16 games behind Kansas City in the AL Central. On Wednesday, the Indians finally put that streak behind them while at least making a marginal gain on the Royals, winning 12-1 at Progressive Field.

Cleveland did some serious damage against Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie, breaking through for single runs in the first and second, before launching three home runs in their six-run sixth. Giovanny Urshela and Michael Brantley book ended the inning with solo homers. In between, rookie Francisco Lindor provided the knockout punch with a three-run shot.

Cleveland scored four more in the eighth, capped by Yan Gomes two-run homer.

Meanwhile, the reigning American League Cy Young winner Corey Kluber was on cruise control for Cleveland. He ended up going the distance, allowing just a single run in the ninth. Kluber allowed five hits while striking out six. He lowered his season ERA to 3.44, but picked up only his sixth victory.

Want to see more from Wednesday’s slate of games? Check out our scoreboard.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

Author: Mark Townsend
Posted: July 30, 2015, 7:31 am

The Stew's Trade Deadline Digest recaps the day in news and rumors as MLB gets closer to the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. If you missed any of Wednesday's action, we're here to help you catch up with all the important links and tidbits.

DONE DEAL: Cole Hamels is headed to the Texas Rangers in a blockbuster eight-player deal. The Phillies will receive Matt Harrison and five prospects. [Jeff Passan]

DECISION MADE: The Tigers are "rebooting," and will try to trade anyone whose contract is expiring. That includes David Price and Yoenis Cespedes. [Detroit Free Press]

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RIGHT PRICE: Speaking of Price, with Cole Hamels off the board, the race for his services should only heat up even more. The Dodgers, Giants, Blue Jays and Yankees are all expected to be involved heading into Thursday. [CBSSports]

ALMOST DONE DEAL: The Dodgers, Marlins and Braves on the verge of a three-team that will send Mat Latos and Alex Wood to Los Angeles. [Jeff Passan]

Carlos Gomez smiles after hitting a grand slam in Cincinnati on July 3. (Getty Images)NO DEAL: Medical concerns over Carlos Gomez's hip halted a major deal with the Mets and Brewers [Tim Brown]

WAIT A SEC: Joe Maddon met with Starlin Castro and told him he would not be dealt. [Carrie Muskat]

UH OH: Drew Storen isn't exactly thrilled by the Nationals addition of Jonathan Papelbon. [The Stew]

STILL DEALIN': The Rangers remain open to the idea of trading starter Yovani Gallardo. He'll be a free agent after the season. [Jerry Crasnick]

GAINING STEAM: The Astros and Padres may be nearing a trade involving Tyson Ross or Andrew Cashner. [Houston Chronicle]

DONE DEAL: Joe Blanton was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates after being designated for assignment by Kansas City [Andy  McCullough]

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STAYING PUT: The list of teams interested in acquiring Aroldis Chapman is dwindling and it appears unlikely the Reds will move him before the deadline. [Jayson Stark]

INJURY ALERT: The Cardinals have lost Matt Holliday indefinitely with a quad injury. Will that put them in the hunt for a replacement? [Derrick Goold]

Follow all of Thursday's up-to-the-minute action in our Trade Deadline Tracker

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

Author: Mark Townsend
Posted: July 30, 2015, 6:29 am

(USA TODAY Sports)Wednesday was quite an interesting day for the Miami Marlins.

It started with reports that the team was back to its salary-shedding ways, sending pitcher Mat Latos and and top bench hitter Mike Morse to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a trio of minor leaguers. However, as the day went on, that trade struggled to cross the finish line as all players involved remained put when Wednesday's action began.

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According to Yahoo's Jeff Passan, that deal has now morphed into a three-team involving the Atlanta Braves. However, based on the sounds playing over the Marlins Park sound system during Washington Nationals batting practice, perhaps there was some concern that the Marlins.had.... well, we'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Went back through BP tape and found the fart noise during #Nats BP. This is not a joke. pic.twitter.com/Q7dweOdk19

— HoldenKushner (@Holdenradio) July 29, 2015

Honestly, it's difficult to make out what exactly was going on during that video. But wherever there's smoke there's obviously fire, or in this case flatulence. 

Now not only are the Marlins not playing music during Nats BP, loud fart noises are coming through the speakers. I swear, I'm not kidding.

— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) July 29, 2015

Marlins playing fart noises during Nats BP is the greatest fart-noise related event in American history.

— The Natidude (@TheNatidude) July 29, 2015

Giancarlo Stanton signed a 13 year contract extension with a team that is currently playing fart noises over the loud speakers.

— Upside Down FP (@FakeFP) July 29, 2015

If you ever wondered what Beavis and Butthead were up to in adulthood, apparently they're employed by the Marlins.

But that wasn't the only odd "musical" selection during Wednesday's pregame.

Fart noises have now been replaced by Kenny G-ish stuff. Beginning to think they borrowed @JamesWagnerWP's iPod.

— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 29, 2015

That Nats aren't into soothing music before the game, so they were forced to take matters into their own hands.

That on the far right is a speaker the Nats have brought onto the field. They're taking matters into their own hands. pic.twitter.com/SduJdOvCKu

— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) July 29, 2015

In a week already filled with some pretty strange stories, especially surrounding the trade deadline, this one is right at the top.

For what it's worth, the noises sure didn't knock Washington off its game. That's especially true for Bryce Harper, who launched two massive home runs in a 7-2 victory. 

BLS H/N: For The Win

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Author: Mark Townsend
Posted: July 30, 2015, 5:03 am

(Getty Images)Despite mounting evidence that a rebuild was exactly what the Philadelphia Phillies needed, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had remained hesitant to go all-in until this past winter. That hesitance — which many say was rooted in stubbornness — may have cost the Phillies potentially significant returns on players like Cliff Lee, who's now injured, and Chase Utley, whose value has decreased.

As the old saying goes though, better late than never.

Following back-to-back 89 loss seasons over the past two seasons, Amaro changed course and officially began the rebuilding process by trading Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers in December. The process picked up again this week with the trade of Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals. Now he's taken perhaps the big step in the process by unloading his hottest commodity, veteran left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels, to the Texas Rangers. 

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As Yahoo's Jeff Passan reports, the deal is nearing completion. The Phillies will send Hamels, along with left-handed reliever Jake Diekman, to Texas in exchange for a bevy of prospects and veteran left-hander Matt Harrison. According to Passan, Jorge Alfaro, a top catching prospect, is involved. As are outfielder Nick Williams and right-handers Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff and Alec Asher, bringing it to eight players overall. 

That's a monster deal, and it's exactly in line with what the Phillies need to do. They need to collect prospects and build that farm system up to a competitive level. 

Now former Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison (Getty Images)Of course, Harrison doesn't fit that description. The 29-year-old left-hander has made only nine starts since 2012 due to back problems. He's an injury risk, and he's still pretty expensive, with approximately $32 million owed to him through 2018. But he does at least provide a veteran presence and if healthy could rebuild his value enough to be traded as well down the road. 

Aside from that, the Phillies are receiving Texas' No. 2 and No. 3 ranked prospects respectively in Jake Thompson and Jorge Alfaro. Thompson is on the move for the second straight deadline after the Rangers acquired him from Detroit in last summer's Joakim Soria trade. The 21-year-old righty has a 4.72 ERA in 87 2/3 inning at Double-A. He entered the season as Baseball America's No. 43 ranked prospect.

Alfaro, 22, came in at No. 67 on the prospect list. He had a rough season at Double-A, hitting .253/.314/.432 with 15 doubles and five home runs before his season ended in June following ankle surgery. Still, there's plenty of upside and the Phillies will soon need an every day catcher as the Carlos Ruiz era nears its end. 

Those are the names that will be focused on two or three years down the road, but overall this is an impressive haul of prospects. In acquiring such quantity, the Phillies are also increasing the odds of getting a third and fourth valuable asset in the deal, which is often difficult to pull off. At the very least, it's difficult to imagine Amaro finding a better deal for a team that's years away from regaining relevance.

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Amaro said he had to be blown away in order to trade Hamels this season. This certainly qualifies. But now is when his stubbornness might come back to bite him. With Hamels gone, the well could quickly run dry in terms of tradeable assets. They have outfielders Ben Revere and Jeff Francouer on the table, but they aren't likely to fetch much. There's Ryan Howard, but where would the demand to take on his contract come from?  

There's not another impact deal to be made unless he moves a young asset like Maikel Franco, and that will certainly factor into the length of the process. 

There's a long, winding road ahead for the Phillies, but at least they're committed to traveling the correct road. 

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

Author: Mark Townsend
Posted: July 30, 2015, 4:30 am

As wonderful a game as baseball is, when you play it professionally you also have to deal with the business side of the game, which at times can lead to uncertainly and utlmately heartache. 

For Wilmer Flores, the heartache was plainly visible as he attempted to do his job on Wednesday night. As the Mets took on the San Diego Padres at Citi Field, word began to trickle out that Flores, along with Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler, would be traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for outfielder Carlos Gomez. 

Obviously that word got down to field level and to Flores himself, and it was difficult for him to keep his emotions in check. 

Surreal scene. Mets trade Wilmer Flores but leave him in game. Flores then cries on field while playing. pic.twitter.com/0CDpjGpwpS

— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) July 30, 2015

Wilmer Flores has been with the Mets organization since he signed as a 16-year-old in 2007, so it's easy to understand the emotions he was going through on the field. He's grown up with the team. He's made a home in New York. It's all he knows as a professional baseball player, and it's difficult to grasp the realization that it could end at any moment. 

As the innings wore on, everybody waited for Flores to leave the game, knowing it would symbolize that a trade had been completed. But the anticipation, which around social media circles has been termed as #HugWatch, simply turned to despair as Flores was left on the field. 

Not the biggest Wilmer Flores fan but damn you have to feel sorry for the kid #Mets

— Ethan Anander (@AmazinAsthmatic) July 30, 2015

It's heartbreaking, really, but perhaps there will be a happy ending for Flores after all.

Alderson just told #Mets’ writers “there is no trade” for Gomez and that a deal “will not transpire.”

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2015

He's still a Met tonight, and it appears he will be beyond the trade deadline, though undoubtedly this night will be a night Flores and everybody directly involved will never forget.

If the deal had been completed, adding Gomez would have been a major upgrade for the Mets struggling offense. That's the side we always focus on. But the trade would have also significantly altered the lives of all three involved, which is something we need to consider more.

Thanks to Wednesday's rare and raw glimpse at just how stressful and just how much impact these moments can have, maybe we will.  

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

Author: Mark Townsend
Posted: July 30, 2015, 2:37 am

Pittsburgh Pirates star Andrew McCutchen had a huge game in Wednesday's 10-3 victory against the Minnesota Twins.

In the fifth inning, McCutchen clubbed a conventional two-run homer against Twins starter Ervin Santana, which tied the game 3-3. The very next inning, Pittsburgh had jumped out to a 5-3 lead on a Santana wild pitch and a sacrifice fly from Starling Marte. That set the stage for McCutchen to blow the game wide open, which is exactly what he did, though this time the outcome was anything but conventional.

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With runners at first and second and two outs, McCutchen laced a would-be single to right field that Minnesota right fielder Eddie Rosario aggressively misplayed in a disaster. Rosario was obviously looking to come up throwing somewhere, perhaps home or perhaps to third base, looking to cut down one of the runners and end the rally. Instead, he only added fuel to the fire by allowing the baseball to skip over his left shoulder all the way to the wall.

With Pirates flying around the bases, Rosario rather casually chased the ball down. Once secured, he made a strong throw into All-Star second baseman Brian Dozier, and that's when the real chaos began.

Yes, everything to that point was the appetizer.

Dozier's relay throw ended up sailing over the head of shortstop Eduardo Escobar and somehow skipped right through the legs of third baseman Eduardo Nunez. At that point, two runs had already scored and McCutchen was standing on third base satisfied with everything that had just gone down, but here now was a chance to complete a rare Little League home run.

McCutchen went for it, and after about two steps crashed directly into Nunez, who was chasing the ball. Both went down, but McCutchen was awarded home plate on an obstruction call. 

MLB Blitz. #N64 http://t.co/VPNd5cZ7FF pic.twitter.com/Sk0wh1K2zi

— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) July 29, 2015

Little League home run complete. Three more runs on the board. Oh, and yes, there were errors charged as well. Rosario was given an error for his misplay in the outfield, and Nunez was also charged for letting the ball trickle through his legs. For McCutchen, it was a single, one RBI and one memorable trip around the bases.  

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Of course, because he's Andrew McCutchen, his day wouldn't be complete without a highlight in the outfield as well. In the fourth inning, he robbed Kurt Suzuki of extra bases with a running catch in center field that ended with McCutchen banging into the wall. 

Once again, Andrew McCutchen was everywhere and in the middle of everything, which is why he's a perennial MVP candidate.

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Author: Mark Townsend
Posted: July 29, 2015, 11:11 pm

(AP Photo)Much like your relationship with an ex-girlfriend, the trade that was supposed to send Mat Latos and Michael Morse to the Los Angeles Dodgers is complicated. 

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Early Wednesday, it appeared the two sides had reached an agreement. The Miami Marlins would send Latos and Morse to the Dodgers for a prospect and a draft pick. The name of that prospect was never released, which should have been our first sign that things were off.

A few hours later, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald dropped this bomb on Twitter.

Now hearing the trade is far from complete. Sources telling me it could be falling apart. Total confusion. #marlins

— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) July 29, 2015

"Total confusion" seems like an apt way to describe the Marlins lately. 

Apparently, the holdup is due to medicals.

Source: Marlins-Dodgers deal on hold over medicals.

— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) July 29, 2015

It's unclear which player has iffy medicals. Latos spent most of last season on the shelf, but had regained his velocity recently, indicating maybe he was back to 100 percent.

Instead of joining their new clubs tonight, both Latos and Morse will be in uniform for the Marlins for Wednesday's game. 

Sources: Latos and Morse will be in uniform for #Marlins tonight.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 29, 2015

Latos is definitely aware of the situation, and appears to be having some fun with it.

Latos pretending to have a severe limp in dugout, laughing. He's obviously having fun with this bizarre situation. #Marlins

— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) July 29, 2015

What does it all mean? We have no idea. 

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The trade looking like it was happening earlier in the day, and now things aren't so clear. The Dodgers were involved in a similar situation this offseason when they traded Matt Kemp. That situation took weeks before the trade actually went through.

The two teams don't have that much time right now. Given that the deadline is in just a few days, and that there are other pitchers out there, it will be interesting to see how quickly this issue gets resolved. 

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 29, 2015, 11:00 pm

Being a part of a winning baseball team can sometimes lead to some odd rituals. Joe Maddon has constantly resorted to weird gimmicks to keep his team loose, the Astros have employed a fog machine in the clubhouse and Chris Sale occasionally tries to sneak a word of the day into his interviews.

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The Royals are the latest team to adopt one of these routines. Players on the team are trying to work "1738" into all of their interviews. 

KC players are fining each other if they don't use "1738" in postgame interviews. I have no idea what it means. Success has driven them mad.

— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) July 29, 2015

Players are fining each other for not working in the phrase, so you know this has become serious business.

So, why "1738?" Allow us to try and explain.

The number has to do with the song "Trap Queen" by Fetty Wap. 

The number is mentioned right at the beginning of the song. Also, Fetty Wap refers to his crew as the Remy Boyz. Remy Martin 1738 is a brand of Cognac. On top of all of this, Lorenzo Cain uses the song "Trap Queen" as his current walkup music. Is it all coming together now? We hope so.

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OK, so now that you have an idea of why "1738" is so important to the Royals, let's take a look at how successful they've been implementing their new ritual.

Cain on Bauer: "He was like a 17-38 to the plate." Hosmer on his RBIs against Cleveland: "I'll take 17. I'll take 38."

— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) July 29, 2015

But wait, there's more.

Moustakas on Hosmer's pick: "Hoz picks that thing 17 out of 38 times."

— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) July 29, 2015

And finally.

Coming to a television near you: Lorenzo Cain saying, "You can name 17, 38 great plays we've made."

— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) July 29, 2015

There you have it. That's the thing the Royals are doing now. While we appreciate their commitment to the gig, it doesn't seem as creative as some of the other stuff we've seen recently. 

At the same time, the Royals probably don't care what they think. Kansas City is the happening baseball place to be right now. The team is the current World Series favorite, they just picked up Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist and they've embraced the song of the summer. 

This stunt might seem lame now, but just wait until Lorenzo Cain goes 17 of 38 during the team's World Series run. Then, we'll all know how foolish we were to ever criticize this ritual.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 29, 2015, 9:46 pm

The Detroit Tigers eked out a tough win Wednesday, topping the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 after Rays' starter Chris Archer carried a perfect game into the seventh inning. The Tigers rallied in the seventh. Justin Verlander pitched his game of the season. It was pretty good from a Tigers perspective.

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Still, none of this was enough to prevent the inevitable conclusion for these 2015 Tigers. They're sellers at the trade deadline. People within baseball have been saying so for a week now, as the team drifted into fourth place in the AL Central. The Detroit front office kept saying it would see how things played out, not willing to admit its fate. But after Wednesday's win, GM Dave Dombrowski did just that.

Here's some of what Dombrowski had to say, via Anthony Fenech at the Detroit Free Press:

Dave Dombrowski said the Tigers are willing to listen to offers on their players. He termed their trade deadline approach a "rebooting."

— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) July 29, 2015

"We’re only going to make a trade if it makes sense for us," Dombrowski said, "But we think it gives us a chance to restock our club."

— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) July 29, 2015

Dombrowski said, "It's not easy for us to do that because we have really been trying to win on a yearly basis."

— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) July 29, 2015

Dombrowski said the team isn't involved in any active negotiations but has fielded numerous phone calls from other teams.

— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) July 29, 2015

You can bet the phones are ringing right now. The most calls will come for ace David Price and slugger Yoenis Cespedes, two free-agents-to-be that the Tigers hoped could help them to their fifth straight AL Central title. But with Miguel Cabrera still injured, there's little chance of the Tigers to contend. They're already the eighth team back for a wild card. Other Tigers that could be dealt: closer Joakim Soria, outfielder Rajai Davis, catcher Alex Avila and pitcher Alfredo Simon, all of whom are free agents after this season.

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Price would fit many teams and come cheaper than Cole Hamels, since he's a rental. The Los Angeles Dodgers figure to be a strong suitor there. The Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros are chasing pitchers, while the New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants could be players too. Cespedes, meanwhile, would be a great fit for a New York Mets team that needs a big boost of offense. The Baltimore Orioles have also reportedly been in the hunt for some outfield help.

We've got two more days to see what happens, but the Tigers just made things a lot more interesting. You can bet on that.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 29, 2015, 8:45 pm

(Getty Images)Joe Carter hit a walk-off home run to clinch the World Series for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993. It's one of the more iconic homers in baseball history. It's the highest of highs for an MLB slugger. Yet, only today, 17 years after retirement, did Carter announce that he "officially made it." And he has Drake to thank.

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Drake, the Toronto-reppin' hip-hop softy, came out swinging in the wee hours Wednesday morning unleashing a not-at-all soft diss track named "Back to Back" aimed at rival rapper Meek Mill. It was a Mike Tyson-style KO and for his cover art, Drake picked the image of Carter rounding the bases after his famous game-winner. 

It's clever, because Drake is from Toronto and Meek Mill is from Philly. The Blue Jays beat the Philadelphia Phillies in that 1993 World Series. It was the second of back-to-back titles for Jays. Round of applause for Drake, everybody, for connecting this to baseball so well. Carter, meanwhile, was super duper stoked. Check his tweet:

I have officially made it now!!! Thanks to my man @drake. I'm honored bro. #BackToBack. pic.twitter.com/TH8VLuPAMQ

— Joe Carter (@JoeCarter_29) July 29, 2015

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Carter also told TMZ Sports:

"I had no idea [Drake was going to use that photo] ... I'm honored that he used it."

Carter tells us he knows Drake and has seen him around Toronto several times over the years -- and says Drake is a great ambassador for the city, which Joe considers his 2nd home.

But the best part for Joe -- "My 25-year-old son thinks I'm cool now."

There's only one thing for Meek Mill to do now: Get Mitch Williams to rap on his retort record.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 29, 2015, 7:58 pm
(Getty Images)

The Washington Nationals made a big move Tuesday, dealing for Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. While you would think most players on the team would be happy about picking up a premium closer, there was at least one Nationals who had mixed feelings on the move.

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Current closer Drew Storen gave somewhat of a strange quote when asked about the move. Storen told Bill Ladson of MLB.com that he was aware of the trade, but didn't go into much detail on his thoughts

"All I'm going to say is, I'm aware of the move and I've talked to Mike about it. I've talked to my agent about it," Storen said. "We've had some ongoing discussions. Until those have progressed, I'm just going to leave it at that. No comment for now. But as the situation goes, I'll keep you guys posted."

Storen's quote can be interpreted a number of ways. Since he is being moved out of the closers role, one major speculation is that Storen could ask the Nationals for a trade. This is the third time Storen has lost the ninth inning spot in his brief career with the Nationals. He hasn't pitched poorly in the role, especially this year, so it's easy to see why he would be frustrated.(Getty Images)

It's also possible that he's talking to both sides about a possible extension. Storen will be eligible for arbitration during the offseason, and his save total will influence how much he gets paid. Perhaps Storen is asking that the Nationals pay him a fixed rate now so this move doesn't impact him in the offseason.

It's also possible that neither scenario is the case. We have no idea what Storen is talking to his agent about, but we can understand why he's upset.

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Storen has been one of the better relievers in the game this season. Through 36 1/3 innings, he's posted a 1.73 ERA with a career-high strikeout rate. He's also saved 29 games, so he's clearly been able to get the job done. 

Papelbon has also been strong this season, and wouldn't accept a trade to the Nationals unless he was the closer. He had all the leverage here, and used it to his advantage. While we can feel bad that Storen winds up getting moved into the eighth inning role, having Papelbon makes the Nationals a better team.

But, yeah, the whole thing kind of stinks for Storen. He's pitched well, and now he's being "demoted" to a lesser role. That's not exactly the situation, but it will seem that way when it's time for Storen to get paid. Arbitration hearings will often rely on traditional stats like saves in order to determine a player's value, so Storen moving to the eighth actually could cost him some money in the offseason.

Everyone is going to have to get along soon, because it seems unlikely the Nationals will turn around and deal Storen as a result of this deal. Bringing in Papelbon strengthens a clear area of need, and it doesn't make sense for the Nats to put themselves in the same hole by trading Storen a week later.

Storen has a reason to be upset, but, in the end, the team is better with both players. He might be upset now, but we suspect that anger will subside if the move leads to a World Series ring.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 29, 2015, 6:50 pm

Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria (AP)You know the old adage: When the going gets tough, the Marlins start shredding. Money, that is.

The Miami Marlins, the team that many around baseball were hoping wouldn't disappoint us again this season, confirmed Wednesday their status as disappointments.

They've reportedly traded Mat Latos and Michael Morse to the Los Angeles Dodgers, getting a still unnamed prospect in return and also sending L.A. one of its competitive balance draft picks.

UPDATE: Not so fast. The trade might be falling apart due to player medicals.

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Selling isn't wrong when you're the Marlins — a team that had playoff expectations, but is 42-58 at the moment and without face-of-the-franchise slugger Giancarlo Stanton. All-Star Dee Gordon just returned from a stint on the DL. Selling can be savvy this time of year. But everybody just had higher hopes for the Marlins this season.

Let's recall that they signed Stanton to that monster contract and promised to build an All-Star team around him. The Marlins didn't win the offseason, but they did enough to have fans thinking about the postseason, with the additions of Latos, Morse, Gordon and the return of ace Jose Fernandez. The team fizzled early. The front office placed the blame on manager Mike Redmond and fired him. In a puzzling move, they made GM Dan Jennings the field manager, because nothing ever goes as it should in owner Jeffrey Loria's house.

You can't entirely blame the Marlins for giving up on 2015. Latos is a free agent to be, so get what you can for him. Morse, who has been underwhelming, is owed the rest of his $7 million for this season and $8 million next season. So get rid of the bad contract, fine. The thorn that sticks out the most, though, is the draft pick.

It's a good bet that the deep-pocketed Dodgers are getting the draft pick for paying Morse's contract, so this tells us all we need to know about the Marlins' front office: They'd rather save money right now than set the team up for the future. It's a competitive balance draft pick, the ones given to teams in smaller markets or with smaller revenues. Those occur between the first and second rounds of the draft, so a team will probably get a good player if they're smart.

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But these Marlins, their instinct is to save money before being smart about fielding a baseball team. This is the Marlins' way, always has been. It was the same story when owner Jeffrey Loria dismantled a World Series winner and when he destroyed a team of high-profile acquisitions after a disappointing start. Now, they're trading a draft pick intended to help them compete with the big boys — to the big boys — to save some money. Brilliant! 

We know this story by now. The Marlins give their fans just enough to inspire hope. Then they turn into a flea market when it best suits their needs. 

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 29, 2015, 5:21 pm

Take another starting pitcher off the trade blocks. According to reports, the Los Angeles Dodgers are set to acquire right-hander Mat Latos from the Miami Marlins.

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Chicago Sun-Times reporter Gordon Wittenmeyer broke the news on Twitter:

Source: Latos, Morse to Dodgers for prospects. At least one competitive balance pick also to Dodgers. W/ Latos off board Haren still in play

— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) July 29, 2015

The Dodgers had been searching for a reliable pitcher to slot in behind their dynamic duo of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Latos, 27, fits the bill. He has missed time this season with knee and foot injuries but he has some upside. He is 4-7 with a 4.48 ERA in 16 starts this season, statistically his worst season. Maybe he will be buoyed by a trade to a World Series contender. He is also a free agent after this season.

Morse is a journeyman first baseman and outfielder who will join his fifth team in the last three seasons. He is slashing .214/.277/.314 in 52 games this season with four home runs and 12 RBIs. Reports say the Dodgers will take on all of his salary for this season and next. He’s owed $7.5 million this season and $8.5 million in 2016. The Dodgers will also receive a compensation pick.

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There’s no word yet on the prospects heading back to the Marlins, but this could signal the start of a firesale for Miami. As mentioned in Wittenmeyer’s Tweet, the Marlins could look to deal starter Dan Haren as well. Haren is 34 but a former All-Star and is a free agent after this season. The Marlins already traded reliever Steve Cishek to the Cardinals last week.

The Dodgers might not be done either:

The #Dodgers, who sought two starters all along,still have their sights on landing the big one: #Tigers David Price or #Phillies Cole Hamels

— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 29, 2015

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Ian Denomme is an editor and writer for Yahoo Sports. Email him at denomme@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter.

Author: Ian Denomme
Posted: July 29, 2015, 3:47 pm

Normally when a team scores five runs in the first inning, and chases the other team’s starter, it wins. Normally that team doesn’t lose by 16 runs. Tuesday’s game between the Rangers and Yankees was anything but normal.

The Yankees used a 10-hit, 11-run second inning to erase a 5-0 deficit and cruise to an improbable 21-5 victory over the Rangers. The Yankees didn’t hit a single home run in the inning and knocked starter Martin Perez out of the game after the first eight batters reached safely.

The second inning looked like this:

Uh, so does that still count as striking out the side?

The 11-run inning was just one of the many oddities in the game as the Yankees scored the most runs in the majors this season, and won for the eighth time in nine games. After the first inning, the Yankees chances of winning were eight percent, according to the Baseball-Reference.com win probability chart. After the second inning, it was 93 percent.

Some more fun facts from the game: The Rangers appeared well on their way to a win after scoring five runs in the first inning off Yankees starter Chris Capuano. Capuano didn’t make it out of the inning and his ERA ballooned from 5.64 to 6.97.

But after Capuano left two Yankees relievers combined to throw 8.1 innings of no-hit ball. Diego Moreno, who was recalled from Triple-A earlier in the day, went 5.1 innings giving up no hits, walking one, and striking out five. Adam Warren pitched the final three innings and earned a save – in a game won by 16 runs.

After Rangers starter Perez got yanked in the second inning, the Rangers had to use six different relievers to finish the game.

Mark Teixeira was the only Yankees starter to not record a hit or an RBI. Chris Young drove in five runs for the Yankees thanks in part to a third-inning grand slam, and the Yankees went 11-for-21 with runners in scoring position.

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Ian Denomme is an editor and writer for Yahoo Sports. Email him at denomme@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter.

Author: Ian Denomme
Posted: July 29, 2015, 3:00 pm

This is The StewPod, our weekly baseball podcast with a dash of pop culture. If you dig us, please subscribe on iTunes.

It's trade-deadline week in MLB, with rumors and news popping up at any moment. Contenders are trying to improve themselves for a playoff run and cellar-dwellers are trying to spin off spare parts to rebuild. It will be a lot of fun to watch what happens before the non-waiver trade deadline at 4 p.m. ET Friday.

On this week's StewPod, we're in full trade deadline mode and we've got an ex-MLB general manager to take us behind the scenes. Dan O'Dowd was the Colorado Rockies GM for 15 years. He's now an MLB Network analyst, so he has experiences on two sides of this wild week. O'Dowd will be part of MLB Network’s trade deadline coverage all week, including a special "MLB Tonight: Trade Deadline Edition," airing Friday at 1 p.m. ET.

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You can hear him on The StewPod, as he talks takes us into an MLB front office to explain how trades are initiated, what steps come between that first idea and actually pulling the trigger, how social media and media reports impact what GMs do and much more. Because of his extensive history with the Rockies, we also had to ask him about the biggest news of the week — the Troy Tulowitzki trade to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Here's a full rundown of this week's show:
• Intro
• Dan O'Dowd joins the show to talk about Troy Tulowitzki trade.
• How important is payroll flexibility?
• How wild is trade-deadline week for execs?
• How are trade talks initiated? How do you communicate? What happens next?
• Which board game is trading most like?
• How has Twitter affected things?
• What's the difference being on the media side of things?
• We talk about the Tulo deal.
• Best trade so far?
• What trade still needs to happen?
• Who may be a deadline dud?
• Important questions

[Music: "Black Jesus" by Ghostface Killah]

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 29, 2015, 2:03 pm

Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.

The Oakland Athletics may be selling off parts, but pitcher Sonny Gray is here to stay. The right-hander was excellent during a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

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Gray was so good that the Athletics didn't need to use any other pitcher during the contest. He went the distance, giving up just three hits during a complete game shutout. Gray struck out nine and walked one during the performance. 

It was Gray's fourth career shutout. Two of those have come this month.

That's Gray's second shutout this month.

— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 29, 2015

Gray apparently wasn't satisfied with just dominating on the mound. He actually picked up his first major-league hit during the contest.

Gray singled on a 96 mph fastball from Pedro Baez to open the eighth inning. Though he had an outside chance at a double, Gray showed excellent awareness, opting not to test Yasiel Puig's arm.

Gray, who had been sharing a bat with Scott Kazmir all season, used one of Billy Butler's bats for the hit. Though he said it was too heavy, Butler told Gray he could keep the bat.

Gray used Butler's bat for his hit. Says it was way too heavy. Butler says he can keep it.

— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 29, 2015

Gray improved to 11-4 with the win. The Athletics are currently 45-56, which puts them in last place in the American League West.

YANKEES EXPLODE FOR 21 RUNS

The New York Yankees came to play Tuesday night. The club exploded for 21 runs during a blowout of the Texas Rangers.

Though New York eventually wound up on top, things didn't look so rosy early. Starter Chris Capuano couldn't make it out of the first inning, giving up five runs. 

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It didn't take long for the Yankees to strike back. In the second inning, the team scored an incredible 11 runs. Six different players accounted for run-scoring hits in the frame. Both Chase Headley and Brendan Ryan each had two run-scoring hits.

While the output of the second inning wouldn't be topped, the Yankees didn't let up. The club scored four more runs in the third, three in the sixth and two in the ninth.

Pretty much every player on the team turned in a big offensive game. Four Yankees had at least three RBIs, two walked three times and six wound up scoring multiple runs.

With the win, New York improved to 57-42 on the year.

SYNDERGAARD LOOKS SUPER

New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard is nicknamed after a superhero, and now he's starting to pitch like one. Syndergaard was fantastic during the club's 4-0 win over the San Diego Padres.

Syndergaard tossed eight shutout innings, giving up just three hits during the contest. He struck out nine and did not issue any walks.

The rookie has been on a tremendous run lately. Over his last six starts, he's allowed just six earned runs. Syndergaard has started throwing a slider more often during his last two starts, so that could be a reason for his recent success.

While he's been great lately, it's tough to argue against Tuesday being his best start of the season. Syndergaard had a perfect game entering the seventh inning. That was broken up by a Will Venable single to lead off the frame.

With the win, the Mets improved to 52-48 on the season.

THE WHITE SOX WON'T LOSE

The Chicago White Sox are certainly making things interesting at the trade deadline. The club ripped off another win Tuesday, picking up the 9-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

With the victory, the team now has a six-game winning streak. Due to the club's recent success, some are starting to wonder whether pitcher Jeff Samardzija will actually be dealt at the deadline.

Better chance of Tigers trading Price than White Sox trading Samardzija, as I just said on @FOXSports1 #MLBWhipAround.

— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 29, 2015

Though the White Sox's record is just 48-50, the club remains 3.5 games out of the second wild card spot. Given how horrible they've looking to open the year, that's pretty shocking.

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The White Sox have two more games against Boston before the trade deadline. If they can continue to extend their winning streak, they may not sell like everyone expected.

Want to see more from Tuesday's slate of games? Check out our scoreboard.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 29, 2015, 7:22 am

(Getty Images)
The Stew's Trade Deadline Digest recaps the day in news and rumors as MLB gets closer to the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. If you missed any of Tuesday's action, we're here to help you catch up with all the important links and tidbits.

BIG SURPRISE: Due to the White Sox's recent winning streak they could opt to hang on to pitcher Jeff Samardzija. It's starting to look like Tigers ace David Price is more available. [Jon Morosi]

TRUE OR FALSE: One exec thinks James Shields will end up on the Giants, but there's a belief that the Padres will not trade within their division. [Jayson Stark]

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PRIORITIES, MAN: The Dodgers have made Cole Hamels their No. 1 priority [Joel Sherman]

WAIT A MINUTE: The Astros have also made a push for Hamels, but he could veto a deal there if the two sides are able to come to an agreement. [Ken Rosenthal]

DONE DEAL: Nationals solidify their bullpen by adding Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies. [Tim Brown]

ARIZONA HEAT: The D-backs talked to the Reds about Aroldis Chapman. [Jeff Passan](Getty Images)

UP NEXT: With Troy Tulowitzki gone, the Rockies are expected to trade outfielder Carlos Gonzalez next. The Mets and Orioles make sense as a destinations. [CBS Sports]

NOT SO FAST: Some executives believe the Rox may wait until the offseason to deal Jose Reyes. The idea behind that thinking is that Reyes will put up strong offensive numbers and rebuild his value. [Jeff Passan]

DONE DEAL: Royals make another all-in move, getting Ben Zobrist from A's. [The Stew]

GET EVERYONE: The Dodgers are considering a number of pitchers. If they fail for Hamels or Price, they could look at Mike Leake or Yovani Gallardo. [Jerry Crasnick]

INTERESTING: The Orioles have interest in Padres slugger Justin Upton. [Jon Morosi]

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DONE DEAL: Angels pick up two more outfielders, trading for David DeJesus of the Rays and David Murphy of the Indians. [Tim Brown]

Follow all of Wednesday's up-to-the-minute action in our Trade Deadline Tracker

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 29, 2015, 5:58 am

 

Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu picked up one of the weirdest home runs of the season Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox.

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In the top of the sixth inning, Abreu smashed a 91 mph fastball from Wade Miley out to deep center field. Mookie Betts had to range back near the wall in order to make the play. He caught the ball a few steps away from the wall, but his momentum carried him over the wall and into the bullpen.

Betts hit the ground pretty hard, and his teammates came rushing to his aid immediately. He appeared to be fine, though, climbing over the wall with the ball in his glove. Abreu was initially ruled out.

Well, the White Sox must have seen something no one else did, because they challenged the catch. Replays showed Betts lost control of the ball as he landed in the Red Sox's bullpen. 

Suddenly, the umpires had a tough decision to make. They had to determine whether Betts had control of the ball long enough to consider it a catch, or if losing control of the ball after falling meant Abreu had hit a home run.

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After some deliberation, the umps decided on the latter. Betts did not complete the catch, and Abreu was awarded with his 16th home run of the season.

It was a situation that was strangely similar to Dez Bryant's non-catch in the NFL playoffs. The NFL has clear rules established for this type of thing, but it doesn't often happen in baseball.

Like Bryant's situation, there's sure to be plenty of differing opinions on whether Betts had control of the ball long enough for it to be considered an out. Fans can't ask whether Betts made a football move when making that argument, though.

Betts left the game shortly after the play. He was checked for a concussion, and it appears he may be placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list Wednesday.

Betts was taken to MGH for a CT scan. Essentially has a concussion. 7-day DL is probable. Would think #RedSox recall Bradley.

— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) July 29, 2015

While the result was ultimately negative for Betts, that shouldn't take away from his great play. Betts has played strong defense for the Red Sox all season, and this was just another example of that.

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Unfortunately, this one was overruled due to a weird rule, making Betts look like the goat here. In the end, Betts may be a bit embarassed about giving Abreu a cheap home run, but at least he didn't go full Canseco out there

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 29, 2015, 4:05 am

Being traded at the deadline can be hectic for most players. For at least a couple of hours, your life is flipped upside down. You have to meet up with your new club, get acquainted with your new teammates and, possibly, relocate your family to a new city.

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David DeJesus only has to worry about two of those things after Tuesday's trade. DeJesus was shipped from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Los Angeles Angels, and you would be hard-pressed to find someone more excited about the news than his wife Kim.

@David_DeJesus3 is officially an Angel!!!!!!! And I'm officially in heaven!!!!!!!!!!

— Kim DeJesus (@KimDeJesus9) July 28, 2015

We've seen Kim DeJesus follow the trade deadline before. In 2013, she attempted to get through the day by having a few drinks

Back then, Kim didn't want David to get sent to another team. Now, she seems pretty happy about it. What's up with that?

There's no need to be angry, Rays' fans, Kim has a pretty good reason for being excited about David going to the Angels.

Huge thank you to Tampa for loving on David n being so good to him! He loved it!! But I live in LA so now he gets to see his son everyday :)

— Kim DeJesus (@KimDeJesus9) July 28, 2015

That seems like an appropriate response.

Kim's reaction brings up an interesting aspect of most trades. Both analysts and fans don't often consider player's families when trades are announced. This season, David was spending most of his time across the country, and unable to be with his son often.(@KimDeJesus on Instagram)

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With the trade, he not only gets to play for a contender, but he gets to see his family a lot more. That might not impact his performance on the field, but it has to be good for his mental state. 

It's also not the first time family has come into play during this year's trade deadline. The Cleveland Indians have said they won't deal infielder Mike Aviles because his daughter is currently battling leukemia

Too often, we get caught up in trades and look at players as assets. Stories like this help humanize ball players. They have families, just like us, and being able to see their family members more often is probably a good thing.

Once the deadline is over, the David DeJesus trade will probably look pretty minor to most analysts. For DeJesus, though, the change is a pretty massive upgrade, in more than one way.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 29, 2015, 12:28 am
(AP Photo)

For the second time this season, New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia has failed a steroid test. Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that Mejia had once again tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. As a result, Mejia will now miss the club's next 162 games.

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The move seems to have come as a shock to many within the organization.

Alderson seems genuinely shocked by this. Almost can't believe it. Hasn't talked to Mejia yet.

— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) July 28, 2015

Carig is referring to Mets general manager Sandy Alderson there, obviously.

It's not just members of the front office, though. Some of Mejia's teammates expressed disbelief that this could happen again.

(@Vic_Black_2)

Black's tweet has since been deleted, but it's easy to understand why he was frustrated with the news.

Mejia tested positive for Stanozolol and Boldenore, two performance-enhancing drugs. He had tested positive for Stanozolol back in April, so this is the second time this season he's been caught using that drug.(Getty Images)

As we've seen with most suspensions, teammates of players who test positive are generally supportive once those guys return. Whether or not they truly feel that way, they at least put on a good act for the media.

With Mejia testing positive again, we can see why Black would be upset. Mejia put his club in a bad position once again. While it appears the players are willing to deal with their teammates making a mistake once, making that same mistake a second time is unacceptable. 

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The news does put the Mets in a rough spot. Mejia had emerged as a useful member of the bullpen over the past two seasons, and would have helped the club during the second half. While he was unable to pitch in the postseason due to his first suspension, he was still a good piece to have on a contending club.

Tyler Clippard was brought in on Monday to strengthen the bullpen, and this news skews the way analysts should evaluate the deal now. Clippard was supposed to pair with Mejia and Jeurys Familia to give the Mets a solid trio at the back end. Now, he merely takes Mejia's spot. Clippard's a good reliever, but now it looks like the Mets are just treading water with the move instead of improving their bullpen. That's all due to this suspension.

If there's any positive in all of this, it's that the Mets have been able to get by without Mejia for most of the year. The team doesn't necessarily need him to be successful, even though he would have helped down the stretch. 

The loss does hurt, though, and one would think it could have been easily prevented. That's the most frustrating part of the whole thing. Mejia knew he would be monitored more closely, and still got popped with another positive test.

The Mets were already clawing to get their way back into the playoff race, and losing Mejia could certainly make the difference down the stretch. His teammates have every right to be angry about the suspension.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

Author: Chris Cwik
Posted: July 28, 2015, 11:14 pm

The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced a major change Tuesday to the process by which players are voted into Cooperstown. The Hall of Fame is making the Baseball Writers Association of America, the longtime arbiters of voting, take away ballots from members who haven't actively covered baseball in 10 years.

While it might seem perfectly rational to take Hall of Fame votes away from writers who no longer cover the game, that's never been the BBWAA way. Once a writer earns a Hall of Fame vote — it first takes 10 years of being a BBWAA member — he or she would keep the Hall of Fame vote for life. 

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And thus, you'd have voters who were quite detached from the game deciding who is worthy of baseball's most esteemed honor. There are about 650 eligible Hall of Fame voters with 549 ballots cast in the last election. A recent example of Hall of Fame voting gone awry: A voter chose Hideo Nomo two years ago but not Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine or Frank Thomas. He was a former newspaper reporter who had become the director of development and alumni affairs at a prep school. He said he was taking a moral stand against anybody who played in the PED era, but was sure Nomo had never cheated. Hey, once a Hall of Fame voter, always a Hall of Fame voter. Until now.

Here's the official announcement from the Hall of Fame on the matter:

Hall of Fame voter roll purge ... pic.twitter.com/VeKTyEnizr

— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) July 28, 2015

The new policy raises some questions: How well will they be able track inactivity, for instance. Does writing three or four pieces a year count? What about longtime scribes who retired but still pay close attention? Perhaps they'll get some leeway with the "annual reinstatement" mentioned above.

(AP)Overall, though, this seems like a big step in the right direction for the Hall of Fame. If the Hall demands only the best players, then the electorate should also be vetted closely. We're in the middle of the most complicated era of Hall of Fame voting, with so many differing opinions on PEDs and the era of baseball they consumed. Things will only get more complex when the Alex Rodriguezes of the world are eligible for Cooperstown. 

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Reigning in the pool of voters should change the conversation some. The voters who make the cut will be more contemporary and active within the game, not holding onto the way things used to be decades ago. Honoring history is great, being stuck in it, not so much. This probably still won't mean Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens get a big enough boost to reach the all-important 75 percent threshold, but their votes should increase somewhat.

And while a few ex-reporters in their new careers will be upset to lose their I'm-a-Hall-of-Fame-voter bragging rights, that's not nearly as important as refining what many fans looked at as a broken process. 

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 28, 2015, 9:41 pm

The tenor of the Colorado Rockies clubhouse was understandably foul after news spread that the team had dealt star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays. Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan wrote a column looking behind-the-scenes at how Tulo and his teammates found out he'd be traded north of the border. It was clear nobody in a Rockies uniform was too happy.

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Frustration was still echoing Tuesday afternoon, when third baseman Nolan Arenado, the likely heir to Tulo's face-of-the-franchise throne once the trade deadline passes spoke to the Denver Post. Arenado, 24, seemed upset that Tulowitzki was gone and unimpressed with the Rockies' return in the trade.

He even unleashed his humdinger of a quote to The Denver Post's Patrick Saunders:

"I don't know any of these dudes we got," Arenado said. "But I think if we were going to trade Tulo, I would think it would be for an ace, an established veteran pitcher. Obviously we are starting to rebuild from the ground up."

It's a good thing, we suppose, that Arenado isn't a GM, because the Rockies dealing Tulowitzki wasn't a win-now move that would return an ace pitcher nor should it have been. The Rockies' hope seems to be building a core of good pitchers that can propel the team once Arenado is in his prime. The team got highly touted young fireballers Miguel Castro and Jeff Hoffman from the Blue Jays, plus another pitching prospect, Jesus Tinoco, and veteran shortstop Jose Reyes. And while Reyes isn't an ace pitcher, we're pretty sure Arenado has heard of him.

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The word around baseball is that outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is the next Rockie to be traded before Friday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver deadline. Arenado foresees that too and is already counting on being upset.

"I do think he will be gone, and I'll be disappointed in that also," Arenado said.

Here's hoping, for Arenado's sake, the Rockies can at least get someone he knows in return for CarGo.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 28, 2015, 8:41 pm

(Getty Images)Many people didn't believe. They didn't believe that the Kansas City Royals, who were one win from a World Series title last year, could do it again. They didn't believe the team was built to withstand the tough AL Central. They didn't believe that last year's Cinderella could be this year's belle of the ball.

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But the Royals believe. They believe this is their year and they proved it again Tuesday by adding Ben Zobrist from the Oakland Athletics, another move signaling that the Royals are all-in for 2015.

The A's are getting two pitching prospects in return. Here's the deal, as reported by Yahoo Sports' own Jeff Passan:

Final deal: Ben Zobrist to Kansas City, Sean Manaea and Aaron Brooks to Oakland. Kansas City is getting more than $2M from the A's, too.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 28, 2015

With Zobrist joining new ace Johnny Cueto in the Royals clubhouse, it's hard not to believe now. And it's hard, frankly, to see these Royals as anything other than a legit World Series team.

Kansas City (60-38) was the best team in the American League in the first half and with its win Monday night, it was the first team in the AL to 60 wins. The Royals have an eight-game lead in the AL Central, a division they appear to have a good hold on unless a catastrophe strikes.

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This isn't about the division. This is about what they didn't finish last year. The two needs the Royals had coming into trade-deadline week were at second base and atop their rotation. Zobrist, a play-anywhere utility man, can slide into the starting second-base job immediately and be an upgrade over Omar Infante, the weak link in Kansas City's lineup. He can also help in the outfield if needed, where the Royals are without injured All-Star Alex Gordon, who should return in early September. He can play short or third if need be and generally give the Royals a boost where ever they might need it.

Cueto, meanwhile, has already given the Royals an ace presence at the top of their starting rotation, better even than James Shields, who was their de facto No. 1 starter last year even though he really more of a No. 2. The Royals are fifth in MLB in team ERA, with a big assist from their fantastic bullpen. Their starting pitchers have the 21st best ERA in the league, but Cueto should help a lot.

Like Cueto, Zobrist is a free agent after this season, which means these are without question win-now moves by the Royals, a team that recognizes its window is wide open, right in front of them.

It's one thing to be the underdog that nobody thinks has a chance, as the Royals were last season. It's another entirely to be the first-place team making splashy moves at the trade deadline. Expectations are higher and there's much more room for disappointment.

But it's clear that the Royals, by adding Zobrist to go along with Cueto, have an unwavering belief that this is their year.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 28, 2015, 7:22 pm

(AP)The Philadelphia Phillies seem to be approaching their trade-deadline sale of ace Cole Hamels much like a realtor would sell an in-demand house.

The Phillies have reportedly told teams around MLB that they want their best offers by Wednesday, essentially laying down a "best-and-final" scenario, so the Phils can pick their preferred deal.

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ESPN's Jayson Stark has the news, but it comes with the footnote that the Phillies would then decide where or whether they want to trade Hamels. Yep, after all this, the Phillies are still trying to play it coy about their desire to trade Hamels. In the past, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has expressed that he'd have to be "wowed" to trade Hamels and he's seemingly doing his best to stay in a position of power in the negotiations. Even though everybody in baseball knows trading Hamels is in the best interest of the last-place, eager-to-rebuild Phillies.

The market for Hamels is deep and includes the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees and even non-contenders like the Boston Red Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks, who see netting Hamels as an opportunity for long-term improvement.

[Yasiel Puig on possibility of getting traded by Dodgers: "I'll play anywhere."]

Here's how Stark sizes up a couple notable teams in the discussions the past two days: 

Sources have confirmed that the Astros have made a late push to acquire Hamels since the Phillies ace pitched a no-hitter last Saturday. However, Hamels can block a trade to Houston and the Astros have been given no assurance in recent days that that stance has changed.

The Giants, who scouted Hamels' no-hitter, also continue to talk to the Phillies, but still appear to be having a hard time matching up with the Phillies' asking price. One source's description of those talks Tuesday morning consisted of two words: "Nothing happening."

In other Phillies trade news, Jim Salisbury at CSN Philly reports that the Phillies will trade closer Jonathan Papelbon. Where and when, we don't know yet. This isn't terribly surprising, considering Papbelbon's outspoken requests to get out of Philly and the team's need to shred big contracts.

It's another where-will-he-land scenario to watch as we get closer to Friday's trade deadline.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 28, 2015, 5:07 pm

After more than 20 years as also-rans in the AL East, the Toronto Blue Jays are trying to position themselves as contenders in 2015, and beyond.

News broke early Tuesday morning that the Toronto Blue Jays acquired All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in a shocking trade with the Colorado Rockies. In return the Rockies get shortstop Jose Reyes, and three pitching prospects – Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman, and Jesus Tinoco. The Blue Jays also get veteran relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins.

The trade was surprising given the Blue Jays already have the top offense in all of baseball but were in desperate need of an upgrade to their starting rotation. With the Blue Jays appearing to go all in, another trade for pitching help could be in the works before Friday’s deadline. Or they’ll decide to just outslug their opponents.

It’s also a major splash for the Blue Jays considering rumors of how tight fisted their owners, Rogers Communications, were being with the team’s payroll. Tulowitzki is still owed a lot of money over the course of his contract – over $100-million, in fact. But no doubt what made that amount of money palatable to the Rogers suits is that he will be in a Blue Jays uniform until at least 2020. He is no rental player.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

Combined with last winter’s acquisition of third baseman Josh Donaldson, the left side of Toronto’s infield is set for years. And scary good. Donaldson is an All-Star and MVP candidate this season, and is eligible for arbitration in 2016 but can’t become a free agent until 2019. That gives the Blue Jays probably another four-year window to win.

Tulowitzki is also added insurance for the eventual departure, or regression, of sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Both players are in the last year of their deals, but Bautista has a team option for 2016 at $14-million, when he will be 35 years old. Encarnacion has a team option for 2016 at $10 million, he will be 33. But at a combined $24 million it’s a safe bet the Blue Jays will pick up both options and keep their juggernaut offense together for at least another year. Beyond that, Tulowitzki and Donaldson, along with Russell Martin, slot in nicely as the heart of the Blue Jays' lineup.

The Blue Jays, barring any more big trades before Friday, are also still stacked with young pitchers. Marcus Stroman, Daniel Norris, Roberto Osuna, and Aaron Sanchez are all top prospects who have already reached the majors. But they are not enough to help the Blue Jays get over the hump this year.

[Yasiel Puig on possibility of getting traded by Dodgers: "I'll play anywhere."]

As well positioned as they Blue Jays are for the future, they still need another arm right now. And it should be noted that they traded three of their highly-regarded pitching prospects but didn’t get pitching help in return. It just adds to how the bizarre the deal is.

Even with Johnny Cueto, who will make his Royals debut against the Blue Jays on Friday, off the market there are big names to be sought. Cole Hamels, Jeff Samardzija, and David Price all could be had for the right price. What will be interesting for the Blue Jays and general manager Alex Anthopoulos is whether the addition of Tulowitzki means they can afford a big name, or if they feel they can get by with a second-tier guy like Mike Fiers or Mike Leake. Will the Blue Jays be willing to part with what’s left of their top pitching prospects? That remains to be seen, but it feels like Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays might not be done just yet.

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Ian Denomme is an editor and writer for Yahoo Sports. Email him at denomme@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter.

Author: Ian Denomme
Posted: July 28, 2015, 2:45 pm

(AP)

The Stew's Trade Deadline Digest recaps the day in news and rumors as MLB gets closer to the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. If you missed any of Monday's action, we're here to help you catch up with all the important links and tidbits.

HOUSTON STILL WANTS HIM: If you thought the Astros were out on Cole Hamels now that they have Scott Kazmir, you're wrong. Houston is making "a big push." [Jerry Crasnick]

MEANWHILE: The Phillies were out scouting the Rangers' minor leaguers because Texas is still considered a legit contender for Hamels too. [Ken Rosenthal]

ALSO: The Diamondbacks are also interested in Hamels, but aren't a favorite. [Crasnick]

[Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

IN OTHER PITCHER NEWS: The White Sox still aren't sure if they're trading Jeff Samardzija, though the Blue Jays are supposedly very interested. [Bob Nightengale + Chris Cotillo]

DONE DEAL: Blue Jays pulled off a late-night shocker and got Troy Tulowitzki from Rockies in exchange for Jose Reyes, Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman and one more prospect. [The Stew]

TO FLIP OR NOT TO FLIP? While it makes sense for the Rockies to flip Reyes to another team, there's no deal immediately in place. [Joel Sherman]

DANGLING: The Cubs are said to be dangling Starlin Castro in front of the Padres, hoping to get one of their pitchers. Preferably Tyson Ross. [Jon Morosi + Rosenthal]

(Getty Images)

UP IN BALTIMORE? The Padres and Orioles have talked about a deal that would send free-agent-to-be Justin Upton to Baltimore. [Jayson Stark]

BUYING OR SELLING? The Tigers say they're still trying to make the playoffs and aren't selling. Not yet at least. [CBS Sports]

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THE NEW HOTNESS: The Nats are "hottest" after Pads closer Craig Kimbrel. [Rosenthal]

NOT SO FAST: The Yankees are said to be interested in Kimbrel too. [CBS Sports]

DONE DEAL: Mets solidify bullpen by adding A's closer Tyler Clippard. [The Stew]

LOL: The Braves now need to be "blown away" to trade Cameron Maybin. Did Ruben Amaro get a job over there and we just missed it? [MLB.com]

DONE DEAL: Shane Victorino sent to Angels, where outfield needs help [The Stew]

STILL SHOPPING: The Angels are still in the market for outfield help. [Jon Heyman]

Follow all of Tuesday's up-to-the-minute action in our Trade Deadline Tracker

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 28, 2015, 8:46 am

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Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.

Kris Bryant, the much-heralded Chicago Cubs rookie, has experienced a number of firsts this season. But Monday night might have been most thrilling of them. Bryant crushed a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, erasing a one-run deficit and giving the Cubs a 9-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

[Play a Daily Fantasy contest for cash today!]

Yep, the ol' walk-off homer. It was the first of Bryant's young career, and as you can see, he and his teammates made the moment memorable. The Wrigley Field crowd, of course, loved every second too.

"The last three or four games, I've hit five or six to the warning track and that's obviously frustrating," Bryant told reporters after the game. "I believe in baseball gods and I believe they pay you back, and I guess I got one today. It worked out for us. It was a really good win, that's for sure."

(Getty Images)

Bryant actually knocked in the first run for the Cubs too. He singled in the fourth, as part of a six-run inning. The Cubs blew a 7-4 lead in the ninth, which would have been the story here. But Bryant rewrote that himself and created a moment he'll never forget.

• • •

O'S WALK OFF ON MATT WIETERS' HOMER
Kris Bryant wasn't the only walk-off homer hero of Monday night, as Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters broke a 1-1 tie against the Atlanta Braves with a solo homer. This came in the 11th inning, so give Wieters extra drama points. 

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

The O's tied the game in the bottom of the ninth on a J.J. Hardy sac fly. It's the third win in a row for the Orioles, who are trying to keep up with the first-place Yankees in the AL East. Baltimore is 49-49 and seven games back.

• • •

WHITE SOX WIN FIFTH STRAIGHT
It might be too late for the Chicago White Sox to play themselves back to relevancy in the AL Central, but Robin Ventura's bunch did win its fifth straight game Monday night, topping the Boston Red Sox 10-8. Adam Eaton had three hits to lead the Chicago charge and the club did its best to make John Danks' icky start (4.1 innings, nine hits, six earned runs) a non-issue.

• • •

ROYALS ARE FIRST TO 60 WINS IN AL
The riding-high Kansas City Royals notched another achievement Monday. They're the first AL team to 60 wins after beating the Cleveland Indians 9-4. Eric Hosmer hit a three-run homer and drove in another run, as the Kansas City got another good outing from Edinson Volquez. The only team in baseball with more wins than the Royals are the St. Louis Cardinals, who are 64-35. On the other side, the Indians lost their fifth straight game.

Want to see more from Sunday's slate of games? Check out our scoreboard.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 28, 2015, 7:47 am

(Getty Images)For as bad a rep as he's gotten over the past few years, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig seems to be responding in the best possible fashion to rumors that he might be shipped to another team before Friday's non-waiver trade deadline.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

No petulance, no whining, no fits. Puig doesn't want to leave the Dodgers if he had the the choice, but told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:

"I'll play anywhere," Puig said. "I came to the United States [from Cuba] to play baseball. Baseball is the same anywhere. If they want to trade me, that's their decision. I can't do anything about that."

The latest chatter in the trade world is that the Dodgers have let other teams know that Puig "is available in the right deal," according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. Of course, anybody's available in the right deal, if you really think about.

The Dodgers do have an outfield surplus and a pitching need. If they can deal Puig to the Philadelphia Phillies and get Cole Hamels in return or to the Detroit Tigers and get a package that includes David Price, that's at least something the front office has to consider.

[Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

Pulling the trigger on a Puig deal might be tough for L.A., though, considering his contract is very team-friendly and he's still just 24. Puig is making $4.5 million this season and a total of $19.5 million in the three following years. Plus, we've seen what kind of spark plug he can be. We've seen also seen how polarizing he can be in the clubhouseAny trade at this point would be a sell-low deal, considering Puig has been injured and not as productive as usual.

Puig, again to his credit, is saying the right things. He also told the L.A. Times:

"Players never want to be traded from their first team," he said. "But that's not our decision."

Puig raised the example of Dee Gordon, the All-Star second baseman who was traded to the Miami Marlins over the winter.

"Dee Gordon didn't want to be traded from here and they traded him," he said.

Puig said that if he is traded, he would like to respond the way Gordon did. Gordon, who was sidelined by a thumb injury earlier this month, is second in the National League with a .338 batting average.

The Dodgers sending Puig away? It seems a far-fetched in theory, but hey, this is MLB trade deadline week, we're used to being shocked.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 28, 2015, 6:50 am

Troy Tulowitzki is getting his wish. He's been traded from the struggling Colorado Rockies, but the destination is a shocker — the Toronto Blue Jays. The trade hasn't been confirmed by either team, but mutiple reporters, including Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown, say it's happening. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal was first to report the deal.

Based on what's been reported thus far, the return for the Rockies is veteran shortstop Jose Reyes, young fireballer Miguel Castro, top pitching prospect Jeff Hoffman and one more unnamed prospects. Relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins is also heading to the Blue Jays, filling another of their needs as they make a push toward the postseason. 

[Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

There's a belief that Reyes, 32, could be flipped by the Rockies in another deal. He's owed $22 million in each of the next two seasons and has a rough injury history. Not exactly a player to rebuild around. 

Tulowitzki has voiced his desire for a trade in the past, saying numerous times that he's tired of losing in Colorado. The New York Mets and New York Yankees had both been considered possible destinations for Tulo. The San Francisco Giants were one of his preferred teams, since he's from the Bay Area. As for the Blue Jays, well, they weren't on anybody's radar.

(Getty Images)By joining the Jays, Tulowitzki adds yet another big bat to a daunting lineup that includes Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. The Blue Jays already lead the league in runs, and Tulo is only going to help. Despite the offensive prowess, the Blue Jays are 50-50 and trail the New York Yankees in the AL East by seven games. They rank 23rd in team ERA.

[Follow our trade deadline tracker for the latest MLB news and rumors.]

Tulowitzki, 30, is a career .299/.372/.514 hitter, who averages 29 homers and 102 RBIs over 162 games. He's a five-time All-Star and he's under contract until 2021, meaning the Blue Jays didn't just get another player to help their playoff push, but a franchise cornerstone for years to come.

He doesn't come cheap, though, as he'll make $20 million annually until 2019, $14 million in 2020 and potentially $15 million in 2021 through a team option. On the downside: Tulowitzki has a substantial injury history, which could lead to some fear in Toronto, where the turf has caused trouble for players. He's also leaving baseball's No. 1 hitters' friendly park in Coors Field, but Toronto's Rogers Centre isn't a bad home for hitters either.

The deal leaves us with a few questions, some that will answered this week and some that will play out over the rest of the season: Are the Blue Jays still going to make a move to improve their pitching? Or do they  just plan to outscore everybody?

The latter doesn't seem entirely out of the question.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Author: Mike Oz
Posted: July 28, 2015, 5:51 am

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