MLB Trade Deadline 2017: Latest Rumors Surrounding Top Targets

We're almost down to the wire, folks. The 2017 MLB trade deadline strikes at 4 p.m. ET on Monday. This means that teams looking to make deals before the non-waiver deadline have mere hours to get things finalized.

There is no shortage of teams looking to bolster their rosters for postseason runs. The question is whether they can get the deals they want done in time to make straight-up trades. Trades can still be made after the deadline, but there is a waiver system involved and things become a whole lot more complicated.

Players dealt after August 31, though, are not eligible to participate in the postseason.

We may see some notable trades this August, but most teams will be looking to trade now. With this in mind—and the clock ticking down its final hours—let's dig into the latest pre-deadline buzz.

           

Yu Darvish

Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish is one of the hottest names on the trade market, and for good reason. He's a serviceable starter who is in the final year of his contract. The Texas Rangers have plenty of reason to deal him before the deadline while they can still get something in return.

No, Darvish hasn't had the best season of his career, and he was shelled for 10 runs in his last start against the Miami Marlins. However, for a contending team looking for a short-term rental and little financial commitment, he's a perfect candidate. 

Plus, as Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan recently pointed out, Darvish's latest struggles were the product of him accidentally tipping his pitches:

With a little focus, perhaps Darvish can get closer to his career 3.42 ERA than the 4.01 ERA he has presented this season.

One team that has shown interest in Darvish leading up to the deadline is the Los Angeles Dodgers. As Jon Morosi of the MLB Network pointed out, he isn't the only pitcher on the team's radar:

However, Darvish does perhaps make the most sense for the Dodgers. This is a team looking to temporarily replace Clayton Kershaw in the starting rotation. L.A. could use Darvish for a few starts, carry him into the postseason as depth and part ways with him in the offseason.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has even gone out of his way to praise Darvish, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:

Here's the problem, though. L.A. simply might not be willing to part with enough to get a deal for Darvish done. According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Rangers haven't been willing to make their top prospects available as part of trade offers:

Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reported the Rangers are unhappy with the offers they have received—presumably including those from L.A.:

"The Rangers are trying to up the ante for right-hander Yu Darvish. An official with another major-league club said on Sunday that the Rangers are disappointed in the quality of offers received so far. They have contacted smaller-market clubs such as Cleveland to tell them their best might be good enough."

While Cleveland Indians fans might love to see Darvish enter the fold, there's a catch. According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, Cleveland is one of the teams on the player's no-trade list:

If Texas cannot convince Darvish to waive his limited no-trade clause for a team such as the Indians, the Rangers may have to take what they can get on the market or play out the rest of the season with Darvish on board.

                 

Justin Verlander

Detroit Tigers mainstay Justin Verlander has also had his name floated around leading up to the trade deadline. There are obstacles for the team when it actually comes to moving him, though.

The most immediate is the fact Verlander possesses a no-trade clause in his contract.

"I have control over my own destiny," Verlander said, per Evan Woodbery of Mlive.com.

The second obstacle is the hefty financial implications of his contract. He's due to earn $28 million in each of the next two seasons, plus the remainder of this year's $28 million salary and a $22 million vesting option in 2020. 

This is a pretty hefty commitment for a guy who isn't having the best season of his career and is 34 years old. For a team like the Dodgers, who may not want to invest long term, Verlander doesn't make sense.

In reality, Verlander might not make sense for a lot of teams, and the growing perception is that teams aren't going to deal for him.

"Rival teams simply want no part of a contract that pays Verlander $28 million per year through 2019, people familiar with the situation say," FanRag Sports baseball writer Jon Heyman recently noted.

A surprise deal could obviously come through, but it's looking increasingly likely Verlander will stay put for at least the remainder of the season.

             

Sonny Gray

Like the Dodgers, the New York Yankees have been looking to buy heading into the deadline and are interested in adding to their pitching staff.

The Yankees recently acquired pitcher Jaime Garcia from the Minnesota Twins and have been in talks with the Oakland A's about Sonny Gray—one of the pitchers the Dodgers have also shown interest in.

The problem, though, is that the Yankees and the A's have differing opinions on what should be given in compensation for Gray in a trade. The two sides have struggled to come together, as Rosenthal recently explained:

"The Athletics view Sonny Gray one way. The Yankees view him another. But both teams need to complete this trade more than they care to admit, and the best guess is that it will happen.

"I'm not buying that the Athletics will hold Gray and carry him into the winter; Gray currently is healthy, and his value might never be higher."

Talks continued into Sunday night between the two teams but, as USA Today's Bob Klapisch reported, there was no real progress:

Talks between the Yankees and the A's will likely go down to the wire, unless another team slips into the discussion and offers up more than New York is willing to. Considering the team's reluctance to part with top prospects, that team probably won't be the Dodgers, but ruling even them out would be foolish.

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MLB Rumors: Latest Pre-Trade Deadline Buzz on Yu Darvish and More

The 2017 MLB season is beginning its stretch run toward the playoffs. We have a little over two months until the start of the postseason and far less time for potential contenders to trade for roster support.

This year's non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Monday. After that time, acquiring a player via trade becomes a whole lot more complicated.

We could see moves made in rapid succession before the deadline. We'll definitely see the rumors fly in that way. If teams are looking to acquire players or sell them off, they are running out of time to do so.

We're here to examine the latest MLB trade buzz as we count down to the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline.

       

Mystery Team Now In on Yu Darvish

Pitcher Yu Darvish has been one of the hottest names on the trade market for some time, as parting with him would make sense for the Texas Rangers. Darvish is in the final year of his contract, yet Texas could still get something of value in return for him. Allowing Darvish to leave next offseason would yield nothing for the Rangers.

Until recently, though, there has remained the possibility that Darvish could remain with the Rangers. The team is still in the AL wild-card race and could use a pitcher of his caliber while trying to make a run.

According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, though, Texas has let teams know Darvish is available:

The market for Darvish should be deep, as there is a demand for starting pitching. He has been linked to both the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who recently placed ace Clayton Kershaw on the short-term DL. A third team has apparently entered the mix—or perhaps has quietly been there all along.

According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, there is a mystery club involved in the chase for Darvish:

Without knowing who this mystery team is, it's difficult to tell whether it will have any impact on the asking price for Darvish. The Yankees and Dodgers are two teams that aren't afraid to spend to win, so those two bidding against each other might already be enough to drive up his value. Plus, there is always the possibility this mystery team is simply a Rangers creation.

What we do know is this unknown outfit probably isn't one of the 10 on Darvish's no-trade list. The pitcher has a limited no-trade clause in his contract that, according to Rosenthal, can prevent him from being traded to the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blues Jays, Oakland Athletics or the Pittsburgh Pirates:

You might note that neither L.A. nor New York is on that list.

        

Dodgers May Have Inside Track on Darvish

Aside from the Yankees and the aforementioned mystery team, the Dodgers might not be facing that much competition for Darvish—assuming he's the guy L.A. is chasing after.

With Kershaw temporarily out of the lineup, it makes sense for the Dodgers to add a starting pitcher to the rotation. Not only could this help the team stay out in front in the playoff race, but it could bolster the rotation for the postseason too.

Darvish is far from the only pitcher on the trade market, though, and he's not the only one who has been on L.A.'s radar. According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the Dodgers have been eyeing Darvish, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and the Oakland A's Sonny Gray:

Also according to Morosi, the Dodgers would likely face more competition for a player like Gray because most teams aren't as interested in a short-term rental:

For the Dodgers, though, Darvish still makes perfect sense. The team is poised to win a championship, and if Darvish can help it do so, the fact he might not be around next season doesn't matter all that much.

Verlander could also be an option for Los Angeles, but the long-term commitment involved and the potential red flags could steer the team toward Darvish. The Tigers man is in the midst of a down season, is 34 and is due to earn $28 million in each of the next two seasons.

While a deal could still pop up, it's feeling increasingly unlikely that Verlander will be moved before the trade deadline.

"Rival teams simply want no part of a contract that pays Verlander $28 million per year through 2019, people familiar with the situation say," FanRag Sports baseball writer Jon Heyman wrote.

This, plus the competition for Gray, could steer the Dodgers toward Darvish.

       

Yankees, A's Seeing Different Values for Gray

The top competition for Gray likely comes from the Yankees. Oakland and New York have been in talks for the pitcher, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney:

However, talks for a deal could continue all the way down to the wire because the two sides apparently share differing opinions on a proper value. Rosenthal recently wrote the following:

"The Athletics view Sonny Gray one way. The Yankees view him another. But both teams need to complete this trade more than they care to admit, and the best guess is that it will happen.

"I'm not buying that the Athletics will hold Gray and carry him into the winter; Gray currently is healthy, and his value might never be higher.

"I'm also not buying that the Yankees will view Twins lefty [Jaime] Garcia - whom they are close to acquiring, as first reported by Yahoo's Jeff Passan - as a sole solution. Garcia is a potential free agent, and the Yankees need rotation help beyond this season."

As previously mentioned, Gray isn't a short-term rental like Darvish. He's slated for arbitration in each of the next two years. While the Yankees did land Garcia, according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, Gray remains an enticing option for New York. The two parties just need to agree on a price.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Trade Deadline 2017: Latest Rumors on Yu Darvish, Justin Verlander and More

We continue to edge closer to the 2017 MLB non-waiver trade deadline, which is set for 4 p.m. ET on Monday. This means we're heading into the final weekend in which teams can make straight-up deals—a weekend that could be filled with activity.

This is the final stretch for those teams looking to bolster their rosters for postseason runs. It's also the last chance for teams looking to sell off assets to openly do so before the offseason. We're here to dig into the latest trade rumors as the final trade weekend begins.

       

Tigers Interested in Dealing Iglesias

One of the biggest names on the trade market is Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. However, he isn't the only notable player Detroit could move before the trade deadline. Shortstop Jose Iglesias could also be on the move.

According to ESPN.com's Buster Olney, Iglesias will be traded before Monday's deadline:

Iglesias isn't necessarily a big-name player, and the market for shortstops isn't what it is for, say, pitchers. However, there are a few good reasons for teams to consider the 27-year-old. Iglesias has a career on-base percentage of .381, and he's a solid defender.

The Cuban is also young and can be controlled through next season. His contract has him slated for arbitration in 2018. If a team does acquire him, it won't have to do so exclusively as a short-term rental. This means teams that aren't necessarily contenders could be interested in dealing for him as an investment in the future.

Detroit looked into moving Iglesias during the offseason but was unable to do so. If Olney believes the shortstop will be moved before Monday, he must be generating at least some interest around the league.

      

Would Bringing Verlander to L.A. Be a Mistake?

One player the Tigers could trade who has generated some interest is Verlander. One team that could be interested in adding him is the Los Angeles Dodgers.

According to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network, the Dodgers are confident they can add either Verlander, Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish or Oakland Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray:

Would adding Verlander be the right move for the Dodgers? They could use a top-tier pitcher while Clayton Kershaw is sitting on the disabled list. They could also look to bolster their pitching rotation heading into the postseason.

Tom Verducci of SI.com, however, believes the Dodgers should proceed with caution because of Verlander's red flags:

"The greatest risk with Verlander is that you're investing prospects and a ton of money into not just the rest of this year, but also his age-35 and -36 seasons. There has been some talk that the Tigers might pick up the $9.3 million or so due him for the rest of this year. Okay, but that still leaves a $56 million bill over the next two years, and for what kind of pitcher?

Look around baseball right now. Find me a qualified, conventional pitcher that old who is even league average.

You can't. Doesn’t exist.

For the first time in 47 years, no conventional pitcher (that excludes knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey) 35 or older has thrown enough qualified innings with an adjusted OPS of at least 100. Fifteen years ago there were a dozen. Older aces, or even near-aces, are extinct."

As Verducci pointed out, there would be a lot of money involved with a Verlander trade. He's due to earn $28 million in each of the next two seasons, plus the remainder of this year's $28 million salary and a $22 million vesting option in 2020. Verducci also pointed out the future for an aging Verlander might not be especially bright. 

The other problem is that Verlander isn't exactly having a career year now. He's gone 5-7 with a 4.50 ERA this season. There certainly isn't a guarantee that adding Verlander would bring the Dodgers a championship. If it doesn't, it could be looked back upon as a monumental mistake.

A short-term guy like Darvish—who is in the final year of his contract—might make more sense for L.A.

      

Darvish Officially Available?

The 30-year-old Darvish's future in Texas has been a bit murky over the past couple weeks. He has been floated as a trade possibility, but there has remained the chance he could stay where he is for the remainder of the year.

The Rangers aren't out of the wild-card race, so they've been forced to weigh the possibility of making a postseason run against the potential value of a Darvish deal. T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com was recently convinced Darvish could be remaining in Texas:

"The needle is swinging back toward Yu Darvish remaining with the Rangers. The needle seems to swing with every trade rumor and tweet that emerges, but Major League sources indicated Monday the Rangers were strongly leaning toward not trading Darvish unless they are overwhelmed by an offer or their postseason hopes crash with another losing streak this week."

It appears the needle has moved once again and that the Rangers are ready to part with the pitcher. According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Texas let teams know Darvish is available:

There's a reason why the Rangers are confident they will get a good return for Darvish: They should. While teams are looking at a short-term rental, they are also looking at a quality pitcher and a low financial commitment.

If a contender like the Dodgers simply wants a pitcher for this postseason, Darvish is the perfect candidate. That team can decide in the offseason whether it wants to try committing to him long term.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Trade Deadline 2017: Latest Rumors on Yu Darvish, Justin Verlander and More

We continue to edge closer to the 2017 MLB non-waiver trade deadline, which is set for 4 p.m. ET on Monday. This means we're heading into the final weekend in which teams can make straight-up deals—a weekend that could be filled with activity.

This is the final stretch for those teams looking to bolster their rosters for postseason runs. It's also the last chance for teams looking to sell off assets to openly do so before the offseason. We're here to dig into the latest trade rumors as the final trade weekend begins.

       

Tigers Interested in Dealing Iglesias

One of the biggest names on the trade market is Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. However, he isn't the only notable player Detroit could move before the trade deadline. Shortstop Jose Iglesias could also be on the move.

According to ESPN.com's Buster Olney, Iglesias will be traded before Monday's deadline:

Iglesias isn't necessarily a big-name player, and the market for shortstops isn't what it is for, say, pitchers. However, there are a few good reasons for teams to consider the 27-year-old. Iglesias has a career on-base percentage of .381, and he's a solid defender.

The Cuban is also young and can be controlled through next season. His contract has him slated for arbitration in 2018. If a team does acquire him, it won't have to do so exclusively as a short-term rental. This means teams that aren't necessarily contenders could be interested in dealing for him as an investment in the future.

Detroit looked into moving Iglesias during the offseason but was unable to do so. If Olney believes the shortstop will be moved before Monday, he must be generating at least some interest around the league.

      

Would Bringing Verlander to L.A. Be a Mistake?

One player the Tigers could trade who has generated some interest is Verlander. One team that could be interested in adding him is the Los Angeles Dodgers.

According to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network, the Dodgers are confident they can add either Verlander, Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish or Oakland Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray:

Would adding Verlander be the right move for the Dodgers? They could use a top-tier pitcher while Clayton Kershaw is sitting on the disabled list. They could also look to bolster their pitching rotation heading into the postseason.

Tom Verducci of SI.com, however, believes the Dodgers should proceed with caution because of Verlander's red flags:

"The greatest risk with Verlander is that you're investing prospects and a ton of money into not just the rest of this year, but also his age-35 and -36 seasons. There has been some talk that the Tigers might pick up the $9.3 million or so due him for the rest of this year. Okay, but that still leaves a $56 million bill over the next two years, and for what kind of pitcher?

Look around baseball right now. Find me a qualified, conventional pitcher that old who is even league average.

You can't. Doesn’t exist.

For the first time in 47 years, no conventional pitcher (that excludes knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey) 35 or older has thrown enough qualified innings with an adjusted OPS of at least 100. Fifteen years ago there were a dozen. Older aces, or even near-aces, are extinct."

As Verducci pointed out, there would be a lot of money involved with a Verlander trade. He's due to earn $28 million in each of the next two seasons, plus the remainder of this year's $28 million salary and a $22 million vesting option in 2020. Verducci also pointed out the future for an aging Verlander might not be especially bright. 

The other problem is that Verlander isn't exactly having a career year now. He's gone 5-7 with a 4.50 ERA this season. There certainly isn't a guarantee that adding Verlander would bring the Dodgers a championship. If it doesn't, it could be looked back upon as a monumental mistake.

A short-term guy like Darvish—who is in the final year of his contract—might make more sense for L.A.

      

Darvish Officially Available?

The 30-year-old Darvish's future in Texas has been a bit murky over the past couple weeks. He has been floated as a trade possibility, but there has remained the chance he could stay where he is for the remainder of the year.

The Rangers aren't out of the wild-card race, so they've been forced to weigh the possibility of making a postseason run against the potential value of a Darvish deal. T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com was recently convinced Darvish could be remaining in Texas:

"The needle is swinging back toward Yu Darvish remaining with the Rangers. The needle seems to swing with every trade rumor and tweet that emerges, but Major League sources indicated Monday the Rangers were strongly leaning toward not trading Darvish unless they are overwhelmed by an offer or their postseason hopes crash with another losing streak this week."

It appears the needle has moved once again and that the Rangers are ready to part with the pitcher. According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Texas let teams know Darvish is available:

There's a reason why the Rangers are confident they will get a good return for Darvish: They should. While teams are looking at a short-term rental, they are also looking at a quality pitcher and a low financial commitment.

If a contender like the Dodgers simply wants a pitcher for this postseason, Darvish is the perfect candidate. That team can decide in the offseason whether it wants to try committing to him long term.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Info on Justin Verlander, Jonathan Lucroy and More

The 2017 MLB non-waiver trade deadline is closing in fast. If teams are looking to make moves, they're going to have to do so before 4 p.m. ET on July 31.

Of course, there is no shortage of teams looking to make moves. There are plenty of teams still in the postseason mix who would love to bolster their rosters before the trade deadline. Plenty of other teams are outside the playoff race and looking to take advantage as sellers. All of this should add up to quite a bit of trade-market action in the coming days.

We're here to examine some of the latest trade rumors as we count down the days to the MLB deadline.

          

Dodgers Confident They Can Land Verlander or Other Pitching Target

The Los Angeles Dodgers are already poised to make the postseason and make a serious run once the team gets there. The team has already surpassed the 70-win mark and has a major lead in the NL West. However, this doesn't mean L.A. isn't interested in strengthening its roster even more.

The obvious move for the team to make right now is an addition to the starting pitching rotation. Star Clayton Kershaw was recently added to the disabled list—though the team does expect him back by September, according to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times.

Adding a quality starting pitcher would help fill in the gap until Kershaw's return and would potentially help strengthen the rotation heading into the playoffs. Naturally, the Dodgers have shown interest in the big names on the trade market—Justin Verlander, Sonny Gray and Yu Darvish.

According to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network, the Dodgers are confident they can acquire one of those three:

There are obstacles to acquiring any of these pitchers. The Texas Rangers are still in the wild-card race and may decide to hang on to Darvish. The Dodgers may face competition from the New York Yankees in a market for Gray.

According to Bob Klapisch of USA Today, the Yankees are actually the front-runners for Gray:

The obstacle with Verlander is money. He's due to earn $28 million in each of the next two seasons, plus the remainder of this year's $28 million salary and a $22 million vesting option in 2020. Would the Dodgers be willing to pay that? If it nets them a championship, perhaps.

Verlander hasn't been the dominating force this season he has in years past—5-7 with a 4.50 ERA—but he still carries a bit of an intimidation factor. Opposing teams probably wouldn't be too keen about facing both Kershaw and Verlander in succession in a postseason series.

       

Rockies Interested in Lucroy

Like the Rangers, the Colorado Rockies are in position to make a run at a wild-card slot. Instead of considering selling off capital, the Rockies are looking to add pieces and make a run. They recently acquired reliever Pat Neshek from the Philadelphia Phillies and could be looking to make more moves.

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Rockies are eying Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy:

Lucroy has had a down season as a hitter, with just four home runs and a batting average of .245. However, he could make sense for the Rockies, who haven't had much power from the catcher position this year. If a change of scenery helps Lucroy return to form—he knocked 24 homers last season—then Colorado wins. If it doesn't, the Rockies aren't really missing out on much.

Lucroy has braced himself for a potential move.

"This is the third time dealing with it," Lucroy said, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. "One time I wasn't traded and one time I was. And I knew it could be a possibility again if we didn't play well."

Lucroy is more expendable than a player like Darvish even if the Rangers are looking to make a push at the postseason. Don't be surprised if he's in a Colorado uniform by next week.

        

Marlins Open to Moving Straily

Darvish, Gray and Verlander might be the biggest names on the pitching trade market, but they aren't the only ones.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the Miami Marlins are interested in moving starting pitcher Dan Straily:

The right-handed Straily has a record of 7-6 this season to go with 107 strikeouts and a 3.84 ERA. For teams that can't or aren't willing to obtain a guy like Darvish or Verlander, Straily should be an enticing option.

One team that appears to be interested in him is the Kansas City Royals, per Nightengale:

Kansas City is only a couple games behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central, so it makes sense for the team to be in a buying mood before the deadline. Miami, meanwhile, is 14 games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East race. While the Marlins are not likely to part with any core players, moving a guy like Straily makes sense.

Straily was acquired earlier this season from the Cincinnati Reds.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz Surrounding Sonny Gray, Yonder Alonso and More

It's a wonderful time to be a baseball fan. The MLB playoff race is heating up, the trade deadline—at 4 p.m. ET on July 31—is rapidly approaching, and drama is at a fever pitch. 

Considering the amount of overall drama involved—both on and off the ball field—some fans might even consider this stretch of the season more exciting than some of the postseason matchups. Not only can you watch your favorite teams play, but you can spend their off-time daydreaming about potential moves that could be made.

Naturally, smoke and rumors are also high this time of year. We're here to examine some of the latest storylines and chatter surrounding the MLB trade market as the deadline approaches.

      

Yankees Interested in Gray, Alonso

Expectations weren't exactly high for the New York Yankees heading into the 2017 season. Even though the Yankees usually retool rather than rebuild, this was seen as a season for progress, not pennant chasing.

New York has certainly surprised. Power-hitter extraordinaire Aaron Judge has helped turn the spotlight back to the franchise, the team sits right behind the hated Boston Red Sox in the AL East standings and a postseason run is a real possibility. Unsurprisingly, the Yankees have been buyers heading toward the deadline.

New York recently traded to acquire Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle from the Chicago White Sox. Now, another big trade appears to be in the works.

According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Yankees are in talks with the Oakland A's to acquire pitcher Sonny Gray and first baseman Yonder Alonso in exchange for prospects:

"Multiple sources indicated Tuesday that the Yankees were making progress toward a deal with Oakland, which could send not only Gray—who was slated to start for the A's on Tuesday in Toronto—but also first baseman Yonder Alonso to New York.

"MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported Tuesday that the A's are focused on adding a young center fielder, with Yankees No. 5 prospect and Futures Game participant Estevan Florial ranking high on their list. A source said the Yanks are not opposed to dealing Florial."

Adding Gray and Alonso would help strengthen the Yankees' roster and increase the team's chance of winning now. This isn't a franchise interested in long and steady rebuilds, so parting with prospects in order to acquire them certainly fits New York's M.O.

There is a chance the Yankees could have some competition from the Atlanta Braves in their quest for Gray, however, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com:

Jon Morosi of MLB.com recently reported that the Washington Nationals are also looking to enter the fray for Gray.

However, Feinsand made it clear that the Yankees are the front-runners for a potential deal with the A's: "The A's have been heavily scouting the Yankees' system of late, fueling speculation that New York is the leading candidate to land Gray and Alonso."

Morosi backs up the idea that New York is in good position here, pointing out that the A's are interested in acquiring a young center fielder and Florial in particular:

This deal seems to make almost too much sense not to happen by the deadline.

      

Could the Rangers Keep Darvish?

The Texas Rangers aren't entirely out of the wild-card race, but they could be in the selling mood right now. With this being the case, there has naturally been plenty of speculation surrounding pitcher Yu Darvish.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, the Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and possibly the Chicago Cubs could potentially be interested in acquiring Darvish:

However, there's a chance that the Rangers don't want to move Darvish at all. At least, this is the theory recently submitted by T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com:

"The needle is swinging back toward Yu Darvish remaining with the Rangers. The needle seems to swing with every trade rumor and tweet that emerges, but Major League sources indicated Monday the Rangers were strongly leaning toward not trading Darvish unless they are overwhelmed by an offer or their postseason hopes crash with another losing streak this week."

Given the fact the Rangers are only a handful of games out from a wild-card spot, it does make sense for the team to at least wait until right up until the trade deadline to determine the future of one of their best pitchers.

Of course, it also makes just as much sense to move Darvish if the Rangers think a wild-card game is about as far as they'll advance in the postseason. He's entering the final year of his current contract, and if Texas can't re-sign Darvish next offseason, they'd lose him with nothing in return. Trading him now would at least yield some potential pieces for the future.

As Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com recently pointed out, though, dealing Darvish would only make sense if the price is right:

"Sources told ESPN that Rangers general manager Jon Daniels began calling potential suitors Monday and telling them the team is open to trading Darvish for the "right deal." If no team offers a return package to the Rangers' liking, Daniels has informed clubs that Texas will hold on to Darvish and continue to make a push in the American League wild-card race."

Texas is in prime position to get a solid return for Darvish because a number of teams are interested. Theoretically, the team could start a sort of bidding war for his services. Expect the Rangers to let things play out right before the trade deadline, where the team can properly weigh its postseason chances against potential trade return.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Trade Rumors: Potential Deals to Watch for Heading into 2017 Deadline

We've reached one of the most exciting points in the MLB season. We've blown past the All-Star break and are headed toward the homestretch of the regular season. This means teams will be battling for playoff position and making roster moves to help themselves in the process.

Many teams not in the postseason race will be looking to make moves too. For every outfit looking to add to its roster, there has to be a seller—and those sellers can take advantage of the situation. With the official MLB non-waiver trade deadline—4 p.m. ET on July 31—almost upon us, we're likely to see just as much action on the trade market as on the ball field.

We're here to examine some of the latest storylines and rumors surrounding deals that could happen before the trade deadline.

        

Yu Darvish to the Yankees

The Texas Rangers aren't quite out of the wild-card race, but the team does appear to be a long shot for the postseason. This means that while they aren't likely to have a fire sale, they are certainly going to gauge the value of potential trade chips.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports recently reported that the Rangers are exploring the possibility of moving pitcher Yu Darvish:

"The Rangers are not committed to dealing Darvish, the 30-year-old right-hander who immediately would become the market's most coveted asset.

"At the same time, rival executives believe the Rangers are nearing the point where their struggles could force them to strongly consider doing so. Even if Darvish's impending free agency would prevent the Rangers from receiving a blockbuster return, rental players of his ilk carry enormous value."

Darvish is in the final year of his contract, so it makes sense to explore trade options—and it appears Texas may have a buyer.

According to George A. King III of the New York Post, the New York Yankees are interested in adding Darvish to their rotation:

"The Yankees' rotation could use help with Michael Pineda finished for the season, Luis Cessa ineffective as the No. 5 starter, Masahiro Tanaka experiencing his worst season as a Yankee and rookie Jordan Montgomery struggling in his last four outings.

"Darvish, 31 next month, makes sense because he will be a free agent after the season and is owed a little over $4 million for the remainder of this one."

The Yankees have been a bit of a surprise contender this season and are positioned to make a run at the postseason. Renting a player like Darvish could help New York make that push while giving Texas some value in return.

       

Ramos to a Contender

Miami Marlins closer AJ Ramos could be among the list of players traded before the deadline, and he seems to know it.

"You never know if it's your last day here at the ballpark with this team," Ramos said, per Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. "Definitely, you think about it a little bit. But you try to block it out."

Miami is fixing to be a seller, as the team sits more than a dozen games back from the Washington Nationals in the NL East. The team recently traded pitcher David Phelps to the Seattle Mariners for some prospects. For the right price, Ramos could also be on the move.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, there is no shortage of teams interested in acquiring Ramos:

This is a good situation for the Marlins to be in if they are interested in moving Ramos. With teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs in the mix, Miami should be able to create a bit of a bidding war for the right to acquire Ramos.

       

Kinsler to Milwaukee

Heyman mentioned the Milwaukee Brewers as a team that could be interested in trading for Ramos. The Brewers are apparently also interested in acquiring Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler, according to ESPN's Buster Olney:

Kinsler is one of baseball's top infield defenders. He'd definitely have value for the Brewers, who sit in first place in the NL Central.

The Brewers might not be the only team that is interested in acquiring Kinsler, either. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported the Red Sox are considering adding an infielder who could be moved to third base since the market for third basemen is thin. He mentioned Kinsler by name, though he said no trade talks involving Boston have occurred.

Kinsler doesn't sound too excited about the possibility of a position switch, though.

"If that's their idea to try to get a third baseman, then that's their idea," Kinsler said, per George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press. "If it happens, it happens. But up until that point, I'm not going to go take groundballs at third base."

Kinsler has some control over where he lands if the Tigers decide to move him. He has a partial no-trade clause in his contract. There are 10 teams he can avoid if he so chooses. However, Kinsler doesn't seem to know which teams are on the list.

"I don’t know what they are," Kinsler said, per Sipple. "I would have to look and see what the 10 teams are."

If Boston is on the list, it seems unlikely Kinsler would want to go. Changing teams is one thing, but also changing positions could be enough to sour the 35-year-old on the idea. Milwaukee would probably be a more realistic destination.

According to Rosenthal, Kinsler would be open to joining one of the teams on his no-trade list only if given a contract extension. He has one year remaining on his deal as a $10 million club option, per Spotrac.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Trade Rumors: Latest on Jaime Garcia, Jose Bautista and More

While plenty of MLB fans enjoy watching the All-Star Game, most know that the real excitement comes after the break, when the trade market begins to pick up. Teams with a shot at the postseason are looking to bolster their rosters with additional talent, while poorly performing teams are looking to unload contracts and add future assets.

With a little over a week until the official MLB trade deadline—4 p.m. ET on July 31—we're entering a frenzied stretch of the trade season. Naturally, rumors and speculations are flying like pre-Derby Aaron Judge homers.

We're here to examine the latest storylines and rumors surrounding baseball's trade market as the deadline approaches.

 

Twins Might Not Be Close to Adding Jaime Garcia

The Minnesota Twins are jockeying for position with the Cleveland Indians atop the AL Central. A few key moves could be enough to get Minnesota past the defending National League champs and into the postseason with a division title. 

Obviously, the Twins are in a buying mood. One player they're looking to add is Atlanta Braves left-hander Jaime Garcia. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported on Thursday that a deal was close to completion:

However, the Twins might not actually be that close to acquiring Garcia. According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, talks are still ongoing:

"The Braves and Twins have had extensive discussions about a trade that would send left-handed pitcher Jaime Garcia to Minnesota. But a Major League source said the two sides had not reached an agreement as of early Friday morning. There is still a chance the teams could complete a trade, but it appears ongoing talks will be necessary to reach an agreement on the players and money that would be exchanged."

There is still a chance that trade talks break down and that Garcia ends up in a different uniform. It certainly doesn't appear that he'll finish the season in Atlanta. Bowman also reported that if a deal with Minnesota falls through, the Braves will look to trade Garcia elsewhere:

 

Teams Interested in Bautista

The Toronto Blue Jays aren't in position to compete for a postseason berth, so we can consider them sellers. They're apparently looking to move some pieces that might not be around in the future anyway.

According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the Blue Jays are looking to trade impending free agents Marco Estrada, Francisco Liriano, and Joe Smith:

However, Crasnick also reports that Estrada, Liriano and Smith aren't the players Toronto has been getting calls about. Instead, the Jays are getting "feelers" about 13-year veteran Jose Bautista:

Crasnick's wording suggests that teams are interested in Bautista but are looking to gauge the asking price before the trade deadline. If a team can acquire him for the right price—and can convince Bautista to join up—then a deal would make sense for a contending team.

Bautista had 16 homers and 43 RBI heading into Friday, and he'd add a strong right-handed bat to a team looking for power help. The problem is that a team would have to convince Bautista to leave Toronto, where he's played since 2008.

Bautista has the ability to veto any trade because he’s played at least 10 years in the league and five with his current club. If he doesn't want to leave Toronto in the middle of the season, he doesn't have to.

If the Blue Jays don't want Bautista to stick around, though, he could be gone after the season. There's a $17 million mutual option in his contract that Toronto doesn't have to pick up next season. This could play a factor in any decision Bautista makes.

Joining a contender now could make sense if he believes he's going to be looking for a new home in the offseason anyway.

      

Rangers Looking into Darvish Deal

The Texas Rangers find themselves in an unenviable position. They're not quite out of the wild-card race, but some recent losing has the team on a downswing. More losses could put Texas out of the playoff picture.

Right now, the Rangers appear to be weighing their options before the trade deadline. Trading away significant pieces now would essentially be giving up on the year, but the team isn't going to have the opportunity to do so after the end of the month.

With this in mind, the Rangers are looking into the possibility of dealing pitcher Yu Darvish. They aren't committed to moving Darvish, but they do appear interested in gauging his value.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports recently explained:

"The Rangers are not committed to dealing Darvish, the 30-year-old right-hander who immediately would become the market’s most coveted asset.

At the same time, rival executives believe the Rangers are nearing the point where their struggles could force them to strongly consider doing so. Even if Darvish’s impending free agency would prevent the Rangers from receiving a blockbuster return, rental players of his ilk carry enormous value, and Texas is taking the proper step gauging just how valuable he is."

It would make sense to move Darvish if the Rangers believe they don't have a shot at the postseason. As Passan points out, Darvish is in the final year of his current contract. If Texas doesn't move him before the deadline, they could lose him and get nothing in return.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Home Run Derby 2017: TV Schedule, Bracket and New Format Breakdown

Major League Baseball saw its annual All-Star Week kick off over the weekend with a variety of entertaining events. Highlights included a red-carpet parade, the MLB All-Star Futures Game and the MLB Legends and Celebrity Softball Game.

When it comes to entertainment, though, the big event is set for Monday night. We're talking about the Home Run Derby—baseball's equivalent of a Kiss concert. For many baseball fans, the Home Run Derby is even more exciting than the All-Star Game itself.

Even non-purists can enjoy watching top-tier hitters going yard for an entire evening.

If you're looking to get in on the festivities, you're in luck. We're here with everything you need to know about the 2017 Home Run Derby—including scheduling information and the latest odds from OddsShark.com.

     

2017 MLB Home Run Derby

When: Monday, July 10

Time: 8 p.m. ET

Where: Marlins Park, Miami

National TV: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN

     

Odds—Tournament Winner

Giancarlo Stanton: 2-1

Aaron Judge: 2-1

Cody Bellinger: 13-2

Miguel Sano: 7-1

Gary Sanchez: 12-1

Mike Moustakas: 14-1

Justin Bour: 14-1

Charlie Blackmon: 14-1

    

Format

While the Derby has always been a spectacle purely for fan entertainment, Major League Baseball tweaked the event a couple of years ago to up the entertainment value. Now the Derby has even more of a video game feel than it has in the past.

The Home Run Derby is set up as an eight-man bracket, with hitters seeded according to their in-season home run totals. The exception is Giancarlo Stanton, who earned the top seed by winning last year's competition. The participants face off head-to-head tournament style until only one hitter remains.

In each round, each player will receive four minutes in which to hit as many home runs as possible. During the final minute of each player's round, the clock stops when a player hits a home run and does not restart until a swing doesn't result in a home run. Hitters can earn 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs of at least 440 feet.

Each player has one 45-second timeout in the first and second round. In the finals, each player gets a 45-second and 30-second timeout. If there is a tie, hitters will compete in a one-minute swing-off. If a tie remains after that, there will be pitch-by-pitch sudden death.

     

Derby Bracket, Round 1 (seed)

(1) Giancarlo Stanton vs. (8) Gary Sanchez

(2) Aaron Judge vs. (7) Justin Bour

(3) Mike Moustakas vs. (6) Miguel Sano

(4) Cody Bellinger vs. (Charlie Blackmon

     

Latest Buzz

Stanton Trying to Defend Crown for Home Crowd

In addition to having the No. 1 seed—which isn't exactly an advantage since Gary Sanchez's 15 home runs came in just 55 games, he's a legitimate threat—Stanton will also have home-field advantage in the Derby.

Unlike last year, Stanton will also participate in the All-Star Game, also in front of a friendly Miami crowd.

Missing out on All-Star honors didn't dampen Stanton's spirits last year, when he blasted 61 home runs during the derby. He put on a dominant performance and even managed to impress some of his fellow competitors.

"I felt like I was a high school hitter compared to him," 2015 champion Todd Frazier said, per George Richards of the Miami Herald. "The way he was hitting them that far."

It's worth noting that Stanton would still be a high seed in the bracket even without holding the 2016 crown. He's currently tied for third in Major League Baseball with 26 home runs.

With a home crowd cheering him on, Stanton might dig up even more power than he showed in last year's Derby.

    

Judge Chasing Greatness

New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge has been a revelation this season. He currently leads Major League Baseball with 30 home runs, and he could add to his impressive rookie resume with a win in the Home Run Derby on Monday night.

Judge, along with Stanton, is a favorite to bring home the trophy.

There's every reason to believe Judge has the goods to win, too. His 30th home run of the season broke a Yankees rookie record that had stood for 81 years. That record was previously set by one Joe DiMaggio back in 1936.

According to MLB.com, Judge doesn't just lead the league in home runs—he also leads in exit velocity (97.2 MPH) and average hit distance (241.0 feet). This means the 6'7" Judge is a true power hitter.

Judge should naturally thrive in a home-run competition.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

2017 MLB All-Star Game: TV Schedule, Rosters and Top Storylines to Follow

We've reached Major League Baseball's All-Star week, folks. The next few days are going to be filled with exciting exhibitions and celebrations of the game's greatest players. We'll have the All-Star Futures Game, the Legends and Celebrity Softball Game, the Home Run Derby and, of course, the All-Star Game itself.

For the diehard baseball fan, the All-Star Game is typically the biggest attraction of the week. The sheer amount of talent collected on the field is impressive, and the players do tend to take the game somewhat seriously—unlike the players in some other sports. The risk of injury is relatively low, and no ball player wants to be shown up on a national stage.

Oh, and there's $20,000 to play for. That's the prize that will go to members of the winning team. The losers get nothing.

We're here with everything you need to know about the 2017 MLB All-Star Game, including scheduling and roster information.

          

2017 MLB All-Star Game

What: National League vs. American League

Where: Marlins Park, Miami

When: Tuesday, July 11

Time: 8 p.m. ET

National TV: Fox

Live Stream: Fox Sports Go

     

Rosters

 

American League Starters

C Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals

1B Justin Smoak, Toronto Blue Jays

2B Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

3B Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians

SS Carlos Correa, Houston Astros

OF Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

OF Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox

OF George Springer, Houston Astros

DH Corey Dickerson, Tampa Bay Rays

     

American League Reserves

C Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees

1B Yonder Alonso, Oakland Athletics

2B Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles

2B Starlin Castro, New York Yankees

3B Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins

3B Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals

SS Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians

OF Avisail Garcia, Chicago White Sox

OF Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians

DH Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners

     

American League Pitching Staff

SP Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox

SP Lance McCullers, Houston Astros

SP Jason Vargas, Kansas City Royals

SP Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

SP Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers

SP Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians

SP Ervin Santana, Minnesota Twins

SP Luis Severino, New York Yankees

SP Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros

RP Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox

RP Andrew Miller, Cleveland Indians

RP Dellin Betances, New York Yankees

     

National League Starters

C Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

1B Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals

2B Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals

3B Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies

SS Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds

OF Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

OF Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies

OF Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins

       

National League Reserves

C Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals

1B Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks

1B Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

1B/OF Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers

2B Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates

2B DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies

3B Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks

3B Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers

SS Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers

OF Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves

OF Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins

OF Michael Conforto, New York Mets

      

National League Pitching Staff

SP Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

SP Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

SP Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals

SP Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks

SP Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks

SP Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

RP Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers

RP Wade Davis, Chicago Cubs

RP Corey Knebel, Milwaukee Brewers

RP Greg Holland, Colorado Rockies

RP Brad Hand, San Diego Padres

RP Pat Neshek, Philadelphia Phillies

          

Roster Notes

Four pitchers—Michael Fulmer, Corey Kluber, Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw—will be ineligible to pitch after starting on Sunday. Dallas Keuchel will not pitch due to injury.

Mike Trout has been replaced in the American League lineup by Mookie Betts due to injury. Starlin Castro is also out due to injury. According to Yahoo Sports, the replacement players are as follows:

 

     

World Series Home Field No Longer in Play

For the past decade and a half, the winning league in the MLB All-Star Game earned home-field advantage for its representative in the World Series. This is no longer the case, as baseball has decided to fall in line with other professional sports leagues.

Whichever team holds the best record in the World Series will own home-field advantage.

The good news for baseball fans is that they should get to see more of their favorite players in the All-Star Game. Managers shouldn't be quite as inclined to keep the absolute best players on the field, and there should be a better rotation of talent now.

"Really, this is the way it should be," St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt said, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. "You want more players who can appear in the game."

The players themselves should still play hard when they are on the field, though, since both money and pride will be at stake.

          

Francona Out as AL Manager

The managers for the All-Star Game were to be Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona and Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon. However, Francona won't be managing for the American League after undergoing a heart procedure, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:

Instead, Indians bench coach Brad Mills will manage the AL squad on Tuesday. Mills does have management experience, having managed the Houston Astros from 2010 to 2012.

Francona is expected to return to the Indians later in the week.

"I think his mind is at ease knowing they were able to perform a successful procedure to get his issue corrected," Chris Antonetti, the Indians' president of baseball operations, said, per Zack Meisel of Cleveland.com. "And now he knows that the path in front of him is just a little rest and recovery and he can get back to doing what he loves."

Francona has been the Indians manager since 2013 and has twice been named AL Manager of the Year.

     

Fernandez to be Honored

The Marlins and the collective baseball world lost a shining star last year when 24-year-old pitcher Jose Fernandez tragically died in a boating accident.

"I miss him all the time," former Marlins pitching coach Chuck Hernandez said, per Ethan Bauer of the Miami Herald. "We miss him. My family misses him. My whole family loved the kid. My wife loved the kid. ... It's surreal that he's not here. Every time I go to Miami, I'm just like, 'I wanna see him. I wanna hug him. I wanna be with him.' Obviously, that can't be."

There's a good chance that Fernandez, a two-time All-Star, would be pitching in Tuesday's game if he were still alive. The Marlins and MLB will ensure that his presence will still be felt in his home stadium.

According to Bauer, Major League Baseball plans to honor Fernandez during the All-Star Game.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

2017 MLB All-Star Game: TV Schedule, Rosters and Top Storylines to Follow

We've reached Major League Baseball's All-Star week, folks. The next few days are going to be filled with exciting exhibitions and celebrations of the game's greatest players. We'll have the All-Star Futures Game, the Legends and Celebrity Softball Game, the Home Run Derby and, of course, the All-Star Game itself.

For the diehard baseball fan, the All-Star Game is typically the biggest attraction of the week. The sheer amount of talent collected on the field is impressive, and the players do tend to take the game somewhat seriously—unlike the players in some other sports. The risk of injury is relatively low, and no ball player wants to be shown up on a national stage.

Oh, and there's $20,000 to play for. That's the prize that will go to members of the winning team. The losers get nothing.

We're here with everything you need to know about the 2017 MLB All-Star Game, including scheduling and roster information.

          

2017 MLB All-Star Game

What: National League vs. American League

Where: Marlins Park, Miami

When: Tuesday, July 11

Time: 8 p.m. ET

National TV: Fox

Live Stream: Fox Sports Go

     

Rosters

 

American League Starters

C Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals

1B Justin Smoak, Toronto Blue Jays

2B Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

3B Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians

SS Carlos Correa, Houston Astros

OF Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

OF Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox

OF George Springer, Houston Astros

DH Corey Dickerson, Tampa Bay Rays

     

American League Reserves

C Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees

1B Yonder Alonso, Oakland Athletics

2B Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles

2B Starlin Castro, New York Yankees

3B Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins

3B Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals

SS Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians

OF Avisail Garcia, Chicago White Sox

OF Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians

DH Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners

     

American League Pitching Staff

SP Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox

SP Lance McCullers, Houston Astros

SP Jason Vargas, Kansas City Royals

SP Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

SP Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers

SP Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians

SP Ervin Santana, Minnesota Twins

SP Luis Severino, New York Yankees

SP Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros

RP Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox

RP Andrew Miller, Cleveland Indians

RP Dellin Betances, New York Yankees

     

National League Starters

C Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

1B Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals

2B Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals

3B Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies

SS Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds

OF Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

OF Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies

OF Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins

       

National League Reserves

C Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals

1B Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks

1B Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

1B/OF Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers

2B Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates

2B DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies

3B Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks

3B Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers

SS Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers

OF Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves

OF Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins

OF Michael Conforto, New York Mets

      

National League Pitching Staff

SP Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

SP Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

SP Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals

SP Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks

SP Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks

SP Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

RP Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers

RP Wade Davis, Chicago Cubs

RP Corey Knebel, Milwaukee Brewers

RP Greg Holland, Colorado Rockies

RP Brad Hand, San Diego Padres

RP Pat Neshek, Philadelphia Phillies

          

Roster Notes

Four pitchers—Michael Fulmer, Corey Kluber, Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw—will be ineligible to pitch after starting on Sunday. Dallas Keuchel will not pitch due to injury.

Mike Trout has been replaced in the American League lineup by Mookie Betts due to injury. Starlin Castro is also out due to injury. According to Yahoo Sports, the replacement players are as follows:

 

     

World Series Home Field No Longer in Play

For the past decade and a half, the winning league in the MLB All-Star Game earned home-field advantage for its representative in the World Series. This is no longer the case, as baseball has decided to fall in line with other professional sports leagues.

Whichever team holds the best record in the World Series will own home-field advantage.

The good news for baseball fans is that they should get to see more of their favorite players in the All-Star Game. Managers shouldn't be quite as inclined to keep the absolute best players on the field, and there should be a better rotation of talent now.

"Really, this is the way it should be," St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt said, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. "You want more players who can appear in the game."

The players themselves should still play hard when they are on the field, though, since both money and pride will be at stake.

          

Francona Out as AL Manager

The managers for the All-Star Game were to be Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona and Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon. However, Francona won't be managing for the American League after undergoing a heart procedure, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:

Instead, Indians bench coach Brad Mills will manage the AL squad on Tuesday. Mills does have management experience, having managed the Houston Astros from 2010 to 2012.

Francona is expected to return to the Indians later in the week.

"I think his mind is at ease knowing they were able to perform a successful procedure to get his issue corrected," Chris Antonetti, the Indians' president of baseball operations, said, per Zack Meisel of Cleveland.com. "And now he knows that the path in front of him is just a little rest and recovery and he can get back to doing what he loves."

Francona has been the Indians manager since 2013 and has twice been named AL Manager of the Year.

     

Fernandez to be Honored

The Marlins and the collective baseball world lost a shining star last year when 24-year-old pitcher Jose Fernandez tragically died in a boating accident.

"I miss him all the time," former Marlins pitching coach Chuck Hernandez said, per Ethan Bauer of the Miami Herald. "We miss him. My family misses him. My whole family loved the kid. My wife loved the kid. ... It's surreal that he's not here. Every time I go to Miami, I'm just like, 'I wanna see him. I wanna hug him. I wanna be with him.' Obviously, that can't be."

There's a good chance that Fernandez, a two-time All-Star, would be pitching in Tuesday's game if he were still alive. The Marlins and MLB will ensure that his presence will still be felt in his home stadium.

According to Bauer, Major League Baseball plans to honor Fernandez during the All-Star Game.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Celebrity Softball Game 2017: TV Schedule, Roster Info and Preview

MLB's All-Star Week is here, and baseball fans are about to be treated to a slew of intriguing events. We'll have the All-Star Fanfest running from July 7-11, the Legends and Celebrity Softball Game on July 9, the Home Run Derby on July 10 and, of course, the All-Star Game itself on July 11.

We're here to examine the celebrity game, which along with the Home Run Derby is the type of spectacle that really makes All-Star Week worth watching. While the softball game isn't as competitive as the All-Star game or even as noteworthy as the All-Star Futures Game, it's pure entertainment.

We'll run down the schedule—including television information—and the rosters. We'll also take a look at some of the other activities to be features on All-Star Sunday.

         

2017 MLB Legends and Celebrity Softball Game

When: Sunday, July 9

Where: Marlins Park, Miami

Time: Following All-Stars Futures Game

National TV: ESPN

TV Schedule: June 10, following Home Run Derby (Scheduled for 10 p.m. ET)

Tickets: http://m.mlb.com/all-star-game/

      

Roster

Legends

Al Leiter

Andre Dawson

Bernie Williams

Rickey Henderson

Fred Lynn

Ivan Rodriguez

Livan Hernandez

Benito Santiago

Tim Raines

         

Celebrities

William Levy

Jamie Foxx

Jason Taylor

Dascha Polanco

Justin Hartley

Jencarlos Canela

Miles Teller

Chris Jackson

Jennie Finch

David Sparks

Michael Cudlitz

Jessica Mendoza

      

As is typically the case with the celebrity softball game, this year's edition is going to feature a lot of local flavor. Among the legends playing in the game are former Marlins Ivan Rodriguez, Andre Dawson, Livan Hernandez, Al Leiter, Benito Santiago and Tim Raines.

Actor Dascha Polanco has Miami ties, as do singer Jencarlos Canela and actor William Levy. Jason Taylor is obviously a Miami Dolphins legend.

Carol City product and pop rapper extraordinaire Flo Rida will also be on hand with a musical performance. He'll take the field between the All-Stars Futures Game and the Legends and Celebrity Softball Game—because nothing says Miami like Florida, er Flo Rida.

Jennie Finch is a softball legend and Olympic gold medalist. She'll almost certainly be pitching on Sunday. ESPN baseball analyst Jessica Mendoza is another former Olympian who has won a gold medal in softball. Actor Jamie Foxx returns after participating in the game last year.

While actor Miles Teller didn't participate in the game last year, his Whiplash co-star, J.K. Simmons, did.

Of course, the softball game isn't the only event taking place on Sunday. If you're lucky enough to be attending All-Star Sunday, be sure to check out the Futures game, too. Edgar Renteria and Charles Johnson of the 1997 championship Florida Marlins team will be on hand to manage the World Team and U.S. Team, respectively.

Oh, and if you really want to be a part of the festivities—and work up a little sweat—check out the All-Star Zumba workout Sunday morning. The workout will kick off at 9:30 a.m. ET at Bayfront Park and will be led by Zumba creator, Beto Perez.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz Heading into 2017 Draft

The 2017 MLB season is chugging right along. While the regular-season drama isn't likely to fully ramp up until after the All-Star break, there is plenty for the diehard fan to pay attention to right now. The 2017 MLB draft, for example, is set to begin on Monday, June 12.

While it can be a lot of fun to watch your favorite team pick up new prospects for the future, incoming rookies aren't going to be carrying their respective teams to the World Series any time soon. However, players acquired via trade definitely have the potential to do exactly that.

This is the point in the season when player trading really begins heating up. We're not too far off from the July 31 trade deadline, and there will be more young prospects to include in deals shortly after the draft takes place. The full onslaught of trades won't take place until teams begin to learn who has a shot at the postseason and who doesn't, but we should see plenty of movement in the coming weeks.

We're here to examine the latest MLB trade rumors and what they could mean moving forward.

    

Red Sox Scouting Minor

The Boston Reds Sox are only a few games back from the New York Yankees in the American League East, and they're almost certainly eyeing a postseason push. This is why we'll probably see Boston as a buyer in the coming weeks.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, one player the Red Sox could be interested in acquiring is Kansas City Royals pitcher Mike Minor:

Minor is a quality lefty who would help bolster Boston's bullpen. He's appeared in 26 games this season, with 32 innings pitched and an ERA of 2.25. He has allowed 23 hits but just eight runs, eight earned runs and one home run.

In his 32 innings of work, Minor has struck out 33 batters.

While the Red Sox don't necessarily need to add a talent like Minor to their bullpen, his addition would give the team another quality option. For a team that is hoping to make a strong playoff run, quality bullpen options have tremendous value. The question for Boston is whether or not the team views additional bullpen talent as worth the asking price.

Minor is under contract through the 2018 season, so he might not exactly come at a bargain.

     

Vargas and Gray Also Drawing Interest

Minor isn't the only pitcher who is drawing trade interest from around the league. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Royals pitcher Jason Vargas and Oakland Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray are also inviting inquiries:

"Vargas has become the pitcher most asked about in trade discussions, according to a major league source. Right behind him is Oakland's Sonny Gray. The Orioles need to come up with one of these two. Gray would be more costly in terms of prospects needed to acquire him. The feeling is that teams in need will have to step up well ahead of the trade deadline to land either."

While Minor would help boost a bullpen, Vargas and Gray could aid a starting rotation. Right-hander Gray has started 10 games this season and has an ERA of 4.37. He's 2-2 as a starter. Left-hander Vargas has started 12 games and has an ERA of just 2.18. He also boasts a strong 8-3 record.

Age is the reason teams may have to fork over more in order to acquire Gray. He won't turn 28 until November and has just four seasons of wear and tear on his arm. Vargas, on the other hand, is 34 and has 11 seasons under his belt.

Of course, teams looking to bolster their pitching staff for a 2017 run are likely to gain more by acquiring Vargas. Keep an eye on both of these pitchers between now and the trade deadline.

    

Cain Could Also Be Moved

Another reason why Vargas could be relatively cheap to acquire is the fact that his current contract is up after the 2017 season. This is also one reason why the Royals could be willing to move him while they can still get value in return.

Outfielder Lorenzo Cain could also be placed on the trading block for this same reason. His contract is also up after this season. His value comes in defense, a batting average of over .260 and an on-base percentage just under .350.

Why would the Royals want to move players like Vargas, Minor and Cain? Well, it's primarily because the team is sitting well below .500 and isn't looking like it's going to be a legitimate contender anytime soon. Cafardo explained the thought process last week:

"They will start listening to overtures for Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, and Vargas. There really is nothing else for them to do, and while they entered Friday only six games out of first place, they have a few teams to climb over and they can't sign most of their free agents-to-be. The Royals' window has come and gone. They got one World Series championship out of it."

If Kansas City does indeed believe its window with the current roster is closing, then it makes sense to start selling ahead of the deadline. The team won't have to completely rebuild, of course, but the focus moving forward is likely to involve adding some high-upside prospects to the young core players. Cain is 31 years old and won't really fit that game plan.

Keep an eye on the Washington Nationals here. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the Nationals were interested in acquiring Cain during the offseason

     

All contract information via Spotrac.com.

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