MLB Trade Deadline 2016: Date and Latest Rumors on Top Stars

The MLB trade deadline is on Monday, Aug. 1—a day later than usual since the typical date of July 31 falls on a Sunday this year.

One star in Aroldis Chapman was already traded from the New York Yankees to the Chicago Cubs well in advance of the ultimatum on deals. Whether that's a precursor to multiple big moves to come or proves to be the most noteworthy swap to go down remains to be seen.

By examining the latest buzz on those who are reportedly on the block, perhaps better inferences can be made as to what might happen as Aug. 1 approaches.

   

Dodgers Would Include Top Pitching Prospect in Chris Sale Offer

Imagine a future in which the Los Angeles Dodgers were able to trot out southpaw superstars Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale on back-to-back nights. What a terrifying ordeal that would be for opposing hitters.

The New York Post's Joel Sherman mentioned in his recent report that L.A. doesn't get the sense Sale will be moved. If the Chicago White Sox change their mind about Sale, though, according to Sherman, the Dodgers will sweeten their offer by featuring Julio Urias.

At only 19 years of age, Urias has already gotten the call up to the big leagues this season. Although he's struggled to a 4.69 ERA and a 1-2 record in nine starts and was optioned back to Triple-A in early July, his upside is obvious, creating a difficult dilemma for Los Angeles to deal with.

But the trade could well be worth it to land someone like Sale. He's only 27 years old and has a contract that contains club options in 2018 and 2019, per Spotrac. The Dodgers would only be on the hook for a $12 million Sale salary in 2017, too.

The only possible hangup is Sale's bizarre clubhouse behavior that got him suspended recently when he reportedly cut up the White Sox's throwback jerseys. He commented on the issue thereafter, per MLB.com's Scott Merkin:

[The '76 uniforms] are uncomfortable and unorthodox. I didn't want to go out there and not be at the top of my game in every aspect that I need to be in. Not only that, but I didn't want anything to alter my mechanics. ...There's a lot of different things that went into it. Looking bad had absolutely zero to do with it. Nothing.

Given how relatively unproven Urias is and the fact Kershaw is currently on the disabled list with a back injury, the push for Sale would make a lot of sense.

Sale is the type of talent who'd provide insurance for Kershaw in the short term, form a magnificent one-two punch down the road and give L.A. an even better chance of catching the San Francisco Giants in the National League West.

In addition to Urias, though, the Dodgers could also be sacrificing much more. Today's Knuckleball's Jon Heyman reported Chicago is asking for "five top prospects" for Sale. Even if Urias' presence in a package might knock the demand down, that's a lot for L.A. to weigh.

   

Wade Davis, Andrew Miller Likely Will Remain with Current Teams

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that rival general managers believe Wade Davis and Andrew Miller won't be going anywhere. However, per Nightengale, both their current clubs are still listening to offers.

Davis has been dynamic out of the Kansas City Royals bullpen in recent years, while Miller has thrived as both a closer and lights-out reliever for the New York Yankees over the past two seasons.

The numbers for Davis and Miller are absurd. The former has a 1.60 ERA this season and 21 saves, while the latter has a 1.39 ERA and 77 strikeouts in only 45.1 innings and had 36 saves in 38 chances last season.

ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported the Washington Nationals are prioritizing bullpen help and are honing in on the likes of both Davis and Miller after missing out on Chapman. Stark added the caveat that Davis and Miller might be too pricey for Washington to swing a trade, yet the possibility is there.

The situation in Kansas City is particularly intriguing. Coming off back-to-back World Series trips, including a triumph this past year, the Royals' 2016 playoff hopes are remote at best. Davis is also relatively inexpensive in 2017, due for a $10 million club option, per Spotrac.

If K.C. sells high on Davis now, it can probably get a lot in return for him and address other areas of the roster. Should the Royals struggle again next season, though, the situation becomes more complicated if other teams know Davis could just walk in free agency.

Still under contract at $9 million per year over the next two seasons, Miller is a less logical trade piece for the Yankees to play with, especially after dealing away Chapman.

   

Jay Bruce Sweepstakes Involve 'At Least 4 Clubs'

ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported on the rampant interest in the Cincinnati Reds outfielder, indicating Cincinnati has "picked up the pace" on trade discussions.

Crasnick speculated, but didn't report, that the Cleveland Indians, Giants and Dodgers are looking for more offensive firepower and could be among those talking to the Reds. Crasnick did report Wednesday the Seattle Mariners have reached out to Cincinnati.

On track to log the second-best batting average and his personal-best slugging percentage this season, Jay Bruce has been one of the few positive subplots to a woeful Reds season. He may well be the best power hitter to have his name surfaced ahead of the deadline.

Bruce has the top slugging percentage (.572), the second-most home runs (25) and the most RBI (79) among all outfielders. He bolstered to those totals with a solo blast against the Giants on Wednesday, marking the fifth straight contest logging a homer.

Fox Sports Ohio highlighted how Bruce ascended to rarefied air in tying his teammate Adam Duvall with 25 dingers on the season:

Given how much rebuilding Cincinnati has to do, it comes as little surprise that the Reds are seeking a top prospect in exchange for Bruce, per Crasnick.

Bruce has only this season guaranteed to remain on his contract. Per Spotrac, he has a $13 million club option for next season that includes a $1 million buyout. Even if his prospective new team doesn't get what it desires out of him, it'd be a rather inexpensive mistake if only one prospect were involved.

Also of note is how Bruce has a limited no-trade clause, permitting him to block trades to eight teams, none of which are mentioned in the Crasnick rumors.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Trade Deadline 2016: Date and Latest Rumors on Top Stars

The MLB trade deadline is on Monday, Aug. 1—a day later than usual since the typical date of July 31 falls on a Sunday this year.

One star in Aroldis Chapman was already traded from the New York Yankees to the Chicago Cubs well in advance of the ultimatum on deals. Whether that's a precursor to multiple big moves to come or proves to be the most noteworthy swap to go down remains to be seen.

By examining the latest buzz on those who are reportedly on the block, perhaps better inferences can be made as to what might happen as Aug. 1 approaches.

   

Dodgers Would Include Top Pitching Prospect in Chris Sale Offer

Imagine a future in which the Los Angeles Dodgers were able to trot out southpaw superstars Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale on back-to-back nights. What a terrifying ordeal that would be for opposing hitters.

The New York Post's Joel Sherman mentioned in his recent report that L.A. doesn't get the sense Sale will be moved. If the Chicago White Sox change their mind about Sale, though, according to Sherman, the Dodgers will sweeten their offer by featuring Julio Urias.

At only 19 years of age, Urias has already gotten the call up to the big leagues this season. Although he's struggled to a 4.69 ERA and a 1-2 record in nine starts and was optioned back to Triple-A in early July, his upside is obvious, creating a difficult dilemma for Los Angeles to deal with.

But the trade could well be worth it to land someone like Sale. He's only 27 years old and has a contract that contains club options in 2018 and 2019, per Spotrac. The Dodgers would only be on the hook for a $12 million Sale salary in 2017, too.

The only possible hangup is Sale's bizarre clubhouse behavior that got him suspended recently when he reportedly cut up the White Sox's throwback jerseys. He commented on the issue thereafter, per MLB.com's Scott Merkin:

[The '76 uniforms] are uncomfortable and unorthodox. I didn't want to go out there and not be at the top of my game in every aspect that I need to be in. Not only that, but I didn't want anything to alter my mechanics. ...There's a lot of different things that went into it. Looking bad had absolutely zero to do with it. Nothing.

Given how relatively unproven Urias is and the fact Kershaw is currently on the disabled list with a back injury, the push for Sale would make a lot of sense.

Sale is the type of talent who'd provide insurance for Kershaw in the short term, form a magnificent one-two punch down the road and give L.A. an even better chance of catching the San Francisco Giants in the National League West.

In addition to Urias, though, the Dodgers could also be sacrificing much more. Today's Knuckleball's Jon Heyman reported Chicago is asking for "five top prospects" for Sale. Even if Urias' presence in a package might knock the demand down, that's a lot for L.A. to weigh.

   

Wade Davis, Andrew Miller Likely Will Remain with Current Teams

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that rival general managers believe Wade Davis and Andrew Miller won't be going anywhere. However, per Nightengale, both their current clubs are still listening to offers.

Davis has been dynamic out of the Kansas City Royals bullpen in recent years, while Miller has thrived as both a closer and lights-out reliever for the New York Yankees over the past two seasons.

The numbers for Davis and Miller are absurd. The former has a 1.60 ERA this season and 21 saves, while the latter has a 1.39 ERA and 77 strikeouts in only 45.1 innings and had 36 saves in 38 chances last season.

ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported the Washington Nationals are prioritizing bullpen help and are honing in on the likes of both Davis and Miller after missing out on Chapman. Stark added the caveat that Davis and Miller might be too pricey for Washington to swing a trade, yet the possibility is there.

The situation in Kansas City is particularly intriguing. Coming off back-to-back World Series trips, including a triumph this past year, the Royals' 2016 playoff hopes are remote at best. Davis is also relatively inexpensive in 2017, due for a $10 million club option, per Spotrac.

If K.C. sells high on Davis now, it can probably get a lot in return for him and address other areas of the roster. Should the Royals struggle again next season, though, the situation becomes more complicated if other teams know Davis could just walk in free agency.

Still under contract at $9 million per year over the next two seasons, Miller is a less logical trade piece for the Yankees to play with, especially after dealing away Chapman.

   

Jay Bruce Sweepstakes Involve 'At Least 4 Clubs'

ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported on the rampant interest in the Cincinnati Reds outfielder, indicating Cincinnati has "picked up the pace" on trade discussions.

Crasnick speculated, but didn't report, that the Cleveland Indians, Giants and Dodgers are looking for more offensive firepower and could be among those talking to the Reds. Crasnick did report Wednesday the Seattle Mariners have reached out to Cincinnati.

On track to log the second-best batting average and his personal-best slugging percentage this season, Jay Bruce has been one of the few positive subplots to a woeful Reds season. He may well be the best power hitter to have his name surfaced ahead of the deadline.

Bruce has the top slugging percentage (.572), the second-most home runs (25) and the most RBI (79) among all outfielders. He bolstered to those totals with a solo blast against the Giants on Wednesday, marking the fifth straight contest logging a homer.

Fox Sports Ohio highlighted how Bruce ascended to rarefied air in tying his teammate Adam Duvall with 25 dingers on the season:

Given how much rebuilding Cincinnati has to do, it comes as little surprise that the Reds are seeking a top prospect in exchange for Bruce, per Crasnick.

Bruce has only this season guaranteed to remain on his contract. Per Spotrac, he has a $13 million club option for next season that includes a $1 million buyout. Even if his prospective new team doesn't get what it desires out of him, it'd be a rather inexpensive mistake if only one prospect were involved.

Also of note is how Bruce has a limited no-trade clause, permitting him to block trades to eight teams, none of which are mentioned in the Crasnick rumors.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Miguel Sano Breaks Bat Across Leg After 3rd Strikeout of Night vs. Braves

Minnesota Twins outfielder Miguel Sano let his frustration boil over in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 9-7 loss to the Atlanta Braves, breaking his bat following his third strikeout of the evening.

MLB's official Twitter feed showed the footage of Sano's snapped stick at Target Field in Minneapolis:

Sano did have a two-run single on Wednesday, but his outburst overshadowed that and was more or less an encapsulation of the Twins' 2016 season.

With the loss to the Braves, the worst team in baseball record-wise, Minnesota fell to 37-63 and is in last place in the American League.

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Prince Fielder Injury Update: Rangers 1B to Undergo Season-Ending Neck Surgery

Texas Rangers first baseman and designated hitter Prince Fielder will undergo a neck operation on Friday, which will end his 2016 season.

Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram reported on Wednesday that Fielder is slated for fusion surgery.

Fielder appeared in 89 games this season, posting a slash line of .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI.

The Star-Telegram's Stefan Stevenson reported last Wednesday that Fielder had herniation in his neck near the area where he had a fusion operation in May 2014.

Fielder, 32, is a six-time All-Star and one of the most dangerous power hitters in baseball when he's healthy. Unfortunately, he appeared to be fighting through pain all year long, which was also limiting his productivity at the plate.

Although Texas has alternatives to turn to in Fielder's absence, hopes of him returning to his prime form have taken a considerable hit, if not his career outlook. Due to make $24 million in each of the next four seasons, per Spotrac, Fielder has his work cut out to live up to that price tag.

Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, catcher Bryan Holaday and starting pitchers Derek Holland and Colby Lewis are among the key Rangers who are on the disabled list, via RosterResource.com.

The club's once-commanding lead in the American League West has shrunk in July, putting all the more pressure on others to step up.

Fielder's leadership and gregarious personality will also be missed in the clubhouse with his season being cut short. Jurickson Profar has played multiple games at every infield position for Texas in 2016, though, and has served as DH as well.

Joey Gallo just made his 2016 debut on Tuesday and had a solo homer against the Oakland Athletics, which bodes well for his future as he figures to fill in at first base.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Aroldis Chapman, Chris Sale and More

The 2016 MLB trade deadline is Aug. 1, which leaves a bit of time for trade chatter to circulate before the biggest deals go down.

At the center of the current buzz are several pitchers with varying roles. New York Yankees flamethrower closer Aroldis Chapman is in the process of changing teams. Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale is also being mentioned in rumors.

With the San Diego Padres wallowing outside of the playoff picture, they're reportedly shopping starter Andrew Cashner. Read on to find out the specifics on this trio of talented pitchers. 

      

Yankees May Trade Andrew Miller Despite Chapman's Reported Departure

The Yankees appear to have finally moved Chapman on. FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman and ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported Monday the Chicago Cubs will send prospects Billy McKinney and Gleyber Torres along with Adam Warren and an unnamed player to the Big Apple.

Rian Watt of Vice Sports reported Sunday night the Cubs were already discussing an extension for Chapman, who is set to be a free agent at the end of the year:

Chapman's fastball soars into the triple digits, making him a marketable weapon for contenders to pounce on.

The southpaw was suspended 30 games to start the 2016 campaign under MLB's domestic violence policy. He has since returned to convert 20 of 21 save opportunities with a 2.01 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 31.1 innings.

Thanks to the presence of Andrew Miller in the bullpen, New York is in the unique position to trade Chapman and gain some assets in return. Miller has a 1.45 ERA this season and was the Yankees' closer in 2015, converting 36 of 38 save chances.

ESPN's Buster Olney reported that New York isn't necessarily married to keeping Miller on the roster, though:

If the Yankees want to explore their options with Miller, they may well have two standby destinations to send him to.

Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reported on Sunday that the Cleveland Indians had the "best names" in a proposed offer for Chapman and that the Washington Nationals were being "very aggressive" in their pursuit of him.

With Chapman off the board, the Indians and Nationals can still go after Miller, who has proved he can thrive as a regular reliever or surefire closer. He's elite in his own right and isn't a mere Chapman consolation prize.

Cleveland has one of the better starting staffs in baseball, which has helped the Indians rise to the top of the American League Central. Having someone like Miller to slam the door would be invaluable. The same goes for the Nationals, who rank second in baseball with 62 quality starts.

       

White Sox Stuck with Sale?

Heyman reported the White Sox are asking for five prospects in exchange for Sale.

But Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal spoke to "numerous executives" about Sale's trade value. They said his market may be better in the offseason.

Complicating Sale's trade value is the fact that he was just suspended Sunday for five days due to a clubhouse incident. Sale missed his start Saturday for cutting up the White Sox's throwback jerseys that he didn't want to wear, per Stokke.

Rosenthal stated in his report that the interest in Sale hasn't waned despite his strange episode of insubordination.

Between that bizarre behavior and the fact that Sale makes only $12 million in 2017 and has club options on the subsequent two years of his contract, Chicago has little motivation to trade him now.

Due to the nature of Sale's deal, it will take an offer that blows away the White Sox for them to give him up. It's not as if the 27-year-old is having a bad season, either, what with a 14-3 record and 3.18 ERA.

      

Numerous Suitors Emerge for Cashner

Heyman reported Sunday that Cashner's market is improving due to his strong performances in two consecutive starts. Heyman also indicated the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins have joined the party.

Other clubs named in the report are the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants, and Heyman said others are interested too.

With Sale's viability as a trade chip being in question due to the factors outlined in the previous analysis, superior bargain deals are more realistic. Such is the case with Cashner, who could be just the type of player to round out a playoff rotation.

On the surface, Cashner hasn't fared too well over the past season-and-a-half or so, having gone 10-23 since 2015. However, starting pitching is of paramount importance in the postseason.

Cashner's 4.79 ERA this year is actually deceiving. He yielded five earned runs in his first start of the season and got rocked for eight on July 8. Both of those games were against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In each of the 13 other starts he's made, though, Cashner has yielded no more than three earned runs. In his past two contests, he's gone 11.2 innings, giving up only seven hits and two runs with 17 strikeouts to zero walks.

Perhaps Cashner senses the opportunity to flee to greener pastures. Otherwise, it's the best instance of happenstance that he's pitching at such a high level of late, because he could be positioning himself for a spot on a championship contender.

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Shelby Miller Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation on Diamondbacks Pitcher

The Arizona Diamondbacks have reportedly informed other teams that starting pitcher Shelby Miller is on the trade block.

Continue for updates.


Diamondbacks Face Difficult Decision on Struggling Miller

Sunday, July 24

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported the buzz on Miller ahead of the Aug. 1 trade deadline. Miller, 25, has had a rough 2016 campaign with a 2-9 record and 7.14 ERA.

Expected to be among the better arms on the Diamondbacks staff behind ace Zack Greinke, Miller has fallen well short of expectations in his first season with Arizona.

The Diamondbacks acquired the right-hander in a trade with the Atlanta Braves in December. He was coming off a season in which he posted a 3.02 ERA in 33 starts but had only a 6-17 record to show for it.

On July 14, Arizona demoted Miller to Triple-A.

"I saw it coming," Miller said, per AZCentral.com's Nick Piecoro. "I have a 7.14 ERA. It's not like I'm pitching great. ... Obviously I was kind of struggling up here for a while. I'm surprised I stayed up here this long."

Part of the problem may be related to Miller's right index finger injury, which resulted in his first career trip to the disabled list and kept him out of action for nearly a month.

In his first start for Triple-A Reno, Miller allowed three earned runs and struck out 10 over 6.2 innings. Per Kevin Zimmerman of ArizonaSports.com, Miller had a no-hit bid going through the first five innings before yielding three consecutive hits, including a three-run homer.

If Miller recovers the form he showed in Atlanta, trade suitors may well be interested in him. But the Diamondbacks will have difficulty recouping their investment in him—which included 2015 No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson.

Arizona could use any assets it requires in a trade involving Miller, though. The Diamondbacks are in last place in the National League West and have the third-worst record in the NL.

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Chris Sale Suspended for Clubhouse Incident: Latest Details, Comments, Reaction

The Chicago White Sox suspended pitcher Chris Sale on Sunday for five days due to a clubhouse incident occurring Saturday. 

The club's official Twitter account announced Sale's suspension:

As the White Sox also announced Saturday, they sent Sale home prior to what was supposed to be his turn to start against the Detroit Tigers. Tommy Stokke of FanRag Sports initially reported Sale didn't want to wear a throwback jersey, so he cut them up to prevent anyone from wearing them.

Sale has had a magnificent 2016 campaign with a 14-3 record and 3.18 ERA.

The fact that Sale was barred from making his start Saturday is all the more interesting since he's been the subject of rumors ahead of the Aug. 1 trade deadline.

Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball reported the White Sox are asking for five prospects in exchange for Sale. MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reported the Texas Rangers are exploring a deal but are reluctant to part with outfielder Nomar Mazara.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports echoed the sentiment that the White Sox would demand a king's ransom for Sale if they put him on the market:

Is Sale a player who wants out? Maybe. But he does not control the process; the White Sox do. And the team, according to multiple reports, wants five top young players for its ace left-hander, who started the All-Star Game and will earn $38 million between 2017 and '19 if his two club options are exercised — a bargain rate if ever there was one. 

The White Sox eventually might come off their demands, but they're not going to cave and they need not hurry. Indeed, numerous executives have told me in recent days that the market for Sale might be even better in the offseason, when the White Sox could involve more clubs.

Chicago can justify dealing Sale to a degree as a means of bolstering the roster amid a 46-50 season after a 23-10 start.

Unless the White Sox feel Sale's tantrum is part of a bigger issue and isn't worth the trouble, though, they would probably be better off retaining their ace. Sale, 27, has a team-friendly contract that pays him only $12 million in 2017 and features club options for the following two years, per Spotrac.

The southpaw's combination of youth, talent, production and value is rare and attractive to potential trade suitors. However, his destruction of equipment in the clubhouse a little more than a week away from possibly joining a new team may harm his trade value.

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Chris Sale Suspended for Clubhouse Incident: Latest Details, Comments, Reaction

The Chicago White Sox suspended pitcher Chris Sale on Sunday for five days due to a clubhouse incident occurring Saturday. 

The club's official Twitter account announced Sale's suspension:

As the White Sox also announced Saturday, they sent Sale home prior to what was supposed to be his turn to start against the Detroit Tigers. Tommy Stokke of FanRag Sports initially reported Sale didn't want to wear a throwback jersey, so he cut them up to prevent anyone from wearing them.

Sale has had a magnificent 2016 campaign with a 14-3 record and 3.18 ERA.

More to follow.

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Ubaldo Jimenez Trade Rumors: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation on Orioles Pitcher

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is reportedly being discussed in a potential trade ahead of MLB's Aug. 1 deadline.

Continue for updates.


Jimenez Involved in Melvin Upton Jr. Talks

Friday, July 22

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported Jimenez could be shipped out of Baltimore in exchange for San Diego Padres outfielder Melvin Upton Jr.

Rosenthal provided salary information for both players involved in the proposed trade:

An argument could be made that Upton would provide a lift to Baltimore's outfield as it prepares to secure a playoff berth down the stretch, justifying the increased salary the Orioles would take on.

The same can't be said for Jimenez, who is a shell of the pitcher who at his apex won 19 games for the Colorado Rockies in 2010. He has a 5-9 record with a 7.38 ERA in 2016, so it's unclear what would implore the Padres to make such a deal.

Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan weighed in on how the trade might be fairer for San Diego with a key revision:

The Padres, who are rebuilding, are on course to miss the playoffs for the 10th straight year. Their pitching is among the worst in baseball, sporting a 4.58 team ERA, per ESPN.com.

If San Diego is intent on acquiring Jimenez, perhaps it has plans to place him in the bullpen. Jimenez may embrace a new role and a fresh start after failing to deliver as a starter in 2016 and being inconsistent throughout his career.

With a unique pitching arsenal featuring a sinker, slider and splitter, per Brooks Baseball, Jimenez is at his best when getting hitters to chase pitches low, which is a good fit for late in ballgames, when one swing of the bat can change everything.

A late-inning reliever spot is something the Orioles should consider Jimenez for if they don't wind up dealing him.

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Julio Teheran Injury: Updates on Braves Pitcher’s Lat and Return

Atlanta Braves pitcher Julio Teheran left the field during Friday's game against the Colorado Rockies because of right lat tightness.

Continue for updates.


Teheran Day-to-Day, Gets No-Decision

Friday, July 22

The Braves announced the details on Teheran's status. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the news, indicating Teheran appeared to hurt his back while at the plate in the top of the fifth inning. Although he returned to the mound for the bottom of the fifth, Teheran exited after fielding a ground ball.

MLB.com provided the footage of Teheran walking to the dugout:

In the midst of an already disastrous 2016 campaign, the Braves would loathe losing someone as valuable as Teheran for any extended period of time.

After tossing seven shutout innings in his prior outing against the Rockies, Teheran kept them off the board for four innings on Friday before being forced to leave. Atlanta's bullpen subsequently denied Teheran the chance for a fourth win of the season by letting up four runs in the sixth.

Teheran lowered his ERA to 2.71 yet only has a 3-8 record to show for it. That's how dire the situation is with the Braves, who would be best suited to not press Teheran back into action until he's absolutely ready and 100 percent.

Given the circumstances as the worst club in baseball record-wise, Atlanta may want to consider shutting down Teheran for at least his next start. The 25-year-old should be conserved as much as possible down the stretch as the Braves continue to rebuild.

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Julio Teheran Injury: Updates on Braves Pitcher’s Lat and Return

Atlanta Braves pitcher Julio Teheran left the field during Friday's game against the Colorado Rockies because of right lat tightness suffered during a fifth-inning at-bat. However, it appears as if he will not miss any extra time.

Continue for updates.


Latest on Timeline for Teheran's Return

Sunday, July 24

David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tehran "hopes to start Thursday on regular turn" after the pitcher was pain-free during his light throwing session on Sunday.


Teheran A Bright Spot For Struggling Braves

In the midst of an already disastrous 2016 campaign, the Braves would loathe losing someone as valuable as Teheran for any extended period of time.

After tossing seven shutout innings in his prior outing against the Rockies, Teheran kept them off the board for four innings on Friday before being forced to leave. Atlanta's bullpen subsequently denied Teheran the chance for a fourth win of the season by letting up four runs in the sixth.

Teheran lowered his ERA to 2.71 yet only has a 3-8 record to show for it. That's how dire the situation is with the Braves, who would be best suited to not press Teheran back into action until he's absolutely ready and 100 percent.

Given the circumstances as the worst club in baseball record-wise, Atlanta may want to consider shutting down Teheran for at least his next start. The 25-year-old should be conserved as much as possible down the stretch as the Braves continue to rebuild.

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Pirates vs. Nationals: Stats, Highlights and Reaction to 18-Inning Game

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals played the equivalent of two games in one Sunday. Their showdown at Nationals Park stretched all the way into the 18th inning before the visitors prevailed, 2-1.

In terms of highlights, they were few and far between thanks to exceptional pitching by both clubs, and, well, quiet bats played a big part, too.

Pirates left fielder Starling Marte opened the scoring in the top of the sixth with an RBI double off Max Scherzer—and broke the long drought with a two-out home run off Oliver Perez in the top of the 18th.

Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reacted to Marte's game-winner:

Although Washington managed two singles in the bottom of the 18th, it couldn't plate the equalizer. Jonathon Niese capped off his third inning of scoreless work by getting Danny Espinosa to strike out swinging.

All-Star closer Mark Melancon came on for Pittsburgh to try to slam the door in the bottom of the ninth—and came close to doing so until Washington foiled his bid for his 28th save of the season.

On a 2-2 count, Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy changed the game with one swing of the bat, jacking a two-out, pinch-hit solo shot to right field to tie the game.

And then there was a whole lot of nothing in terms of scoring.

The closest call prior to Marte's decisive dinger came in the top of the 16th, when Pittsburgh's Eric Fryer drew a two-out walk. Josh Harrison doubled to center field thereafter, but the Nats managed to throw out Fryer at home plate to preserve the 1-1 deadlock, as the team's Twitter account showed:

To that point, Washington had only one hit in the extra innings, while the Pirates had three following Harrison's extra-base hit. After another hitless inning for the Nats in the 16th, their official Twitter account noted the historical significance of Sunday's contest:

The symbolism in the photograph was appropriate. Fans' heads may have been spinning at that point from seeing stars as they bore witness to an extraordinarily lengthy game.

ESPN Stats & Info supplied additional context as the duel proceeded further:

At least one youngster in the stands was growing impetuous as the action unfolded, courtesy of the Pirates' official Twitter account:

Thankfully for the emotional youth and the Pittsburgh faithful, Marte came through on multiple occasions to give the Pirates the win.

Homer McFanboy captured the essence of what Nationals fans had to be feeling afterward:

A lot of credit should go to Pittsburgh starting pitcher Chad Kuhl, whose appearance on the mound had to be a distant memory for anyone who was watching. Kuhl pitched six innings of one-hit ball with no walks and five strikeouts, setting the Pirates up to win in regulation.

Matt Sunday of DK Pittsburgh Sports praised Kuhl for the role he played in the victory:

In the midst of a tight National League wild-card race, every game holds significance for Pittsburgh. It was a much-needed triumph for the Pirates after they had dropped their prior three games to the Nationals.

Washington can take solace in the fact that it has a six-game lead in the NL East—that is, until taking into account what happened last year.

Touted as 2015 World Series contenders, the Nats collapsed down the stretch and failed to qualify for the playoffs.

It'd be irresponsible to pin a lot on one game with plenty of baseball left in the season, but Sunday's loss had to be draining for Washington. The club will at least have a day of rest before Tuesday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers in which the Nats will be heavily favored.

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Matt Moore Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation Surrounding Rays SP

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore is reportedly the subject of trade negotiations with the Aug. 1 non-waiver deadline approaching.

On Saturday, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported the Texas Rangers are having ongoing talks with the Rays regarding Moore, but Morosi indicated no trade is close to happening.

Moore had a rough May, posting a 7.36 ERA, but has rebounded since with stellar form, yielding only 22 earned runs over nine starts in that span, as opposed to the 21 he gave up in five May appearances.

More to follow.

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Arodys Vizcaino Injury: Updates on Braves Closer’s Oblique and Return

The Atlanta Braves placed closer Arodys Vizcaino on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a strained right oblique.

Continue for updates.


Vizcaino's Tough Injury Luck Continues

Saturday, July 16

News of the transaction came from the team's official Twitter account. The club also announced it reinstated relief pitcher Eric O'Flaherty from the DL.

Vizcaino has a 1-4 record with a 3.00 ERA and 10 saves in 39 appearances this season.

Since serving an 80-game suspension for a positive performance-enhancing-drug test last season, Vizcaino has been a bright spot amid a dismal 2016 campaign for Atlanta.

Considering this is a minor injury, there's little reason for Braves fans to worry about Vizcaino's future, though. He's shown uncommon toughness since breaking into the big leagues.

Despite undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012 and another arthroscopic elbow procedure that kept him out for 2013, Vizcaino is still able to throw a fastball that's consistently over 95 mph, per Brooks Baseball.

The 25-year-old has responded to adversity throughout his young career and has pitched reasonably well this year under the circumstances of being on a losing club. Although Vizcaino has blown three saves, he has shown immense upside in his limited MLB experience.

The Braves would be best suited to allow Vizcaino extra time to fully recover so he avoids the risk of overcompensating with his arm talent.

Atlanta is likely to turn to Jim Johnson to fill Vizcaino's spot until the latter recovers. Johnson logged 51 and 50 saves in 2012 and 2013, respectively, as a member of the Baltimore Orioles, making him the most proven commodity in the Braves bullpen.

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Arodys Vizcaino Injury: Updates on Braves Closer’s Oblique and Return

The Atlanta Braves placed closer Arodys Vizcaino on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a strained right oblique.

Continue for updates.


Vizcaino's Tough Injury Luck Continues

Saturday, July 16

News of the transaction came from the team's official Twitter account. The club also announced it reinstated relief pitcher Eric O'Flaherty from the DL.

Vizcaino has a 1-4 record with a 3.00 ERA and 10 saves in 39 appearances this season.

Since serving an 80-game suspension for a positive performance-enhancing-drug test last season, Vizcaino has been a bright spot amid a dismal 2016 campaign for Atlanta.

Considering this is a minor injury, there's little reason for Braves fans to worry about Vizcaino's future, though. He's shown uncommon toughness since breaking into the big leagues.

Despite undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012 and another arthroscopic elbow procedure that kept him out for 2013, Vizcaino is still able to throw a fastball that's consistently over 95 mph, per Brooks Baseball.

The 25-year-old has responded to adversity throughout his young career and has pitched reasonably well this year under the circumstances of being on a losing club. Although Vizcaino has blown three saves, he has shown immense upside in his limited MLB experience.

The Braves would be best suited to allow Vizcaino extra time to fully recover so he avoids the risk of overcompensating with his arm talent.

Atlanta is likely to turn to Jim Johnson to fill Vizcaino's spot until the latter recovers. Johnson logged 51 and 50 saves in 2012 and 2013, respectively, as a member of the Baltimore Orioles, making him the most proven commodity in the Braves bullpen.

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Edwin Encarnacion Contract: Latest News, Rumors on Negotiations With Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion will play out the rest of the 2016 season without negotiating any further on a new contract.

Continue for updates.


Encarnacion's Agent Comments on Contract Talks

Wednesday, July 13

Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball reported Wednesday what Encarnacion's agent, Paul Kinzer, had to say on his client's status:

Once the season started, we were not going to negotiate. He thought it was a distraction last time. He's the most relaxed I've ever seen him. Why mess with the guy? He's content. He's happy. [...] This doesn't mean Toronto's out. This was the plan all along. We were going to play this thing out.

Encarnacion has a slash line of .267/.358 /.541 to go with an MLB-leading 80 RBI and 23 homers. He earned his third All-Star bid this year and will be a free agent once the season ends.

This news has to come as relief to Toronto fans and especially the Blue Jays front office, who won't have to worry about strong-arming Encarnacion in potentially pernicious negotiations after the All-Star break.

The Jays are neck-and-neck with the Boston Red Sox in the American League wild-card race, only two games up on the Houston Astros at the moment. They're also just two games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East.

As long as Encarnacion keeps up his level of play, he's going to get a big payday this winter.

With a load of high-level talent around him and even a realistic chance of winning the AL pennant, Encarnacion is in a great situation and won't be putting himself above the team.

Encarnacion seems to recognize how trying to get a deal done now would complicate matters amid high stakes and expectations as Toronto tries to secure a postseason berth. He needs to be fully locked in with slugger Jose Bautista on the disabled list.

If Josh Donaldson can maintain his own exceptional form (.304 average, 23 HR, 63 RBI) and Troy Tulowitzki keeps up his hot start to July (.357 average), the Blue Jays should be a tough to beat as the regular season winds down.

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Drew Pomeranz Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation Surrounding Padres SP

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz is reportedly being coveted by at least one trade suitor in the midst of a strong 2016 campaign.

Continue for updates.


Rangers Interested in Pomeranz, Have Done 'Background Work'

Tuesday, July 12

FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reported the buzz surrounding Pomeranz, who has gotten poor run support this year, leading to an 8-7 record despite a 2.47 ERA.

The 27-year-old was recently selected as an All-Star for the first time and tossed a one-hit fourth inning on Tuesday night for the National League squad.

When Pomeranz was asked what the highlight of the All-Star Game was, he said, per the Padres' official Twitter account, "Besides playing here in our home park, it's being around all these guys."

He seems to be at home in San Diego, yet since the Padres are among the worst teams in the National League, they need to be thinking about rebuilding the roster. That could mean selling high on a promising young pitcher in Pomeranz.

Although he doesn't have elite velocity, Pomeranz relies a lot on his fastball, which hovers in the low 90s rather consistently, per Brooks Baseball. Pomeranz also throws an effective cutter and sinker, but his curve is what really baffles batters.

Such a diverse pitching arsenal keeps hitters off balance, as he's yielded only a .184 opponents' batting average and logged 115 strikeouts in only 102 innings of work this season.

According to ESPN.com's Samuel Henken, Texas initially drafted Pomeranz out of high school all the way back in 2007. It would be quite the story if he were to end up in Arlington nearly a decade later.

A dearth of quality starting pitching has held the Rangers back from further greatness in recent years. This season's club sits atop the American League West thanks in large part to an improvement in that area.

Adding a younger arm like Pomeranz to a staff that's tied for seventh with 49 quality starts in 2016 will only aid Texas' cause to claim the division crown.

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MLB All-Star Game 2016: Score, Highlights and Twitter Reaction from AL vs. NL

The 2016 MLB All-Star Game started off with plenty of fireworks on Tuesday at Petco Park in San Diego. Although the National League got on the board first, the American League ultimately prevailed for the fourth year in a row by a score of 4-2.   

Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant captivated the crowd with a solo shot in the top of the first off Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale.

MLB.com had the footage of Bryant's win in the Windy City matchup:

Adam Jacobi of SB Nation had a great reaction to Bryant's dinger:

But the NL's celebration and lead were relatively short-lived, because in the bottom of the second, the AL went to work. Two reigning World Series champions served as the catalysts.

Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer blasted an equalizing homer off former teammate Johnny Cueto—now of the San Francisco Giants—and Royals catcher Salvador Perez hit a two-run blast to put his side on top.

ESPN's Jim Trotter reacted to the explosive action to begin the contest:

ESPN Stats & Info noted the significance of the K.C. homers:

David Ortiz is in the midst of his last season, so the Boston Red Sox legend got a warm reception in San Diego once he exited after drawing a walk, courtesy of MLB on Twitter:

The MMQB's Peter King reacted to Ortiz's grand exit:

It didn't take long for Hosmer to add some insurance thereafter, as he drove in designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, Ortiz's substitute, on an RBI single in the third to stretch the AL's advantage to 4-1.

The 2-for-3, two-RBI performance at the plate garnered Hosmer the MVP award.

Although the NL tacked on a run in the fourth, thanks to a run-scoring single by Miami Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna that plated San Francisco's Buster Posey, the AL bullpen held its foe in check over the rest of the night.

One of the most notable occurrences from then till the end came in the form of a review that didn't lead to any scoring, as highlighted by MLB Replay:

In addition to being at the center of the maiden All-Star replay, Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy made a key defensive play in the seventh.

With the bases loaded and two outs, Murphy denied Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor of a potential hit on a fine stop and throw to first to end the inning.

The bags were full again in the top of the eighth, when New York Yankees reliever Andrew Miller yielded two hits and a walk on 28 pitches before manager Ned Yost pulled him.

It was up to Will Harris of the Houston Astros to retire the side. Harris did so in suspenseful fashion, striking out Aledmys Diaz looking with a low fastball on the outside corner.

Jose Silva had the Twitter reaction many Astros and AL fans likely had to the clutch K:

Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton slammed the door in the ninth but not without some slight drama.

Britton allowed the tying run aboard on a leadoff single from Murphy. The Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt then advanced on a fielder's choice when Murphy was forced out at second. Colorado Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado grounded into a double play to end it.

The obvious forward-looking narrative after Tuesday's game is the fact that the American League holds home-field advantage for the World Series with the victory. If the Royals rally for a playoff berth and get a chance to defend the Commissioner's Trophy, they'll have their impassioned fanbase behind them at Kauffman Stadium.

After rattling off three straight victories, the NL has fallen into a slump in recent years at the Midsummer Classic. The AL has claimed wins in 16 of the past 20 years, per ESPN.

The San Francisco Giants managed to top Kansas City as the World Series road team in 2014, but those who select reserves and pitchers in the National League will have to hone their roster-crafting skills in the years to come to reverse the long-spanning trend.

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