Bartolo Colon Becomes 18th Pitcher to Defeat All 30 MLB Teams

The Minnesota Twins' 12-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sunday's matchup was more than just another regular-season game in the dog days of summer; it was history for Bartolo Colon.

According to Jonah Birenbaum of The Score, the 44-year-old became just the 18th pitcher to notch a victory against all 30 Major League Baseball teams since the league expanded in 1998.  

            

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Justin Verlander Trade Rumors: Tigers, Astros Remain in Contact, Deal Not Close

The Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers have reportedly discussed a potential Justin Verlander deal so much they're both clear on where the other stands.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported Wednesday the two sides "have talked enough" about it and they have "a good understanding of the other's position." Morosi qualified a deal is not close but "circumstances are such that one phone call could create momentum rapidly, closer to [the] Aug. 31 roster deadline."

This comes after Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported Tuesday the two teams "recently reignited talks" on a possible Verlander trade, although he noted sources still called it a "long shot."

Heyman clarified "a decent gap is still believed to exist in talks" as the two sides determine the prospects the Astros would send Detroit's way and how much of Verlander's contract the Tigers would pay.

The 34-year-old Verlander is set to make $28 million in 2018 and 2019 before potentially making $22 million in 2020 if he finishes in the top five in Cy Young voting and triggers his performance-based contract option.

While Verlander's prime when he was the 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young winner may be in the rearview mirror, the six-time All-Star had pitched well as of late before Tuesday's outing. He allowed five earned runs and three home runs in his team's 10-4 loss to the Texas Rangers, but he had given up three or fewer earned runs in his previous seven starts.

In all, he sports a 4.11 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 150 strikeouts in 151 innings and could bolster a Houston club that is just 2-6 in its last eight games.

The Astros are still a comfortable 12.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West, but the larger goal is a World Series title. Verlander has a 3.39 ERA in 16 postseason starts and has pitched in two different Fall Classics.

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Jered Weaver Announces Retirement After 12 Seasons with Angels, Padres

Right-handed pitcher Jered Weaver officially announced his retirement from Major League Baseball Wednesday.

The San Diego Padres shared his announcement, which read in part, "I've decided to step away from baseball. While I've been working hard to get back on the mound, my body just will not allow me to compete like I want to."

Weaver last appeared in a game this season on May 19. The 2017 campaign was his only one with San Diego, and he pitched for the Los Angeles Angels from 2006 through 2016.

          

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Nolan Arenado Suffers Hand Injury During Rockies vs. Marlins; X-Rays Negative

The Colorado Rockies announced third baseman Nolan Arenado exited Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Miami Marlins with a left hand contusion after he was hit by a pitch.

X-rays were negative.

Losing Arenado down the stretch would be a difficult injury for the Rockies. The three-time All-Star is slashing .313/.361/.588 with 26 home runs and 100 RBI and is a primary reason his team is in the middle of the playoff race.

Arenado also drilled 42 homers and knocked in 130 RBI and earned his third straight Gold Glove Award on the hot corner in 2015. He was a Gold Glover and All-Star again in 2016 with 41 home runs and 133 RBI.

Arenado is one part of the heart of Colorado's lineup alongside Charlie Blackmon, and losing him for significant time would make competing in the National League all the more difficult.

The Rockies will likely turn toward Pat Valaika or Alexi Amarista to fill in at third base until Arenado returns. Each of them is versatile enough to play all over the infield, and they at least give manager Bud Black some options with his daily lineup card.

Valaika or Amarista are fine options in the short term, but Colorado needs a healthy Arenado anchoring the lineup to reach its full potential.

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Bryce Harper’s Agent Calls for MLB to Address Wet Bases After Star’s Injury

Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper suffered a bone bruise in his left leg when he stumbled on first base during his team's 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, and his agent put the onus on Major League Baseball to address the issue.

"We go to great lengths with the soil to make sure it's not wet and there are drying agents on the ground," Scott Boras said Sunday, per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. "I don't know what technology we apply or the studies that have been done on the composition of having a wet base. That's certainly something we need to look into. This injury was directly related to inclement weather and a player putting his cleat on the bag and it slipping across because the surface was slick."

Crasnick noted the first base bag was wet when Harper slipped.

According to Robert Flores of MLB Network, Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said Harper avoided tendon and ligament damage. Rizzo termed the bone bruise "significant," per Crasnick, and said he'll be out for a yet-to-be-determined amount of time.

Boras pointed to the NBA's practice of wiping and cleaning the floor whenever a player slips and compared it to the lack of cleaning bases between innings when there is poor weather.

Crasnick noted a potential rule coming from Harper's injury wouldn't be the first time a physical setback to a star player led to changes. Giants catcher Buster Posey broke a leg during a home plate collision in 2011, and MLB subsequently put rules in place to bolster catcher safety.

As for Harper, Dan Kolko of MASN said the injury "doesn't seem like a season-ender" but noted the team hasn't put an official timetable on his eventual return.

Washington is comfortably ahead in the National League East and can survive without Harper in the short term, but its World Series chances would take a significant hit if he didn't return to the field by October.

Harper is in the midst of a head-turning season with a slash line of .326/.419/.614, 29 home runs and 87 RBI.

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Andy Green, Padres Agree on Contract Extension

The San Diego Padres announced Sunday they agreed to a contract extension with manager Andy Green.

"Throughout the past two seasons, Andy has consistently proven to us his leadership abilities and strong character," general manager A.J. Preller said in the statement. "Andy's knowledge of the game and passion for his players has earned him respect in the clubhouse and throughout the organization. As we continue to build a system that produces winning baseball from top to bottom, I am confident that Andy provides the leadership and stability needed to deliver a championship to San Diego."

Green's extension comes even though the fourth-place Padres are just 51-65 this season and finished a disappointing 68-94 in 2016.

However, Green was already looking forward to the future in the team's announcement: "I'm both excited and motivated by the opportunity to continue to lead our players as we build a championship-caliber club for the fans of San Diego. I'm appreciative for the expression of faith this extension represents."

Green was the third base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015 before he took over as San Diego's manager. The Padres' announcement noted he posted a 219-189 record during his time as a manager in Arizona's minor league system and was named the Southern League Manager of the Year twice.

Green's extension provides continuity for a Padres organization with its eyes on the future.

According to Jim Callis of MLB.com, they boasted the league's fourth-best farm system before the 2017 season started and had the third-best as of Aug. 3. Green will be tasked with parlaying the talented youth into a successful major league club following this extension.

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Bryce Harper Injury Labeled as Bone Bruise, No Ligament or Tendon Damage

Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper reportedly suffered a bone bruise in Saturday's 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

According to Robert Flores of MLB Network, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo called the setback a bone bruise while noting Harper avoided ligament and tendon damage in the knee.

Harper's injury came when he tripped on first base and fell to the ground in obvious pain. He was helped off the field.

             

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Ben Zobrist Says MLB Needs Electronic Strike Zone After Game-Ending Call

Count Chicago Cubs utility man Ben Zobrist among those who are ready for electronic strike zones calling strikes and balls in Major League Baseball.

Umpire Mark Wegner punched Zobrist out on a pitch Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com said "looked decidedly low" to end Chicago's 6-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday. Zobrist's comments came after the controversial call.

"If we want to change something like that, we're going to have an electronic strike zone because human beings are going to make mistakes," Zobrist said, per Rogers. "Tough situation for that to happen, but he's probably going to look at it and not be too happy with himself."

While Chicago still lost the game by four runs, the call ended its late rally that inserted drama into the otherwise straightforward Diamondbacks' victory. The Cubs had already pushed two runs across in the ninth with two out, and the tying run would have come to the plate had Zobrist reached base.

"That's something the league is going to have to look at, when you start ending games and games turn on one pitch like that," Zobrist continued. "It's an unfortunate situation, and now that we have the technology, we should probably get it right."

Zobrist's manager, Joe Maddon, acknowledged nobody likely felt worse about the call than Wegner.

"I really know Mark knows he messed it up," Maddon said. "I don't think anyone feels worse than he does right now. It was a ball, obviously. I'm not going to sit here and rail on him. I think he's a very good umpire."

The frustrating ending for the Cubs came in a longer stretch of struggles that has seen them go a mere 3-7 in their last 10 games. The defending World Series champions are now tied atop the National League Central with the red-hot St. Louis Cardinals, who have won eight games in a row.

As for Zobrist, he is slashing just .221/.311/.356 and hasn't parlayed his World Series MVP into a particularly impressive individual season.

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Mets No. 2 Prospect Dominic Smith to Be Called Up to MLB

The New York Mets will reportedly provide fans with a glimpse of their future Friday.

On Thursday, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reported the Mets will promote first baseman Dominic Smith to the major league level. He will join the club for Friday's contest against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Smith is the franchise's second-best prospect in MLB.com's rankings.

"Smith continues to have a very advanced approach at the plate with outstanding bat-to-ball skills, leading to the consistent batting average, good walk and low strikeout rates," MLB.com wrote in its scouting report. "Smith continues to show outstanding defensive ability at first, with very good footwork and excellent hands."

Wilmer Flores has played 141 innings at first base for the Mets this season and is responsible for minus-one defensive run saved, per FanGraphs, so New York will welcome Smith's impressive defensive ability.

According to MiLB.com, Smith is slashing .330/.386/.519 with 16 home runs and 76 RBI in the minors this year. His impressive numbers are a testament to his ability to hit for average and power as a potential force in the middle of New York's lineup in the immediate future.

The Mets sit in fourth place and are well out of the National League East race. Calling up Smith now is largely a nothing-to-lose situation. The move gives him the opportunity to pick up critical early reps at the highest level while not having to worry about performing in pressure-packed games with playoff implications right away.

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Jake Odorizzi Suffers Foot Injury vs. Red Sox in 1st Start off Disabled List

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Jake Odorizzi suffered a foot injury Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox during his first start since coming off the disabled list.

Sean McAdam of BostonSportsJournal.com noted Odorizzi's X-rays were negative and deemed the setback a right foot contusion. It "looked a lot worse at the time," McAdam wrote, while noting the pitcher is considered day-to-day.

According to Rob Bradford of WEEI, Boston's Eduardo Nunez hit Odorizzi with a line drive in the fifth inning, causing the injury.

The right-hander was helped off the field and replaced by Dan Jennings in Boston's 8-2 victory. Odorizzi was charged with one earned run in four-plus innings of work, while Jennings allowed four earned runs in an inning.

Bill Baer of NBC Sports noted Odorizzi was just activated from a stint on the disabled list with a lower-back strain. He has a 4.38 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 84 strikeouts in 98.2 innings and hasn't been the same force he was last year when he had a 3.69 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 166 strikeouts in 187.2 innings.

Tampa Bay is likely relieved to hear he is just day-to-day considering it is chasing the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in the American League East. It is also a game behind the Seattle Mariners for the final wild-card spot and could use Odorizzi healthy in the rotation as he strives to rediscover last year's form during a pennant race.

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Yankees’ CC Sabathia MRI Reveals No Additional Damage to Knee Injury

An MRI on Wednesday revealed no new damage on the arthritic right knee of New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, but it remains to be seen whether he will take the mound Sunday against the rival Boston Red Sox.

The Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com) reported the news, noting Sabathia was removed from Tuesday's loss to the Toronto Blue Jays after a mere three innings. Manager Joe Girardi said a decision will be made on Friday about Sabathia's next start.

          

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Cubs’ Willson Contreras Helped off the Field After Suffering Leg Injury

The Chicago Cubs announced catcher Willson Contreras left Wednesday's game against the San Francisco Giants with a right leg injury.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today noted Contreras was helped off the field after the setback.

Contreras was attempting to beat out a ground ball and started limping before reaching first base, grabbing his right hamstring in the process.

         

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Ernesto Frieri Sold to Mariners by Rangers for $1

The Seattle Mariners didn't exactly break the bank Tuesday when they acquired right-handed pitcher Ernesto Frieri.

According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com), the Texas Rangers sold him to their American League West rivals for $1. Texas previously signed him as a minor league free agent on June 15, but he struggled with a 5.14 ERA in six relief appearances for the Rangers.

As a result, he was assigned outright to Triple-A Round Rock on July 7.

Frieri has also pitched for the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays throughout his career and impressed from 2010 through 2012. He finished the 2010 campaign with a 1.71 ERA, the 2011 season with a 2.71 ERA and the 2012 season with a 2.32 ERA.

However, he has failed to replicate that type of impact since and didn't pitch in 2016 after the Philadelphia Phillies released him during spring training.

Seattle assigned him to Triple-A Tacoma after acquiring him Tuesday, but manager Scott Servais knows the pitcher from their days with the Angels.

Servais was the assistant general manager in Los Angeles when Frieri was there, and the manager called him a "good guy, somebody with major league experience that if we do start circulating guys up and down then he's a guy that's been there before that you can count on," per the AP.

Seattle is a middling 13th in the league in bullpen ERA, per ESPN.com, and could use Frieri if he rediscovers his past form following this move.

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Joe West Suspended 3 Games for Saying Adrian Beltre Is Biggest Complainer in MLB

Umpire Joe West has reportedly been suspended three games for saying Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is the biggest complainer in Major League Baseball during an interview. 

On Tuesday, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported the suspension news and noted the World Umpires Association "strongly opposes" the penalty.

West's comments about Beltre came in a June interview with Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

"It's got to be Adrian Beltre," West said when he was asked who the league's biggest complainer is in the interview. "Every pitch you call that's a strike, he says, 'Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!' I had a game with him recently and the pitch was right down the middle. He tells me, 'that ball is outside.'"

West continued, "I told him, 'You may be a great ballplayer, but you're the worst umpire in the league. You stink.'"

Nightengale did point out West clarified he and Beltre are on friendly terms despite his opinion that the slugger's tendency to complain.

Matt Snyder of CBS Sports and MLB writer Christopher Crawford discussed the ruling on West:

This comes after Beltre made news during an interaction with an umpire on July 26.

When on deck, Beltre typically stands closer to the batter and plate rather than in the designated circle. As a result, second base umpire Gerry Davis asked him to stand in the circle, but rather than follow Davis' orders, Beltre moved the mat from the circle to where he was standing, drawing an ejection.

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Barry Bonds Wishes He Played 1 More Season, Says He’d Have Nearly 800 Home Runs

San Francisco Giants legend Barry Bonds said Monday he wished he played an additional season after he finished his career with 762 home runs.

"I should have played one more year, I should have had the chance to," Bonds said, per Janie McCauley of the Associated Press.

According to McCauley, Bonds said it "stung" ending his career before the 2008 season, but he didn't push to return to the Giants because "I was just told I'm not coming back and that was it."

The slugger also pointed to how close he was to 800 career long balls: "I was what (38) away from 800? I'd have been real close. I would have never hit under 20-something, no matter what."

Bonds, who now works in the Giants organization as special adviser to the CEO, acknowledged "I wish I could have gotten to retire better, or just walk away better, whatever it was, however you want to call it."

Despite hitting more home runs than any player in MLB history, steroid allegations surrounded Bonds at the time of his retirement.

He hasn't been inducted into the Hall of Fame even though he won seven National League MVPs, 12 Silver Sluggers and eight Gold Gloves.

Bonds granting he wanted to play another year is notable because he drilled 28 home runs and led the league with a .480 on-base percentage in his final season. He likely could have thrived in the middle of the Giants lineup for at least another year given his 2007 performance.

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Mike Trout Collects 1000th Career Hit on 26th Birthday During Angels vs. Orioles

Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout celebrated his 26th birthday in style Monday.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the outfielder notched his 1,000th career hit against the Baltimore Orioles in Monday's contest. The hit came on a fourth-inning double off Baltimore starting pitcher Dylan Bundy, and he eventually came around to score on Kole Calhoun's sacrifice fly.

          

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Former Mets 1B Ike Davis Struck Out the Side in Arizona League Pitching Debut

Ike Davis is no longer a power-hitting first baseman for the New York Mets. Rather, he is now a pitcher in the Los Angeles Dodgers' farm system and impressed in his Arizona League debut Sunday. 

According to Eric Chesterton of MLB.com, the 30-year-old struck out the side in the sixth inning of the AZL Dodgers' 13-5 win over the AZL Padres.

Chesterton noted Davis does have some history on the mound. He served as a relief pitcher for the Arizona State Sun Devils in college and threw two scoreless innings of relief for the Oakland Athletics in 2015, allowing just one hit in the process.

While Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs clarified Davis is "not a prospect," he did point out his fastball was in the 88-92 mph range during Sunday's performance.

Davis played for the Mets from 2010 through 2014, as well as the Pittsburgh Pirates, Athletics and New York Yankees later in his career. He notably drilled 32 home runs in 2012 for the Mets in what appeared to be a breakout campaign but was unable to replicate the success in the following years.

He never hit more than 11 long balls in a season after that and sports a career batting average of .239.

While he is no longer in the major leagues as a home run hitter, Davis will look to build on his early success in the Arizona League as he attempts to revive his career as a pitcher.

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Justin Verlander Trade Rumors: Tigers SP Reportedly Drawing Interest from Astros

The Houston Astros reportedly had contact with the Detroit Tigers about a potential trade involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander.

On Sunday, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported the news, citing sources who said the contact occurred "this month." However, Morosi cautioned it is "unclear if there is momentum in talks" between the two teams.  

While the non-waiver trade deadline came and went on July 31 with Verlander still in a Tigers uniform, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reported the right-hander cleared revocable trade waivers.

That makes Verlander eligible to be traded this season, although his contract could pose a barrier to any potential deal. According to Spotrac, the 34-year-old will make $28 million every season until 2020, when a vesting option for $22 million kicks in.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports wrote before the non-waiver deadline "rival teams simply want no part" of Verlander's contract.

However, Houston is in a unique win-now scenario at a dominant 71-40. It is 15 games ahead of the second-place Seattle Mariners in the American League West, and anything less than a World Series appearance could be seen as a failure after such an overwhelming start to the season.

While Verlander would add a proven name to the rotation before the stretch run and playoffs, he has a 4.20 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 137 innings. He has been nowhere near what he was as recently as 2016 with a 3.04 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 254 strikeouts in 227.2 innings.

However, he allowed just 10 earned runs in his last six starts and is starting to show signs of the dominant pitcher he has been in the past. He still has six All-Star appearances, the 2006 AL Rookie of the Year, the 2011 AL Cy Young and the 2011 AL MVP on his resume.

Most notably from Houston's perspective, Verlander boasts a solid 3.39 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 16 postseason starts throughout his career. He is an available veteran with playoff experience for a team looking to turn the corner in October after losing in the 2015 AL Division Series and missing the postseason entirely last year.

Now the Astros have to decide if those traits are worth the cost of Verlander's contract.

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Former Philadelphia Phillies All-Star Darren Daulton Dies at Age 55

The Philadelphia Phillies announced former catcher Darren Daulton died Sunday at the age of 55:

The Phillies issued a statement and noted Daulton battled brain cancer for four years before he died.

Daulton played 1,109 of his 1,161 career games from 1983 through 1997 for Philadelphia. He was a member of the 1993 World Series squad and the Phillies Wall of Fame. He also played for the then Florida Marlins during the 1997 campaign.  

          

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Felix Hernandez Reportedly Placed on 10-Day DL with Biceps Injury

The Seattle Mariners on Saturday reportedly placed starting pitcher Felix Hernandez on the 10-day disabled list with right biceps tendinitis.

MLB.com's Greg Johns tweeted the news.

Hernandez's trip to the DL was retroactive to Wednesday, and Johns noted the team would call up left-hander Marco Gonzales, who made his season debut in June but has spent the bulk of his year in Triple-A.

This is another setback for Seattle's ace after he missed time earlier in the season with a shoulder injury.

However, he has been durable throughout his career and entered the 2017 campaign with 11 straight seasons of 25 or more starts (10 of which featured 30 or more starts).

The six-time All-Star and 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner has a 4.28 ERA and a 5.20 FIP in 2017, per Baseball-Reference.com, as he attempts to rediscover the form that made him one of baseball's best pitchers during his prime.    

The Mariners will have to rely on other starters—such as James Paxton, Ariel Miranda and Erasmo Ramirez—while Hernandez is out. While it is unfair to expect any of them to replicate Hernandez's early-career form, as he posted a sub-3.00 ERA in four different seasons, they can at least help keep Seattle afloat in the postseason race until he is ready to return.

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