Giancarlo Stanton Trade Rumors: Offseason Deal for Star ‘Not a Long Shot’

Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton reportedly could be part of a blockbuster offseason trade when the organization's new ownership takes control and seeks to reduce payroll.

On Thursday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports noted it's "not a long shot" for the slugger to get dealt over the winter, with the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies among the potential suitors if the Marlins do decide to move him.

                 

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

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Justin Verlander Trade Rumors: Astros, Tigers Discussing Potential Deal

The Houston Astros are reportedly engaged in active trade discussions about longtime Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander.

On Tuesday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports noted the talks are ongoing, but a "decent gap" remains due to Verlander's hefty contract and Detroit's asking price.

                 

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

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Giancarlo Stanton Reportedly Cleared Waivers, Marlins Can Trade Him to Any Team

Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton reportedly cleared revocable trade waivers Sunday, making the slugger eligible to get moved to any MLB team before the end of August.

On Tuesday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports noted the majors' current leader in home runs has received interest from at least four teams despite his monster contract, which is slated to pay him at least $25 million in base salary every year through 2028 starting next season.

                 

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

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US Army Veteran Chris Rowley Called Up to MLB by Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays called up United States Army veteran Chris Rowley to start Saturday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Rogers Centre.

On Friday, Keegan Matheson of MLB.com passed along comments from the pitcher about the journey to his first chance to play in the major leagues.

"I don't think that it's something I understand the magnitude of," Rowley said. "It's something that I'm trying to appreciate, but at the same time, I think that I have a job to do. I've got to go out and do that."

                 

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

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Clayton Kershaw Is Close to Returning to Dodgers from Injury, Says Dave Roberts

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday ace Clayton Kershaw is "close" to returning to the team's rotation after a stint on the disabled list with a back injury.

Roberts noted Kershaw will throw a bullpen session in the coming days before deciding the next step in his recovery, per ESPN.com. There's still no official timetable for his return despite the improved outlook following his Tuesday throwing session, though.

"He's close," Roberts said. "I think it just makes sense for us to be cautious. We just don't want to put ourselves in any situation where there's a setback. The calendar's on our side. I know that Clayton resists that. But I think as an organization it's best for him and best for all of us to err on the side of caution."

                       

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

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Yonder Alonso Traded to Mariners from Athletics for Boog Powell

The Oakland Athletics announced Sunday they traded first baseman Yonder Alonso to the Seattle Mariners for outfielder Boog Powell.

Alonso is enjoying a breakout campaign with a .266/.369/.527 triple-slash line and 22 home runs across 100 games in 2017. His previous career-high total in homers was nine.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale noted how Alonso's production has dipped, however, in the second half:

The 30-year-old University of Miami product is set to become a free agent for the first time during the offseason, which made it perfect timing for this season's power outburst. Add in the fact the A's have struggled to remain in playoff contention, and he became expendable.

In June, the Cuba native told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports he was "open" to an extension with Oakland, but his MLB journey also prepared him for the potential of another move.

"I've been around," Alonso said. "I've got six years under my belt. I've stunk. I've been hurt. I've almost gotten released. I've been traded. I've sat, gotten benched and started. I've done it all."

The biggest question following the trade is which version of Alonso to expect in his new home.

Last year, he finished with the second-worst WAR among qualified position players (-0.3), per Fangraphs. In addition, the prolific pop he's displayed this year was mostly absent as he tallied just seven home runs despite playing 156 games.

He's been a completely different player in 2017. His improvement at the plate allowed him to earn a selection to the All-Star Game.

The Mariners were willing to take a chance his performance this season hasn't been a mirage. The major uptick in his homer-to-fly-ball ratio creates some risk, so it's one example where not having him under a long-term contract actually helps the trade.

Look for him to slot in the middle of Seattle's lineup alongside Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz.

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Curtis Granderson Clears Waivers, Is Eligible to Be Traded by Mets

New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reportedly cleared revocable waivers, which means he's eligible to get moved even though the MLB non-waiver trade deadline passed Monday.

Ken Rosenthal‏ of Fox Sports first passed along the news Saturday.

         

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

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Matt Joyce Allegedly Calls Fan Homophobic Slur During Game vs. Angels

Oakland Athletics outfielder Matt Joyce allegedly used an anti-gay slur Friday night during a verbal exchange with a fan while the A's were playing the Los Angeles Angels on the road.

Associated Press photographer Mark J. Terrill provided details, though he admitted to not hearing the beginning of the conversation, per ESPN.com. The Oakland right fielder said afterward he felt "regret" about the situation.

"It's just one of those things that fans kind of get into the game. Obviously, we're pretty frustrated on our side, and I had just hit a ball hard and had Cron [first baseman C.J. Cron] make a good play," he said.

"I was walking back to the dugout and just had a fan yell some vulgar and obscene words. For me, it just wasn't the right time to say some stuff like that. I fired back, and obviously as soon as you fire back, you regret saying anything, because it's just not worth it."

Joyce is playing his 10th season in the major leagues. He previously made stops with the Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Angels before signing a two-year deal with Oakland last November.

The 33-year-old Florida native earned an All-Star Game selection with Tampa in 2011. He's posted a .227/.336/.421 triple-slash line with 14 home runs in 98 games so far this season with the A's.

Los Angeles went on to win Friday's game 8-6. Joyce drove home Matt Chapman with an RBI double in the sixth inning for his only hit of the contest.

It's unclear whether he'll face any team or league discipline for the incident.

In May, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar was suspended two games in a joint decision by MLB and the Jays for his use of a homophobic slur during a game against the Atlanta Braves.

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Justin Verlander Reportedly Clears Revocable Trade Waivers

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander has reportedly cleared revocable trade waivers, which makes him eligible to be dealt following Monday's non-waiver MLB trade deadline.

Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press provided the status update Friday.

                 

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

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Alex Rodriguez Says He Was ‘Close to Tapping Out’ During 2014 PED Suspension

Three-time American League MVP Alex Rodriguez said sitting out the entire 2014 MLB season due to a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs was "rock bottom."

On Wednesday, Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter passed along comments from A-Rod, who admitted there were some dark moments during his year away from baseball (link contains profanity).

"There were nights in Miami when I was close to tapping out," he said.

Rodriguez is one of the best players of his generation. He stepped away from the game last August with a .295/.380/.550 career triple-slash line, 696 home runs and 329 stolen bases. He earned 14 All-Star selections and 10 Silver Slugger Awards to go along with his MVP trophies.

Yet the PED suspension created a dark cloud over an otherwise illustrious career. While it created doubt concerning the legitimacy of his elite numbers and led him to consider "tapping out," he told Guthrie the situation was a turning point in his life.

"It's probably too soon for me to say this, but maybe in 10 years I'll be able to say that the ' '14 sabbatical' was one of the best things that happened in my life," Rodriguez said, before adding: "I'll say this: That year off I just had to f—ing change and stop being a jerk."

Now A-Rod, who rose to prominence with the Seattle Mariners starting in 1994 before making a boatload of money with the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees, is working to repair his image through his impressive work as a Fox Sports broadcaster.

He's always been a student of the game—he once asked legendary Yankees teammate Derek Jeter why he didn't have the baseball package on television because he was accustomed to watching other games when he wasn't playing—and that shines through in his new role.

In addition, the longtime baseball star has remained in the spotlight working on ABC's Shark Tank and is shooting a show called Back in the Game for CNBC. He's also found his way into the tabloids as the boyfriend of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez.

Yet, it's unclear whether Rodriguez will be remembered in the future as one of baseball's most feared sluggers for over two decades or just another key face in the Steroid Era.

"I think that is to be determined," he told the Hollywood Reporter. "But I left it all on the field. My best two years happened at 19 and as a broken-down 40-year-old. I hadn't played in basically two years, two hip surgeries, two knee surgeries, scandal.

"And if you think about that arc, that tells you a hell of a story, right? The mistakes I've made are loud and clear. But one thing I am proud of is, I did not let those mistakes define who I am. I kept getting up."

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Alex Rodriguez Says He Was ‘Close to Tapping Out’ During 2014 PED Suspension

Three-time American League MVP Alex Rodriguez said sitting out the entire 2014 MLB season due to a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs was "rock bottom."

On Wednesday, Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter passed along comments from A-Rod, who admitted there were some dark moments during his year away from baseball (link contains profanity).

"There were nights in Miami when I was close to tapping out," he said.

Rodriguez is one of the best players of his generation. He stepped away from the game last August with a .295/.380/.550 career triple-slash line, 696 home runs and 329 stolen bases. He earned 14 All-Star selections and 10 Silver Slugger Awards to go along with his MVP trophies.

Yet the PED suspension created a dark cloud over an otherwise illustrious career. While it created doubt concerning the legitimacy of his elite numbers and led him to consider "tapping out," he told Guthrie the situation was a turning point in his life.

"It's probably too soon for me to say this, but maybe in 10 years I'll be able to say that the ' '14 sabbatical' was one of the best things that happened in my life," Rodriguez said, before adding: "I'll say this: That year off I just had to f—ing change and stop being a jerk."

Now A-Rod, who rose to prominence with the Seattle Mariners starting in 1994 before making a boatload of money with the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees, is working to repair his image through his impressive work as a Fox Sports broadcaster.

He's always been a student of the game—he once asked legendary Yankees teammate Derek Jeter why he didn't have the baseball package on television because he was accustomed to watching other games when he wasn't playing—and that shines through in his new role.

In addition, the longtime baseball star has remained in the spotlight working on ABC's Shark Tank and is shooting a show called Back in the Game for CNBC. He's also found his way into the tabloids as the boyfriend of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez.

Yet, it's unclear whether Rodriguez will be remembered in the future as one of baseball's most feared sluggers for over two decades or just another key face in the Steroid Era.

"I think that is to be determined," he told the Hollywood Reporter. "But I left it all on the field. My best two years happened at 19 and as a broken-down 40-year-old. I hadn't played in basically two years, two hip surgeries, two knee surgeries, scandal.

"And if you think about that arc, that tells you a hell of a story, right? The mistakes I've made are loud and clear. But one thing I am proud of is, I did not let those mistakes define who I am. I kept getting up."

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Dallas Keuchel Calls Astros Lack of Activity at Trade Deadline ‘Disappointment’

Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel said Tuesday "disappointment is a little bit of an understatement" concerning the team's lack of moves before Monday's MLB non-waiver trade deadline. 

Brian McTaggart of MLB.com passed along comments from Keuchel after he watched fellow World Series contenders like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals and New York Yankees make notable additions before the deadline, while the Astros remained mostly quiet:

                

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

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Athletics Investigating Security Guard Attack on Fan Captured on Video

The Oakland Athletics announced there will be an investigation into an incident involving a security guard and a fan during Monday night's 8-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum.

On Tuesday, Filipa Ioannou of the San Francisco Chronicle reported video of the altercation shows a female security staffer striking another woman in the third deck. Witnesses alleged the attack "appeared unprovoked and that the security guard was booed when she returned to the area."

The A's posted a message on social media about the situation:

                  

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

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Woman Says She Had Sex with Pete Rose Before She Turned 16

An unidentified woman provided a sworn statement alleging she had sex with Pete Rose before turning 16 as part of an ongoing defamation lawsuit the former MLB player filed against John Dowd.

On Monday, Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports provided details of the statement and noted the alleged act, which occurred in the 1970s, would be considered statutory rape, though the statute of limitations has passed. The report notes Rose "acknowledges" the relationship but said he thought she was 16.

Rose originally filed the suit against Dowd in July 2016.

Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media reported the lawsuit was based on statements the former federal prosecutor, whose probe into Rose's betting on baseball led to his lifetime ban by MLB, made about Rose allegedly having an associate chase down girls “ages 12 to 14” for him during spring training.

The complaint filed on Rose's behalf said the longtime Cincinnati Reds star "seeks judgment in an amount to be determined by a jury at trial, but which amount exceeds the jurisdictional minimum of $75,000 exclusive of interest and costs," per Miller.

Rose played 24 years in the major leagues with the Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos before retiring in 1986. He also had a seven-year stint as the Reds' manager starting in 1984, part of which saw him serve as a player-manager.

Calcaterra pointed out the three-time World Series champion's lawsuit against Dowd has spent the past year in the discovery and preliminary motions stage.

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Justin Verlander, Justin Upton Reportedly Won’t Be Traded by Tigers

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander and outfielder Justin Upton are expected to remain with the organization through MLB's non-waiver trade deadline at 4 p.m. ET unless there's a late turn of events.

On Monday, Jon Morosi‏ of the MLB Network reported there are no "active trade talks" involving the longtime Tigers ace with only a handful of hours before the deadline. Meanwhile, Bob Nightengale of USA Today noted the two stars are no longer on the block, with Detroit switching its focus to potential offseason deals.

The Tigers did make one major deal before the deadline. They sent relief pitcher Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila to the Chicago Cubs late Sunday night in exchange for prospects Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Paredes, per Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press.

Although that deal seemed like a possible signal Detroit's front office might be getting prepared for a complete rebuild, which would have included dealing Verlander and Upton before the deadline, it sounds like the franchise will wait until the winter to make a final decision.

The 34-year-old American League Cy Young Award winner bolstered his stock with six shutout innings against the heavy-hitting Houston Astros on Sunday. His overall numbers this season remain mundane, however, with a 4.29 ERA and 1.44 WHIP across 22 starts.

Chris McCosky of the Detroit News passed along comments Verlander made Sunday about the constant trade chatter in recent weeks.

"The trade deadline can be a crazy thing," he said. "Teams can come out of the woodwork sometimes. Or something gets reignited that hadn't been there. You just never know. I just tried to keep it status quo the whole time and try not to pay too much attention to it."

Upton is putting together one of the best seasons of his 11-year career with a .281/.372/.511 triple-slash line, 17 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 97 games. His current .883 OPS would be the third-highest mark since arriving to the big leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007.

Their contracts presented an additional hurdle, though. Verlander is scheduled to make $28 million through 2019 with a vested option for 2020, while Upton is making $22.125 million per season with an out clause after this season, per Spotrac.

Ultimately, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a World Series contender make one more run at one of the Tigers' stars before the deadline passes this afternoon. That said, the Tigers seem content holding on to those assets until the winter as things stand right now.

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Tigers’ Justin Wilson, Alex Avila Reportedly Traded to Cubs

The Detroit Tigers agreed Sunday to trade relief pitcher Justin Wilson and Alex Avila to the Chicago Cubs for Jeimer Candelario, Isaac Paredes and a player to be named later or cash, according to Jon Heyman of FanRang Sports.

Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press first reported the details of the trade, and Jon Morosi of the MLB Network later reported the trade was complete after medical reviews.

Morosi offered up an interesting stat regarding Avila:

Avila is coming off a few down years but has performed well in 2017, posting a .271/.392/.472 slash line. The left-handed hitter could provide valuable depth behind Willson Contreras, which has been a problem for the Cubs since trading Miguel Montero.

With 34 games of playoff experience, he should also fit in well as the Cubs try to defend their World Series title.

Of course, Wilson is the biggest highlight of the trade after accumulating a 2.68 ERA and 0.94 WHIP across 42 appearances so far this season.

His initial year in Detroit wasn't quite as strong. The 29-year-old reliever posted a 4.14 ERA and 1.33 WHIP across 66 appearances in 2016. His career numbers entering the year were a bit more favorable with a 3.28 ERA and 1.23 WHIP across his first five years in the majors.

Despite the lack of shutdown statistics, the California native still became a hot commodity during the offseason as contenders around MLB scoured both the free-agent and trade markets searching for ways to upgrade their bullpen.

Wilson became more valuable through that supply-and-demand lens because he's a lefty with the ability to throw his fastball in the mid-90s. Add in the fact he struck out 258 batters in the same number of career innings entering 2017, and his high trade stock was more understandable.

It wasn't just rumors about his status, either. Evan Woodbery of MLive.com noted Tigers general manager Al Avila confirmed the widespread buzz in early December.

"The highest level of interest has been on Justin Wilson," he said.

That was quite a statement considering some of the marquee players on Detroit's roster. In addition, it further illustrated the effort around baseball to bolster the relief corps after a 2016 postseason where the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians used their bullpens extensively to reach the World Series.

Now Wilson is slated to join the reigning champions as Theo Epstein and his staff attempt to strike gold on another talented arm that hasn't peaked quite yet. He'll join the back end of a Cubs bullpen that already features Wade Davis, Koji Uehara and Carl Edwards Jr.

It's hard to say exactly how manager Joe Maddon will utilize the group because Wilson isn't a typical lefty. He utilizes a cutter, which helps explain why left-handed hitters registered a .772 OPS against him in 2016 compared to a .667 mark by righties, a trend that's continued this year.

The Cubs may end up using Davis as a traditional closer, while they rely on Uehara, Edwards and Wilson interchangeably in other high-leverage situations. Perhaps there will be more multi-inning outings paired with additional rest thanks to the depth as well.

Ultimately, Wilson doesn't have the same track record as some of the high-profile relievers around the league. But he won't cost nearly as much and still has some untapped potential at age 29.

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Justin Wilson a Trade Target for Nationals, Among Multiple Suitors for RP

The Washington Nationals are among a large group of teams in contact with the Detroit Tigers about relief pitcher Justin Wilson ahead of Monday's MLB non-waiver trade deadline.

On Saturday, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported there are "about eight teams," including the Nats, keeping tabs on Wilson, but it doesn't appear a deal is imminent at this stage.

                

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

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Dodgers Trade Rumors: Yu Darvish, Sonny Gray, Justin Verlander Likely LA Targets

The Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly continue to target the Texas Rangers' Yu Darvish, Oakland Athletics' Sonny Gray and Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander ahead of Monday's MLB non-waiver trade deadline.

On Thursday, Jon Morosi of the MLB Network reported the Dodgers have grown "increasingly confident" they can land one of those starting pitchers in the coming days.

Los Angeles already owns the best record in baseball at 71-31 and is a virtual lock to qualify for the postseason thanks to its 12.5-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.

Yet, it sounds like the Dodgers are still planning to take an aggressive approach at the deadline, which is a minor surprise given the team's success.

Rowan Kavner of Dodgers Insider passed along comments from general manager Farhan Zaidi made last week on KLAC, and he suggested the bullpen would likely be the main focus.

"We're going to be watching [the relief] market," Zaidi said. "Other than that, be a little opportunistic. Our top three starters have been on a pretty good roll."

Darvish, Gray and Verlander represent three of the top names in the rumor mill leading up to the deadline. Acquiring any of the three would be a major splash and further solidify the team's status as the favorite in the National League.

Whether it's worth sacrificing the coveted prospects that would likely be required to make a trade for those starters is up for debate, though.

The Dodgers have three reliable options in the rotation with Alex Wood, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda, while Hyun-Jin Ryu is a solid No. 4. Meanwhile, ace Clayton Kershaw is expected to return from a back injury before the playoffs get underway.

So it's unclear whether Los Angeles, which already leads MLB in starters' ERA, would actually receive a major boost from bringing in another high-profile starter.

That said, there's no doubt Darvish, Gray and Verlander can be shutdown assets when at their best and, for a team with championship aspirations, perhaps it can't have too many of those available.

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Yu Darvish, Sonny Gray-Level Starter Reportedly Won’t Be Pursued by Nationals

The Washington Nationals reportedly won't attempt to make a blockbuster deal for a top starting pitcher such as Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers or Sonny Gray of the Oakland Athletics before Monday's non-waiver MLB trade deadline.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports passed along the update Thursday and noted the Nats may still attempt to land another upgrade for their bullpen in the coming days.

                 

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

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Report: Dustin Pedroia Applauded David Price During Dennis Eckersley Altercation

Longtime Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was reportedly among the players to applaud starting pitcher David Price for his confrontation with former MLB pitcher and current NESN broadcaster Dennis Eckersley on the team plane.  

Fred Toucher of WBZ first reported the update to the situation. CSN New England also confirmed the news.

                 

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

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