A Welcoming Prank: 50 Dollar Bill Welcome Doormat

50 Dollar Door Mat

Now isn’t this is a welcome sight for anyone who comes wandering to your front door: a 50 dollar bill on the welcome mat, ripe for the picking. They’ll quickly realize they’ve been had the moment they bend down to pluck the bill off the mat. That’s because the hyper-realistic fifty dollar bill is imprinted right on the doormat itself, so the fact that it’s fake isn’t obvious until their face is a few inches away.

You won’t make new friends with this doormat out there, but you’ll be able to have a laugh or two at the expense of your older friends. The 50 Dollar Bill Welcome doormat retails for $24.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Holy Cool ]

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Upcoming Road Trip Will Be a Big Test for Toronto Blue Jays

With a two-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Toronto Blue Jays (47-39) wrapped up a nine-game homestand with a 5-4 record and managed to hold on to the top spot in the American League East.

It doesn’t get any easier from here on out, though, as Toronto will now play all 10 of its remaining games before the All-Star break on the road against some tough teams.

The Blue Jays will first play a four-game set against the Oakland A’s at the O.co Coliseum starting Thursday. This promises to be a tough series, as the AL West-leading A’s (51-33) have the best record in baseball.

While Toronto’s offense has been the team’s biggest strength this season and ranks fourth in baseball in runs scored, Oakland’s offense has been even better. The A’s have scored the most runs in the majors and rank second in the league in OBP. Oakland’s starting rotation also leads the AL with a 3.37 ERA.

One piece of good news for the Blue Jays here is that they’ve already swept the A’s this season when the two teams last met.

Following the series with Oakland, Toronto will travel to Angel Stadium for a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels.

The Angels have the third-best record in the AL and have a very good 26-14 record at home. This is another well-balanced team that plays well in all facets of the game. It ranks third in the AL in runs scored and sixth in staff ERA.

Toronto has already lost three of four against the Angels earlier this season at the Rogers Centre.

Finally, the Blue Jays will wrap up their Western road trip with three games against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Despite being expected to be a contending team heading into the season, the Rays currently find themselves in last place in the AL East. Injuries have played a huge part in Tampa Bay’s struggles, and the team has lost some of its key players such as Matt Moore and Will Myers for an extended period of time.

Regardless of their record, though, the Rays have played the Blue Jays tough these past few years and are not to be taken lightly. Toronto has famously not won a series at Tropicana Field since 2007.

With the Baltimore Orioles just one game back, it is crucial for Toronto to do well in this upcoming road trip if it wants to retain the top spot in the AL East heading into the All-Star break.

 

*All stats are from MLB.com.

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Will Scott Kazmir’s Injury Demons Prevent Dominance Continuing in 2nd Half?

When the Oakland A's signed Scott Kazmir to a two-year, $22 million deal this offseason, they didn't know what they were getting.

They hoped they were getting the guy who had a quiet bounce-back season with the Cleveland Indians in 2013, after injuries and mechanical issues forced him out of the big leagues. A decent middle-of-the-rotation arm.

So much for that. Halfway through the 2014 campaign, Kazmir looks like the guy who led the American League in strikeouts, who pitched in two All-Star Games and a World Series as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, who was once among the most dominant left-handers in baseball.

Through 17 starts, Kazmir is 9-3 and ranks fifth in the American League in ERA (2.61) and fourth in WHIP (1.03). He looks, more or less, like his old self.

For a 30-year-old whose career was on the ropes, it's a remarkable renaissance.

To recap: Kazmir, a high school phenom, was drafted in 2002 by the New York Mets and ultimately dealt to Tampa Bay. He made his Major League debut with the then-Devil Rays in 2004; by 2006 he was an All-Star and in 2007 he led the AL with 239 strikeouts.

The slender southpaw battled elbow issues in each of the next two seasons, but still showed flashes of brilliance.

After a trade to the Anaheim Angels in 2009, the wheels began to come off. Kazmir finished the 2010 season with a career-worst 5.94 ERA, and was cut loose by the Halos in 2011.

His confidence, along with his fastball, had vanished.

Part of the problem was physical. In addition to elbow issues, Kazmir spent time on the disabled list in 2010 with what the Angels described as "shoulder fatigue." But there was a psychological component as well.

Kazmir offered this self-diagnosis to the Los Angeles Times in 2010:

It kind of feels like I'm thinking too much about where I'm throwing the ball and things start snowballing, and the next thing you know you don't really know what's going on. You're just out there trying to throw to a spot, but then you look at your video the next day and you're like, who is this guy?

Kazmir spent the 2012 season with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. His 5.34 ERA did not portend a comeback.

The following year, however, he signed a minor league deal with Cleveland and made the rotation out of spring training. He'd hit bottom, and was on his way up.

Nobody, possibly including Kazmir, knew how high and how fast he'd rise.

"The biggest piece of analysis we did was try not to out-think ourselves on it," Oakland assistant general manager Farhan Zaidi said of the Kazmir signing, per ESPN The Magazine. "We saw a guy who was relatively young, who had good stuff, who had good numbers, who was a good fit for our park."

Kazmir has regained some zip on his fastball, touching the mid-90s at times. He's relying more on his secondary pitches, though, including the changeup. More than anything, he looks confident. Like a guy who knows who he is.

The question is, can it continue? Can a pitcher who hasn't thrown 160 innings since 2007, who has battled nagging injuries and mental lapses, keep it up through the dog days of summer and a possible postseason run?

Is this re-invented Kazmir an oasis or a mirage?

Kazmir exited his last start, June 30 against the Detroit Tigers, in the sixth inning with what manager Bob Melvin later termed a calf cramp, according to the Bay Area News Group's John Hickey.

The A's insist there's no issue. Still, seeing Kazmir on the mound wincing in pain was a stark reminder of his fragility—of how quickly the wheels can come off.

Entering play Thursday, Oakland's lead in the AL West had dwindled to 3.5 games. With the Angels charging and the Seattle Mariners lurking, the A's will need a healthy Kazmir to get back to the playoffs.

The good news is that Kazmir has already proved he can overcome adversity. "He lost his way a little bit, and that might have been the best thing that could have happened," Melvin said in the same ESPN The Magazine piece. "It's a rare story."

Whether the story has a happy ending remains to be written.

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Justin Verlander’s Much-Needed Win to Sweep A’s Puts Tigers Back Among AL Elite

When Justin Verlander recording a win counts as big news, it's safe to say things haven't gone according to plan.

Yet there was Verlander on Wednesday night, celebrating his first win in more than a month (since May 30, to be exact). It was a good night for the Detroit Tigers: Not only did they prevail 9-3 behind their struggling former ace, but they also swept the Oakland A's, owners of the best record in baseball.

The Tigers have now won three straight and eight of their last 10 and hold a 4.5-game lead over the upstart Kansas City Royals. With their sweep of Oakland, they look more and more like the team to beat in the American League.

Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Ian Kinsler—the second baseman acquired from the Texas Rangers for Prince Fielder, who is out for the season after neck surgery—provide a fearsome middle of the order. Anibal Sanchez and surprising sinkerballer Rick Porcello provide a solid one-two punch atop the rotation, not to menton reigning Cy Young winner Max Scherzer. Other contributors—such as Rajai Davis, who belted a dramatic walk-off grand slam Monday night—have stepped up as well.

Two years removed from their most recent World Series appearance, the Tigers look poised to claw their way back.

"There's nothing I dislike about the team," manager Brad Ausmus said, per Matt Slovin of MLB.com.

Verlander might disagree. The big right-hander—who underwent offseason core-muscle surgery—is having easily his worst season as a professional; after allowing two runs in six innings against the A's Wednesday night, he lowered his ERA to a still-unsightly 4.71.

Across the board, Verlander's stats are down. Not coincidentally, so is his fastball. In fact, Verlander's velocity chart, per FanGraphs, looks like the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the dawn of the Great Recession.

This is a guy who once routinely touched triple digits and was famous for gaining gas in the late innings. Now, he's lucky if he survives to the late innings.

As with most pitchers who falter, Verlander has tried tweaking his mechanics. In fact, as he said after his long-awaited win, per The Associated Press (via ESPN.com), the process of deconstructing his motion has taken its toll—to the point where Verlander is actually glad he won't be participating in the All-Star Game:

I'm not going this yearI can pretty much guarantee that. I didn't have a good first half, and I know that. It's going to be the first time I get that weekend off in a while. It will be nice to get that time where I don't have to tax my arm. I've put in a lot of extra work this year, trying to find my mechanics, so the rest will be good.

Assuming he doesn't get an invite to Minnesota (and that's a safe assumption), it'll be the first time Verlander will miss the Midsummer Classic since 2008.

Yet another sign that the once-unhittable stud has hit a serious skid.

Will his performance against the A's provide a springboard, not just for the Tigers but for Verlander personally?

Maybe, maybe not. It's tough to get too giddy about a night when Verlander surrendered two home runs in the first inning to leadoff hitter Coco Crisp and right-fielder Brandon Moss. In all, he allowed nine hits while striking out four and walking none.

Hardly dominant, but a step in the right direction.

"I didn't make a big adjustment, I just got more into my rhythm," Verlander told the AP.

As Verlander searches for his rhythm, it looks like the Tigers have found theirs. They'd love to get their ace back; they'd love for a Verlander win not to be big news.

In the meantime, as the summer gives way to fall, look for Detroit to stay in the headlines.

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Texas Rangers’ Latest International News and Rumors

After the Texas Rangers international spending spree last year, the club will be limited in what it can spend this season as the 2014-15 international signing period begins July 2.

Three of its 2013 signings are in the team’s top 20 prospects, according to MLB.com. Those players include shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri, outfielder Jose Almonte and right-handed pitcher Marcos Diplan. MLB Pipeline says those three players and the rest of the Rangers’ signings cost the club $8.42 million in bonuses.

MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan wrote on July 1 that the team from Arlington will have a budget of about $2 million and cannot spend more than $250,000 on any player. Considering the No. 28 international prospect got a $750,000 deal from the Chicago White Sox, per Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Rangers will most certainly be limited in the size of talent they can sign.

Here is the latest news and rumors concerning the Rangers on the international front. This will be updated periodically as the club signs players.

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Texas Rangers’ Latest International News and Rumors

After the Texas Rangers international spending spree last year, the club will be limited in what it can spend this season as the 2014-15 international signing period begins July 2.

Three of its 2013 signings are in the team’s top 20 prospects, according to MLB.com. Those players include shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri, outfielder Jose Almonte and right-handed pitcher Marcos Diplan. Baseball Americas Ben Badler estimates those three players and the rest of the Rangers’ signings cost the club $8.42 million.

MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan wrote on July 1 that the team from Arlington will have a budget of about $2 million and cannot spend more than $250,000 on any player. Considering the No. 28 international prospect got a $750,000 deal from the Chicago White Sox, per Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Rangers will most certainly be limited in the size of talent they can sign.

Here is the latest news and rumors concerning the Rangers on the international front. This will be updated periodically as the club signs players.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Analyzing Latest Buzz for Best Available Players

In the United States, July is a special month. We honor our nation's independence. We schedule vacations. We actually go outside for 15 minutes a day rather than sitting in our slovenly filth all day long. We undergo crippling defeats in the World Cup.

We also welcome Major League Baseball's midseason trade extravaganza. Over the past few seasons, teams have become more conservative. The names thrown around on the rumor mill are very often more exciting than the ones who actually get dealt.

Last season, Jake Peavy was the biggest name who flew off the market. Peavy is a very good starting pitcher—at least in most seasons—but an in-his-prime Randy Johnson being traded to Houston he is not. Teams have become increasingly smarter about locking up their promising young players to long-term contracts that buy out their first couple years of free agency. The trend is great for fans of small-market clubs and horrible for those who want July to become engulfed in anarchy.

Luckily, the anarchists will have plenty to root for over the next few weeks.

David Price, Cole Hamels, Jeff Samardzija and plenty other top-notch talents will hear their name bandied about—some of whom have a better-than-50 percent chance to be dealt. Price, whose contract expires after this season, might be the best player dealt midseason since CC Sabathia in 2008.

With that in mind, let's check in on Price and the latest news on the other top players who are being shopped around.

 

Price Being Held Until Near the Deadline

Price has been on the block for more than a year. The Rays have dangled him in talks and spent all of last season throwing out Godfather scenarios to other teams. They knew they had one more year of control, and Price is not the type to ruin his value via poor performance.

Tampa Bay never thought its leverage would be ruined by its own futility. Even in the midst of a five-game winning streak, the Rays are 9.5 games back of Toronto in the AL East. The division isn't what it once was, but at 38-49 and boasting teamwide underperformance, the Rays are probably cooked.

Faced with the franchise's first losing season since Tampa Bay removed Devil from its nickname, Rays management has begun admitting it's time to retool—even if they won't mention Price by name.

"I think, in a lot of ways, it's our only chance for success," general manager Andrew Friedman told Tyler Kepner of The New York Times. "The trades that we've made, looking back, the only reason we got good players in return is because we traded really good players. And so it's important for us to know what our weaknesses are and what our limitations are and operate within them."

In Price, the Rays know they have one of the best pitchers in baseball. He bounced back from a rocky start over the past month, giving up only 11 earned runs in his past 46.2 innings pitched. The uptick has seen Price lower his ERA to 3.50 and even his record at 7-7. His strikeout-to-walk ratio remains absurd, and he may end up as a five-win player for the first time in his career at this pace.

Whatever concerns teams had in April are gone.

The questions are now when and where rather than if. The Rays can coax teams into a bidding war here, even if it's only between a select few teams that think they can keep him long term. Sources told CBS Sports' Jon Heyman they expect Friedman and Co. to string the process out near the deadline.

While I fully expect Price to get dealt, this will also allow the Rays to assess whether their recent hot streak is a mirage or a sign of things to come. Toronto isn't setting the world on fire and is tied with Baltimore in the loss column. We're not in the heyday of the AL East when 98 wins could have sent you to the Wild Card Game.

If the streak continues, expect Price's, um, cost to keep going up as we get closer to the deadline.

 

Jays Probably Aren't Getting Their Hands on Cole Hamels

The Blue Jays hit the ball very hard. They rank in the top 10 in runs scored, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and almost every advanced measure that's publicly available. Jose Bautista is back to performing at an All-Star level after two lost seasons. Edwin Encarnacion is tied for the MLB lead with 26 home runs. Almost everyone has forgotten the steroids thing with a solidly performing Melky Cabrera.

There are good vibes north of the border—except when one of their own pitchers steps to the mound.

Taking the excellent Mark Buehrle and the mostly OK Drew Hutchison out of the equation, Toronto's pitching staff has been a mess. R.A. Dickey's such a high-variance guy you never know what's coming. J.A. Happ has gone mostly bust. Toronto starters currently rank 19th in WAR, per FanGraphs, and I'd shudder to see those numbers once Buehrle is taken out of the equation.

Point being: The Jays need pitching—badly.

And since there is roughly an igloo's chance in hell Tampa does an intradivisional trade, Alex Anthopoulos is tasked with scouring the non-Price market.

One of the names that has continually come up is Phillies mainstay Cole Hamels. The 30-year-old lefty is again mired in a situation where his win-loss record wildly deviates from his effectiveness. Despite giving up more than three runs just three times all season and having put up a 1.23 ERA in June, Hamels sits at 2-4.

The Phillies have lost six straight and are 10.5 games out of the NL East lead. Eventually, Ruben Amaro Jr. is going to have to realize he built this roster on a dilapidated foundation and begin a complete overhaul. That probably begins with trading Hamels, who still has value despite a whole metric bleep-ton of money coming his way.

Amaro just probably isn't going to start that process by dealing Hamels to Toronto. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports recently reported that the Blue Jays are on Hamels' list of teams he can refuse a trade to, as stipulated in his contract:

With four more years remaining on his deal after this season, it's unlikely Hamels would waive his deal. If he were an impending free agent like Price and could be a hired gun for a few months, then perhaps a stint in Canada for a pennant run might be appealing. Doing so after years of getting comfortable in Philly and uprooting himself for almost a half-decade is a little more daunting.

Players negotiate these clauses for a reason. Even if he'd rather be competing, there's a reason Hamels wanted it put in writing he'd never take a hike to the Great White North.

 

Quick Updates

Yankees Scouting Headley: It says something about the nonexistent hitting market that Chase Headley might be the most attractive piece available. Headley is hitting .202/.287/.318 on the season and hasn't posted a batting average of better than .212 in any month. It's been a miserable couple of years following a breakout 2012 campaign, and no one is quite sure what to make of his ceiling at this point. But, once upon a time, he hit 31 home runs in a season. That alone makes him valuable to teams. The Yankees, who no one would confuse with the Bronx Bombers of years past, have been scouting Headley, per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. New York currently starts walking sad-face emoji Kelly Johnson at third. This makes some sense.

 

Cubs Plan to Wait with Samardzija: Jeff Samardzija's decision to turn down a five-year, $85 million contract offer from the Cubs, per Morosi, puts them in a similar situation to Tampa. Theo Epstein would optimally like to keep the flame-throwing righty, but avoiding a deal leaves the Cubs receiving lousy draft-pick compensation instead of a huge prospect haul. Samardzija, who is 2-7 despite a 2.83 ERA and nearly a strikeout for every inning pitched, is a coveted asset in the prime of his career. He's going to hit free agency this winter and command a deal near the $20 million-per-season range. Knowing this, the Cubs plan on holding on as long as possible before trading him, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. Who knows? Maybe the wait will lead to one more big contract offer.

 

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New York Yankees: Latest International Signing News and Rumors

No stranger to spending money, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman opened his checkbook on Wednesday to sign some of the top international free agents.

The Yankees brought in a total of nine international prospects in hopes of bolstering the farm system with high-level talent moving forward.

Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes reported that shortstop Dermis Garcia was in agreement with the Bombers (link in Spanish).

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com tweeted that third baseman Nelson Gomez, another top international prospect, was also inked on Wednesday. Sanchez was on the pulse of a ton of action on Wednesday, as he also broke the news about the signings of shortstop Wilkerman Garcia and shortstop Diego Castillo.

Ben Badler of Baseball America was on the beat of several signings. He reported that shortstop Hyo-Joon Park, catcher Miguel Flames and outfielder Juan De Leon all came to terms on deals with the Yanks.

Scout.com's Kiley McDaniel broke the news of the other two signings, outfielder Antonio Arias and outfielder Jonathan Amundaray.

Following the spending spree, ESPN's Buster Olney took to Twitter to describe the exploits of Cashman:

Which prospects should you be on the lookout for moving forward? None of them are MLB-ready just yet, but some are closer than others. Below is a breakdown of the three best.

 

Dermis Garcia, SS, Dominican Republic

Garcia has a huge ceiling, but his future likely doesn't bode well for him to stay at short. While a good fielder, Garcia will continue to grow, and his frame will be better suited somewhere else. He could move to third or possibly a corner outfield spot, but, that said, many feel he is athletic enough to stay at the position:

It's Garcia's bat that does the talking, though, so all the Yankees need is league-average defensive work. Regardless of the position, he just can't kill the team with errors.

Garcia's swing is super smooth. He uses it to generate massive amounts of power, a reason why many considered him the most powerful prospect in this year's class of international prospects. This smooth swing gives him power to all fields, as it allows him to quickly get his hands in to put the barrel on inside pitches. It also gives him the ability to keep his hands back and cover the outside part of the plate.

His smooth swing is for power, however. He'll have to learn how to become a more polished contact hitter, as strikeouts might become an issue in the future. 

After he receives a year or two of coaching in the states, Garcia will see huge improvements all around.

 

Nelson Gomez, 3B, Dominican Republic

Possibly the only player in this class who can rival Garcia's power is Gomez. The third baseman has a big bat, and his power in batting practice has translated to in-game power over in the Dominican Republic.

Whether or not it can translate to the states remains to be seen, but this kid knows how to put on a show in BP. That alone likely attracted the Yankees his way.

Gomez has the arm to stay at the hot corner long term, but his size might inhibit his mobility. At 6'2", 195 pounds, Gomez is already a good size for the bigs. He'll continue to fill out with time, though, so a move over to first base or to a corner outfield spot might be best.

If you can hit, though, somebody will find a home for you.

This kid certainly has an advanced power tool, as he can hit the ball a long way. If he hits consistently from the start, Gomez could find his way to the bigs within two or three years. Third base is a giant question mark moving forward, as Alex Rodriguez might not be the player we're used to when he returns.

Yangervis Solarte, once thought to be the answer, has regressed significantly in the past few weeks.

All Gomez needs to do his keep hitting.

 

Juan De Leon, OF, Dominican Republic

You can't build a team only around power hitters, so Cashman went out and signed an all-around hitter on Wednesday. De Leon is probably the top overall hitter in the class, as he uses a quick swing to cover all parts of the plate and hit in all counts.

The fact that he has such a good swing bodes well for him moving forward. Young guys with quick swings often develop power, meaning De Leon could become a decent power guy in the future. His combination of contact ability and potential for power remind me a lot of a young Michael Brantley of the Cleveland Indians.

De Leon is a potential five-tool player,given his potential for power. He runs well, plays good defense, has a good arm and hits like I mentioned above. Not all five-toolers pan out after stints in the minors, but De Leon is a good candidate to stick.

The Dominican outfielder uses his athleticism to track down fly balls and play a solid game out in the field. While not the most polished defender, his athleticism and speed allow him to catch up to balls he got poor jumps on.

That aspect of his game needs a little work, but that will come with experience at a higher level.

It won't be easy for De Leon to crack the outfield picture in New York, given the long-term commitments to Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury, but he has the potential to force a move several years down the line.

 

Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR

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Detroit Tigers Vendor Catches Foul Ball in Bucket During Oakland Athletics Game

The players man the field. The fans bring their gloves. 

In the end, the bucket wins out.

During Wednesday's showdown between the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler hit a foul ball hard into the stands. One vendor was ready with his bucket.

Interestingly, this is the second time in as many months that we've seen this type of display. A Philadelphia Phillies vendor accomplished the same impressive feat in late May.

[MLB.com, h/t For the Win]

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Angels’ Albert Pujols Moves into No. 24 on All-Time Home Run Leaderboard

Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim launched his 509th career home run during the first leg of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, tying him with Gary Sheffield for 24th on the all-time list, per MLB.com.

Pujols hit long ball No. 17 of the season in the fifth inning off Hector Noesi, which directly followed a three-run shot by teammate Mike Trout. When Josh Hamilton homered in the seventh inning, it marked the second time ever that all three went deep in the same game, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The Angels' first baseman has already matched the home run total of his injury-shortened 2013 campaign and is well on his way to a rebound season, slashing .257/.312/.467 with 50 RBI heading into Wednesday's action. Prior to 2013, Pujols had accumulated 30 or more home runs in each of his first 12 MLB seasons.

Per Baseball Reference, Pujols has averaged 40 long balls per 162 games over his career. Should he keep up his current pace in 2014, there's a good chance the 34-year-old continues to ascend the power-hitting ranks. Next in line to be passed are Mel Ott (511), Eddie Mathews (512) and Ernie Banks (512), and Pujols will climb into the top 20 once he passes Ted Williams, Frank Thomas and Willie McCovey, all of whom own 521 career four-baggers.

Prince Albert remains 253 homers behind all-time leader Barry Bonds (762) but is in just the third season of his 10-year deal with the Angels. Depending on how well Pujols produces as he enters his late 30s, the record is certainly within the realm of possibility.

All stats courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise specified.

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Ranking the Yankees’ Best All Star-Game Candidates

With July upon us, it is time to look at which members of the New York Yankees may be representing the club at this year's All-Star Game.

It has not been a great season for the Bombers, one plagued by injuries and abysmal offensive production from more than just a few of their hitters. To say past All-Stars Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano, Brian Roberts and CC Sabathia are unworthy of showing their faces at Target Field on July 15 is an understatement.

Despite being under .500, there are some Yankees who certainly are deserving of making the team. The following players may not all make it out to the City of Lakes, but here are the Yankees deserving of being an All-Star in 2014.

The Major League Baseball All-Star Selection Show will air on ESPN on Sunday, July 6 at 7 p.m.

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Yankees’ Derek Jeter Ties Franchise Record for Career Doubles

With a fourth-inning leadoff two-bagger Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees tied the franchise's all-time doubles record, per MLB.com.

Both Jeter and Lou Gehrig now sit atop the Yankees' leaderboard with 534 doubles, with Bernie Williams a distant third at 449. A few more recognizable names round out the top five, namely current Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly sitting fourth (442) and all-time great Babe Ruth at fifth (424). Other notable Yankees whom Jeter has surpassed over his career include Joe DiMaggio (389) and Mickey Mantle (344).

Despite becoming the 28th member of MLB's 3,000-hit club last season, the active leader in total hits hasn't been known as a doubles hitter for most of his career. Jeter, who has never once led the majors in doubles in a single year, is just one two-bagger above the league average during his career.

Jeter is four doubles below the league average so far in the 2014 campaign, and if the pace continues, it would be his 11th season of this variety, which would place him second on the Yankees' all-time list in the category. The Captain is in clear danger of being the only member of the 3,000-hit club who is below-average in terms of doubles.

As these numbers show, Jeter's spot atop the franchise doubles list is a record that has more to do with longevity than anything else, as he's called New York home for all 20 of his major league seasons. The achievement adds further weight to his other major accomplishments, which include 13 All-Star Game appearances, five Silver Sluggers, five Gold Gloves and the 1996 Rookie of the Year award, to name a few.

 

All stats courtesy of the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia unless otherwise specified.

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Pittsburgh Pirates: Should the Team Trade for A.J. Burnett?

A.J. Burnett was a polarizing figure on the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates during his two-year tenure with the team, but there’s a chance the firebrand veteran could soon again find himself toeing the mound at PNC Park.

That’s because, according to NJ.com writer Matt Lombardo, the Philadelphia Phillies are 8.5 games out of first place in the National League East and are primed to be sellers at the July 31 trade deadline instead of buyers.

To thicken the plot, the Pirates are one of only nine teams that Burnett would accept a trade to, according to Lombardo. But that doesn’t mean the team would get him at a bargain. Lombardo says:

Burnett, 5-7 with a 3.89 ERA has drawn interest from the Pittsburgh Pirates but the caveat is any team that acquires Burnett will likely have him for the next two seasons, as he is owed $8M for the rest of this season and can exercise a $7.5M player option for 2015. The Phillies could pick up some of that tab if they do decide to trade him.

Pirates fans remember the solid work Burnett put in for the team during his stint in Pittsburgh. He anchored a rotation that was one of the best in baseball last season, a rotation that propelled the team to its first winning season, first playoff appearance and first playoff victory in 21 years.

Burnett pitched a total of 393 innings over those two seasons, compiling 389 strikeouts and 129 walks in the process. His earned run averages of 3.51 in 2012 and 3.30 in 2013 were more than respectable for a man in his late 30s.

However, Pirates fans also remember his attitude, for better or worse.

Fans loved the fire and passion Burnett brought to every game and every pitch. But they also remember his jawing at teammates and management, most notably after getting pulled in favor of Gerrit Cole before Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

They also remember Burnett’s statement to local radio station 93.7 The Fan in which he said he’d either re-sign with the Pirates or retire. The fanbase was understandably jilted when Burnett signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the Phillies in February.

The question remains as to whether Pirates fans want Burnett back in a black and gold uniform.

Injuries and inconsistencies have plagued the starting rotation this year, although minor league pitchers like Vance Worley, Jeff Locke and Brandon Cumpton have filled in admirably in the interim.

Notwithstanding, do fans really want youth and inexperience taking the mound in the middle of what’s sure to be a compelling and close playoff race this summer? Would Burnett’s veteran presence stabilize a rotation that hasn’t been able to recapture the magic that made the 2013 Pirates such a special team?

A previous Bleacher Report article predicted that the Pirates need better starting pitching to make the playoffs. The team has gotten that better pitching in the form of Locke, Cumpton and Worley in the last several weeks. But how long will that last?

On the other hand, Burnett currently owns a 3.89 ERA with the Phillies and hasn’t shown the same productivity as he did with the Pirates.

It’s a question that has many opinions and angles: Should the Pirates bring back Burnett?

For one, Zach Morrison of Rant Sports says no:

If Burnett were to return to the Pirates, I would love it and hate it at the same time. While I do give a lot of credit to him for turning the Pirates’ misfortunes around and making baseball in Pittsburgh relevant again, I don’t think I could deal with his antics and the persona that is A.J. Burnett.

If his antics and persona translate into more wins for a team that desperately needs them, I’m all in favor of bringing Burnett back to the Steel City. But the question remains as to how effective the 37-year-old Burnett can be, or if general manager Neal Huntington wants to pay the price to bring him back.

It’s a question Huntington will have to answer by July 31.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB International Free Agency 2014: Live Coverage of All Rumors, Signings

Major League Baseball's international signing period for 2014-15 began this morning at 9 a.m. ET, and after a series of technical difficulties, Prospect Pipeline finally has you covered with up-to-the-minute information on the day's biggest signings and rumors.

With many signings having already rolled in today, here's what you need to know about the top prospects in this year's class and their potential suitors.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Key Questions, and Some Answers, About Stunning New Report on A-Rod PEDs

Alex Rodriguez was using testosterone. This is hardly news, having first been outed a few years ago and then again as part of the Biogenesis case. Instead, the fact that MLB sanctioned his use by granting him a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) in 2007 is a bit of a stunner to those of us that have been following MLB's continued chase to get performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) out of the game.

Major League Baseball was forced to comment after the excerpt was released, saying: 

The TUE process under the Joint Drug Program is comparable to the process under the World Anti-Doping Code. The standard for receiving a TUE for a medication listed as a performance-enhancing substance is stringent, with only a few such TUEs being issued each year by the IPA. MLB and the MLBPA annually review the TUE process to make sure it meets the most up-to-date standards for the issuance of TUEs.

That's hardly enlightening. We're left with a lot of anti-Rodriguez hysteria, but not a lot of answers as to what this means. Even all the acronyms will get confusing! There are more questions than answers on this, but let's take a look at some of the bigger ones raised by this report. 

 

What does it mean that Rodriguez was able to use testosterone legally?

Rodriguez was reportedly granted a therapeutic use exemption during the 2007 season, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Tim Elfrink, one of the Miami New Times writers that broke the Biogenesis case, published in an excerpt at SI.com that Rodriguez was given a TUE by MLB's independent program administrator (IPA), Dr. Bryan Smith. Rodriguez was also granted a TUE for Clomid, another banned substance, in 2008. 

It is unclear if Rodriguez requested or was granted a TUE for testosterone in 2008 or any other season, though MLB did discuss only the 2007 TUE at Rodriguez's grievance hearing for his most recent suspension. 

 

Why would MLB grant this type of waiver for anyone?

It is known that several players have been granted TUEs for a condition known as hypogonadism. In several of these cases, the player was a survivor of testicular cancer. Former Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell has admitted use of several drugs, such as testosterone, as he was trying to have children after his cancer treatments. 

In cases such as this, the treatment is truly testosterone replacement (or TRT). A player would be brought back up to a normal level of testosterone for a man of his age and size. 

Other substances also require a waiver. The largest number of waivers are granted for drugs to control ADHD. These drugs are powerful stimulants, such as Adderall and Modafinil. MLB has a strict procedure for granting these waivers, and in almost all cases, they require the diagnosis to be made in childhood. 

The NFL, NBA, NCAA and Olympics all have similar procedures for waivers. Most are based on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) standard, though MLB's procedure goes above and beyond the requirements of WADA. The NFL has never clarified its TUE procedures, but it is believed that an athlete only requires a prescription there without an IPA clearance. 

 

Why would MLB grant this type of waiver for Rodriguez?

This is the one I don't have an answer for. Rodriguez would have had to make a very compelling case to Dr. Smith in order to be granted the waiver, but I know from work I did at the time that MLB was very much against granting any waivers for TRT due to the level of scrutiny on the sport. The only known exceptions were for testicular cancer survivors. 

There were questions about whether Jason Giambi was granted any waivers for his treatment for a pituitary tumor in 2004, but neither Giambi nor MLB has ever commented on this. 

I cannot speak for Dr. Smith, but I cannot comprehend any circumstance where he would have granted this waiver aside from a clear medical necessity. Smith may have granted the Clomid exemption in order to take Rodriguez down from his TRT, but even this would be unusual. 

Dr. Smith was replaced as MLB's IPA in 2012, though I was told at the time that there were no performance issues. Dr. Smith was simply moving on with his career. MLB has not seen significant movement in the number of TUEs, which it reports every year, since Smith left. 

 

How does a TUE work in terms of testing and therapy?

A player with a TUE is still subject to MLB's drug testing procedure. Nothing is different and the collector and lab do not know about the waiver at any point. In fact, the test will show up as a positive for testosterone (or other waived drug) and will be reported to MLB just as any other positive would be.

At that point, MLB's IPA would match the player against an in-force waiver and stop the process if an exemption exists. This is not reported to teams or the player. However, teams do know that a player has a TUE because they are involved in the process of getting one approved.

One thing to note is that a TUE is made for therapeutic purposes. Players that test positive for dosings that are excessive to therapeutic use can be disciplined. For someone like Rodriguez, this means that he could use testosterone to return levels normal for a man of his age and size, but not to use massive anabolic doses to gain muscle mass.

 

Why would this waiver process be necessary at all in sports?

There are valid medical reasons that a banned substance would need to be used. Many asthmatics use drugs that are considered stimulants. Players with ADHD have a valid medical need for drugs that are banned. Propecia, a drug used to combat hair loss, is banned in international competition and has resulted in positive tests for players who failed to get exemptions. 

Drug policies are designed to stop the abuse of drugs in sports. TUEs are necessary in order to allow medical use of some of these drugs as necessary. In some cases, especially ADHD, MLB has required some players to attempt to switch to non-banned drugs such as Strattera in their therapy.

 

Why doesn't MLB publish the list of players that have received TUEs?

MLB is prohibited by HIPAA and other laws to violate a player's medical privacy. A player may elect to discuss his medical condition, but  the waiver that a player signs that allows a team to speak to the media and others about medical conditions specifically excludes the discussion of medications.

 

Is the waiver process abused or a failure?

Many, including those in Congress, have discussed whether the TUE process can be abused. It is often discussed in terms of the numbers of athletes that have been diagnosed with ADHD. In 2013, 119 TUEs were given with the vast majority being for ADHD drugs.

While some will argue that number is high, it is statistically in line for an all-male, active group. (Anecdotal studies of grade school athletics show the number nearer to 20-25 percent of participants.) Unless MLB is simply going to remove the waiver programs and force players to go off their medications, this seems to be about the standard level. 

Unfortunately, no other major sports publish their numbers, so it is impossible to compare. 

 

Could a player today get a similar waiver?

It is possible, though it is difficult to get any waiver. Players are put through a series of tests, not only by their own physicians, but by MLB approved physicians before being judged by the IPA. As seen above, MLB seems to have a very consistent number of TUEs for ADHD and other drugs. 

 

What would testosterone do for Rodriguez or other players?

Testosterone is the male androgenic hormone. It is what differentiates men from women on an endocrinological level. It is also the basis for all anabolic steroids. The body converts these steroids into some analog of testosterone in the body. All anabolic steroids are compared to testosterone, which is the "gold standard" of this class of drugs.

For baseball players, testosterone supplementation could give them greater muscle mass, better recovery and other positive effects. There are negative effects as well, but in TRT these are offset by the low doses and the use of other drugs such as Clomid. If held at strict TRT levels, Rodriguez and others would be at the same levels of testosterone in the body as a normal man.

In other words, the therapy should have been used to make Rodriguez have the same testosterone level as Derek Jeter, for example.

 

Is there a difference between the testosterone used here and similar prescription testosterone substances like Androgel and Axiron?

Remember the "Is It Low T?" ads you saw wall to wall during the last couple playoff telecasts? That's testosterone—and at a very similar level to what Rodriguez would have used. These are very popular prescription drugs used to help men with low testosterone levels.

While there is great controversy about not only the overuse but the marketing of these drugs, they are out there and widely used. For Androgel alone, sales were well over a billion dollars last year, making it the 35th-most used prescription drug in the U.S. and a big profit center for Abbott Labs. 

People may not like that Rodriguez used TRT, but if you looked around the average workplace in America, there's likely to be a number of people using Axiron, Ritalin or another drug that would require a TUE. Expecting more from athletes than the general population seems hypocritical. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB All-Stars Will Wear 1970s-Themed Hats at 2014 All-Star Game in Minnesota

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is unique in that the players wear their respective team uniforms. At the 2014 MLB All-Star Game in Minnesota, the players will be showing a little more solidarity this year.

As a tribute to the Minnesota Twins' classic batting helmets from the team's early years, this season's All-Star hats will feature color blocking of the individual teams' two primary hues. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers tweeted a picture of the cap that their representatives will wear in the game:

Here is a closer look at a few more of the hats:

Of course, this new design isn't much different than what the Baltimore Orioles normally wear:

What are your thoughts on the throwback look for this year's Midsummer Classic?

[Twitter]

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

4 Impact Trade Targets to Fix Boston Red Sox’s Flawed Outfield

With a regular season record of 38-46, the 2014 Boston Red Sox may not be considered buyers when it comes to making trade acquisitions on, or before, the July 31 MLB trading deadline.

If their current campaign continues to falter, we should most likely expect the Red Sox to sell off some of its pieces with the hopes of rebuilding down the road.

Yet there is plenty of baseball left to be played, and Boston is merely one hot streak away from getting right back into the mix of things before the end of the season.

Let us assume that this happens, and Boston is capable of turning things around in short order.

This would, in speculation, lead us to the conclusion that the Red Sox would be buyers at the trade deadline. Which targets would they pursue? What areas are of most pressing need?

Before we get into the discussion of acquisitions Boston could make, we should first establish the primary area of concern.

If one had to pinpoint the most critical weakness within the 2014 Red Sox, few other areas would come to mind over the outfield.

In short, Boston's outfield has been pretty atrocious this season. We know all too well the struggles of players like Daniel Nava, Jackie Bradley Jr., Jonny Gomes, oft-injured Shane Victorino and the now-released Grady Sizemore.

Towards the end of May, this group ranked last in baseball with a .211 batting average and No. 29 in both on-base percentage (.290) and WAR (-0.9) per Joon Lee of SB Nation.

The struggles led to a shakeup of the Red Sox outfield—speculation of which was provided by Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that same month.

Boston indeed shook things up. Sizemore was designated for assignment after falling away from his hot start to the season. Minor league prospect Mookie Betts was called up the next month, making his major league debut on June 29.

These moves—and more—could be necessary elements to turning around Boston's season. Time will be the ultimate judge.

Still, let us assume the Red Sox aren't quite finished tinkering with their outfield. They could still use an impact player or two to supplement this unit.

Who are the best options from a realistic standpoint?

 

Andre Ethier—CF, Los Angeles Dodgers

Statistics

Let's get this suggestion out of the way since his name has been popping up a lot. 

Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Andre Ethier is an intriguing option here for a number of reasons. First, the Dodgers outfield is stacked, including should-be starters like Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig in addition to Ethier.

The Dodgers also have minor league prospect Joc Pederson tearing it up in Triple-A Albuquerque.

Needless to say, there is an overabundance of talent here, which leads to speculation that the Dodgers would be willing to move a piece or two to eventually make room for Pedersen.

Ethier is an intriguing target for a number of reasons. The two-time All-Star owns a career .286 batting average and has experience at all three outfield positions. Injuries have taken their toll on the 32-year-old, however.

But there have been reports that Dodgers' outfielders have been upset at their respective roles, first dating back to 2011 per a report from Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Another report in May 2014 from Michael Martinez of Fox Sports suggested that Kemp is now frustrated with his lack of playing time.

There is clearly a logjam at this position. Los Angeles has the excess. Boston has the need. Could a trade be in order?

Ethier does have a rapport with college teammate Dustin Pedroia per ESPN Insider Mike Petriello (subscription required), so there's that to consider.

But there are a number of additional drawbacks that could make this transaction seem unlikely.

First, Ethier no longer hits lefties—an argument also made by Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe in his summation of possible outfield targets. Ethier is batting a mere .211 against lefties this season, which does not bode well for the Red Sox's prospects for a playoff run in the American League East.

More significantly, Ethier does not come cheap. He is in the midst of a six-year, $95.95 million contract through 2017—a contract length that stands in stark contrast with general manager Ben Cherington's approach of short-term deals.

Now the Dodgers have the pockets that would give them enough flexibility to eat a sizable portion of that deal if they decide to execute a trade with the Red Sox. This is essentially the only way Boston would be enticed to make such a transaction.

But Los Angeles would likely ask for some promising prospects in return. This would possibly be to aid some infield positions and the Red Sox do have some options, but is this something Boston would be willing to do?

If the Red Sox were able to get Ethier for cheap—both in terms of contractual obligations and prospects—then the deal makes sense. 

But that is a big if. 

 

Seth Smith—OF, San Diego Padres

Statistics

If the Red Sox were eyeing an impact player who may come for cheap, they could do worse than try to acquire Padres outfielder and platoon player Seth Smith.

Smith has made a name for himself in a limited role for the Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics and now San Diego. During his eight-year career, Smith has netted a .266 batting average with 82 homers, 298 RBIs and an .807 OPS.

He is currently batting .281 in a depleted Padres lineup that features almost zero protection. 

A number of things make this deal attractive. 

For starters, Smith has long been utilized as a platoon player and/or pinch hitter. The Red Sox would not necessarily need to use him as an everyday outfielder unless his production indicated otherwise. It doesn't appear as if Smith would be disgruntled over the lack of playing time.

Additionally, Smith would likely come on the cheap—a notion also suggested by Lee in his description of plausible outfield trade targets.

With the 37-47 Padres not going anywhere in the National League West this season, they might be enticed to move his one-year, $4.5 million contract in exchange for a mid-level prospect at most. Considering their salary constraints, it may be the only way for San Diego to garner anything in return.

Smith could then easily be used to supplement both the left and right field positions, perhaps platooning—or even starting over—guys like Gomes, Nava and Victorino.

Out of all the possible impact targets, Smith may be the easiest of the deals to make.

Update: The Padres have reportedly given Smith a two-year contract extension per Matt Snyder of CBS Sports. This likely means Smith is staying put, but the Padres could still feasibly consider exploring trade options if an offer was to their liking.

 

Alex Rios—RF, Texas Rangers

Statistics

Just like the Padres, the Texas Rangers are going nowhere in 2014. A slew of injuries has thwarted any hopes for a return to the postseason, and the team now sits at a lowly 37-46—14 games back in the American League West.

At 33 years old, Rios is still providing plenty of production for the depleted Rangers' roster. Currently he is batting .303 with three home runs, eight triples and 34 RBIs.

He also owns a career .300 batting average at Fenway Park.

Lee describes why Rios may be on the trading block come the deadline:

With the Rangers' season in the tank following a hurricane of injuries, most recently Prince Fielder, the squad will likely look to trade off some of their more valuable assets to gain a return. Rios has been one of the better all-around outfielders in baseball this year, and the 33-year-old is signed through the end of the season with a team option for 2015.

Rios' seven-year, $69.84 million contract could be a bit of an obstacle from the Red Sox's perspective, but the fact that his contract is up at the end of 2014 could provide Cherington with some options if the team chooses not to retain him at the conclusion of the season.

The deal's attractiveness was also described by Bleacher Report Senior Writer Jonathan Cullen. He writes:

Boston would be on the hook for roughly $8 million this season and then the $1 million for next season. At that price, they could afford to evaluate Rios this season to see how he would fit into next year's roster. 

The reason the Rangers might do this deal now is the potential to save the $8-9 million left on Rios' deal, while opening up playing time for younger players like Michael Choice and potentially acquiring a prospect or two for a player in the last year of his deal.

Cullen also notes that the Rangers are thin when it comes to developmental pitching. The Red Sox have a flurry of young, promising arms—not all of which will be in their future plans considering the depth of Boston's pitching.

So in this scenario, we could seriously envision a move where the Red Sox send a promising mid-level pitching prospect, or two, to land Rios. 

Rios would then be a substantial upgrade to Boston's lackluster outfield in 2014 and perhaps beyond.

 

Martin Prado—3B/LF, Arizona Diamondbacks

Statistics

From the upside, a player like Martin Prado could be the type of impact player the Red Sox so desperately need to upgrade their outfield. But Prado may not necessarily be the easiest for Boston to acquire in terms of what they would have to give up.

Let's stick with the positives first.

Prado has posted a .290 batting average over his nine-year career, split between the Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks.

He also has good defensive flexibility, having seen experience both in left field, second and third base. This would give the Red Sox the type of upgrade they need in left while also providing an attractive option at third in case the combination of Brock Holt, Will Middlebrooks (injury) or Garin Cecchini (minors) does not immediately work out.

"Prado is a very upbeat, energetic player who is currently playing third but certainly can play the outfield," wrote Cafardo. "This is an intriguing right-handed hitter who has played 252 games in left field."

Arizona (35-50) is floundering in the National League West, and while Prado was once a part of what should have been a promising offense, the Diamondbacks will likely look to build a team around upstart slugger Paul Goldschmidt and not Prado.

This, in theory, makes Prado an expendable commodity.

But there are some drawbacks, first of which are contractual in nature. 

Prado is two years into a four-year, $40 million contract that expires in 2017. The 30-year-old still has plenty of baseball left in his body, but this fact may entice Arizona to ask for a bit much in return for his services.

Some, like Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, feel as if the Diamondbacks are better off keeping Prado given his intangibles, but when Arizona's season is floundering, moving Prado and his contract should be considered an option.

Cherington would have to be comfortable with the Red Sox eating most, or all, of Prado's contract—not necessarily a setback given Prado's pedigree and relatively short amount of time left on the deal.

But the Diamondbacks would likely not part with Prado for cheap.

Like the Rangers, Arizona's pitching has been downright awful this season. Only two of their crop of starters—Josh Collmenter and Chase Anderson—have ERAs under 4.00.

As mentioned, Boston has a plethora of young pitching being developed within the farm system. But it seems likely that the Diamondbacks would be asking for multiple prospects considering Prado still has another two years remaining on his contract.

Is this a price the Red Sox would be willing to pay?

If so, Prado could be that shot-in-the-arm player Boston so desperately needs at this point. He has both offensive and defensive upsides as well as plenty of playoff experience.

 

Speculating about trades is always a difficult thing. We can easily point to some favorites. Some targets, like Miami Marlins' slugger Giancarlo Stanton, always whet the whistle but are far removed from reality.

But the reality is that trades are complicated by the baseball economics of supply and demand. Rare are the transactions where one gives up almost nothing to get something sizable in return. The other franchise also has to be on the same page.

There is no doubting that an impact player would greatly benefit Boston's outfield production in 2014. If the Red Sox's season turns around in short order, it is not out of the question to expect such a deal being made.

Perhaps the best move made is none at all. Perhaps Boston admits defeat in their 2014 campaign and sells off some of its talent. We will let Cherington decide upon that.

In the meantime, all we can do is continue our speculation and theorize which players would make the best fit. 

 

All records, statistics and accolades courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise indicated. Contractual information courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Peter Panacy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report, covering the Boston Red Sox. Be sure to check out his entire archive for Red Sox coverage, insight and analysis. 

Follow @PeterMcShots on Twitter.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

It’s Crap-tastic!: ‘Developing Your Decor’ Photo Toilet Tissue

Developing Your Decor Toilet Paper

Here’s the perfect pair to the that Polaroid-inspired toilet paper holder that was so popular among fans of instant photography: the Developing Your Decor Photo Toilet Tissue paper. Each square has a vintage-looking image printed on it–kind of like the pictures you get from a Polaroid or an Instax. You probably wouldn’t use this to wipe your bottom because it might seem like such a waste, but hey, you only live once and who else can say they’ve wiped their bottoms with such a classic roll?

Pair it with the Polaroid Toilet Paper Holder for some instant awesomeness.

Developing Your Decor Toilet Paper1

 

Each roll of the Developing Your Decor’ Photo Toilet Tissue retails for $5.99.

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Functional Fashion: Wear Your Bottle Openers On Your Sleeve

French Cuff Bottle Openers

 

Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, but you can be one of those who wears not his heart, but his bottle openers instead. Introducing the French Cuff Bottle Opener cufflinks that can secure French button cuffs and pop caps off of bottles when you’re ready to roll your sleeves up and unwind.

The French Cuffs are crafted from polished stainless steel and have rigid teeth on the flipside for easy bottle opening. Spiffy by day, functional by night. What more can you want from a pair of cufflinks?

They’re available from Hammacher Schlemmer for $50.

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Canned Awesomeness: Canned Dragon Meat

Canned Dragon Meat

 

Canned dragons are mythical creatures that have fascinated people since day one. Now you can give the gift that will fulfill the fantasies of those who are enthralled by these magnificent beasts–after they get over the initial shock, that is–with a tin of Canned Dragon Meat. The can’s label itself looks nasty enough, so the recipient will probably expect the worst.

That and the fact that the can contains nothing but an adorkable plush dragon will more than make up for the initial dread. Each tin of Canned Dragon Meat costs £12.99 (about $23.)

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