MIAMI -- The Nationals acquired Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon on Tuesday night in exchange for prospect Nick Pivetta, the team announced. The Nats also agreed to terms with Papelbon for next season.
CHICAGO -- Red-hot outfielder Carlos Gonzalez could be slugging his way elsewhere. And although the Rockies are speaking in welcoming tones for their new shortstop, Jose Reyes, speculation is that he may not be around long either.
On Tuesday, one day after the Rockies dealt veteran star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, along with righty reliever LaTroy Hawkins, to the Blue Jays for Reyes and three righty pitching prospects, speculation centers on Gonzalez leading up to Friday's 2 p.m. MT non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Sources told MLB.com on Tuesday that Hamels is expected to be traded before Friday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline, although nothing is imminent. But the Phillies moved Hamels' scheduled start from Thursday to Friday, which erases any risk of a freak injury and allows the acquiring team to pitch him almost immediately.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Red Sox center fielder injured on wild pursuit of White Sox Abreu's drive
By Alec Shirkey
BOSTON -- What was nearly an amazing catch by Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts became a wild two-run homer for White Sox slugger Jose Abreu on Tuesday night at Fenway Park. Worse for Boston, Betts had to leave the game after being shaken up on the play.
In the sixth inning, Abreu smacked a first-pitch fastball to right-center field that Betts gathered in his glove just before leaping into the short wall and tumbling into the Boston bullpen. Although originally ruled an out, replay showed the ball rolling out of Betts' glove as he went to the ground, which led to a White Sox challenge and the call being overturned following a lengthy review.
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers had scouts at games Tuesday night started by David Price and Mike Leake, two of their rumored trade targets with the Trade Deadline coming Friday at 4 p.m. ET.
Price's availability is uncertain because of Detroit's status on the fringe of contention, while Leake is presumed very available because of the Reds' status. Both will be free agents after the season.
Oakland receives two pitchers, including highly regarded lefty Manaea
By Jeffrey Flanagan
CLEVELAND -- If there was any doubt of Royals general manager Dayton Moore's conviction about returning his team to the World Series, that should have been removed with his second major trade in three days.
On Sunday, the Royals acquired right-hander Johnny Cueto from the Reds to solidify the rotation. On Tuesday, Moore dealt for Oakland's super utility player Ben Zobrist in exchange for pitching prospects Sean Manaea and Aaron Brooks.
NEW YORK -- Noah Syndergaard took a perfect game into the seventh inning Tuesday at Citi Field, continuing his emergence as one of the game's brightest young pitchers in a 4-0 win over the Padres.
Dominant from the start, Syndergaard struck out six of the first 13 batters he faced, keeping the basepaths clean until Will Venable and Yangervis Solarte led off the seventh with consecutive singles. The rookie improved to 5-1 with a 1.46 ERA in seven starts at Citi Field, beating a Padres team that handed him his worst loss of the season earlier this year in San Diego.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
NEW YORK -- In a "shock" that could spell the end of his Mets career, relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia has been suspended 162 games for a second positive performance-enhancing drug test, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday prior to New York's 4-0 victory over San Diego. His suspension is effective immediately.
Mejia, 25, had not allowed a run in 7 1/3 innings this season, almost exclusively in a setup role. He returned July 7 after missing 80 games for his first positive PED test.
By Jeffrey Flanagan and August Fagerstrom
CLEVELAND -- Eric Hosmer hit a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning off Indians starter Trevor Bauer as the Royals secured a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night at Progressive Field.
The homer spoiled an otherwise impressive night for Bauer (8-8, 4.13 ERA), who threw the first complete game of his career. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed two earned runs on five hits and one walk, striking out six.
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
ST. LOUIS -- There have been no additional trades executed by the Reds since they sent rotation ace Johnny Cueto to the Royals for three left-handed pitching prospects. But league-wide activity has been brisk with Friday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching.
Several Reds players remain prominent in rumors, including closer Aroldis Chapman. On Tuesday, Yahoo Sports reported that the D-backs had asked the Reds about Chapman, which was confirmed by MLB.com's D-backs beat reporter Steve Gilbert.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- With the final cheers still ringing in the ears of the newest Hall of Famers -- Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz -- and the last fans filtering out of town after another successful Induction Weekend, speculation inevitably turns to who might receive baseball's ultimate honor next July.
With a group of first-time eligibles led by Ken Griffey Jr. and holdovers Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines all on the ballot again after receiving more than half the votes (but less than the required 75 percent) in last year's election, there's a chance the Class of 2016 could be impressive as well.
ST. PETERSBURG -- While scouts gathered at Tropicana Field to watch David Price make his final start before Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, some of them readying for a potential sale, the Tigers continued to have scouts elsewhere looking at their options to add in the coming days.
For now, at least, this remains the Tigers' reality, as they weigh whether their postseason chances are realistic enough to add talent for a run, or long enough to trade away pending free agents and collect prospects in return.
By Joe Frisaro and Steve Wilaj
MLB.com |@JoeFrisaro |
MIAMI -- Not that Jose Fernandez is too shabby on the road, but home certainly has been where the wins are for the Miami ace. The right-hander, despite not being his sharpest, gave up one run with five strikeouts in six innings on Tuesday night in the Marlins' 4-1 win over the Nationals.
With the victory, Fernandez improved to 4-0 on the season and 15-0 in his career at Marlins Park. According to Elias, since 1900, only Johnny Allen (1932-33) and Lamar Hoyt (1980-82) have started their careers winning more consecutive decisions than Fernandez. They each won 16.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
CHICAGO -- Troy Tulowitzki admitted feeling "somewhat blindsided" when the Rockies traded him on Monday night, but he is turning his attention to a Blue Jays team that did its homework and considers him part of what it hopes is a playoff run.
"It's mixed emotions -- sad, excited, kind of like getting drafted all over again," said Tulowitzki, who as a rookie in 2007 contributed to a Rockies team that went to the World Series and later developed into one of the game's best shortstops. "It's like the big league debut. I didn't sleep at all last night, and I didn't sleep before my big league debut. It's tough, but all I can do is look forward and keep doing what I do, and things will work out."
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Spirited debates about the Hall of Fame are as much a part of our everyday baseball-loving lives as 7:05 starts and rain delays. So we figure, with the recent conclusion of induction weekend, why not keep the conversation going?
Let's take a look ahead to next year's Hall of Fame class, which will consist of one first-ballot no-doubter and several others who may gain enough traction for entry in 2016. We polled dozen of reporters, experts and analysts from MLB.com and MLB Network -- some of whom do have voting privileges through the Baseball Writers' Association of America, and others who are non-voters but nonetheless experts -- to give us their hypothetical 2016 HOF class.
It has been a season of change in the prospect world.
The sheer number of elite-level prospects who have gone on to bigger and better things at the Major League level may seem astounding. But one thing hasn't changed: Twins outfielder Byron Buxton is still our No. 1 prospect.
TORONTO -- Ken Giles settled into his newly minted role as closer on Tuesday, helping the Phillies seal a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Hours after former closer Jonathan Papelbon was traded to the Nationals, Giles came on to protect a one-run lead and threw a scoreless ninth inning as Philadelphia took the opener of a two-game set. After allowing a leadoff single to Edwin Encarnacion, Giles retired Chris Colabello and Russell Martin on flyouts before Danny Valencia grounded into a forceout to end the game. It was Giles' first save of the season and the second of his career.
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Dodgers third baseman had been on antibiotics over the weekend
By Steve Bourbon
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was out of the lineup Tuesday and was sent to the emergency room after trainers discovered an infection on his leg.
Manager Don Mattingly said over the weekend in New York it looked like a pimple or a bug bite on his inner-right thigh. The team put Turner on antibiotics as a precautionary measure over the weekend, but when he showed up to the clubhouse Tuesday, there was an infection that was much worse.
TORONTO -- Jose Bautista left Tuesday night's 3-2 loss to the Phillies with what appeared to be an injury to his right hamstring.
Bautista hit a ground ball to short during the bottom of the eighth inning and almost immediately pulled up after leaving the batter's box. He grabbed his right hamstring and took only a few more steps before slowly walking off the field.
Rockies hitters' launch angles 3 degrees lower at home than away
By Mike Petriello
There's not a single team in any of the four major American team sports that's been waiting to get back to the playoffs longer than the Toronto Blue Jays, which is a large part of why the decision to truly go for it by adding Troy Tulowitzki was so exciting. Toronto's new shortstop won't solve their pitching problems, but he's clearly an upgrade on both sides of the ball over the departed Jose Reyes.
The biggest question that follows Tulowitzki to Toronto is how the injury-prone shortstop will hold up on the unforgiving turf of the Rogers Centre, but he's also going to have to overcome the same uncertainty that any hitter leaving Coors Field has to deal with: What kind of bat will he be away from the friendly Mile High City? Let's use Statcast™ to investigate.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Despite enduring an uncomfortable day of back spasms and multiple sessions of treatment in the training room, Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun downplayed the issue that cost him a second consecutive start Tuesday.
"I've had back spasms before," said Braun, who suddenly locked up during batting practice Monday evening. "I think it's a pretty common thing playing baseball, but 31 [years old] is not the same as 25. Sometimes little things can throw the body off, whether it's flying or different beds, all the little things that come up during a season."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
What ramifications will Tulowitzki trade have for Blue Jays?
By Gregor Chisholm
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos pulled off another shocking trade early Tuesday morning, a deal that brought five-time All-Star Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto in exchange for Jose Reyes and a package of top prospects.
The magnitude of this deal is nothing short of stunning and will cause ripple effects through the Blue Jays' organization -- not only for this season, but also for years to come. Its impact will be felt in many ways, and the trade creates a lot of questions about where Toronto will go from here.
NEW YORK -- Justin Upton hit his 16th home run on Sunday in front of a slew of scouts employed by teams that are actively seeking his services. In the 48 hours since, the Royals acquired an ace, the Mets added an All-Star reliever and the Blue Jays, well, they made a Rocky Mountain-sized splash.
Now with the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching, Upton's name once again tops many lists counting down those next to go. It has been the case for much of his career.
CLEVELAND -- Before this week, the Kansas City Royals could return to the World Series. Now they should return to the World Series. Before, they might win the title. Now, they'd better win the title.
Those are the noteworthy nuances we're dealing with here, in the wake of the bold bids for Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist. When a small-market club sells off a significant section of the farm system for a couple of robust rentals, it has publicly forfeited any "aw shucks, it would be nice to win one" slogan it might have once abided by, and instead embraced the "World Series or bust" feel that, fair or not, will define its identity for the next three months.
If we had to pinpoint the one theme of this 2015 season that stands out above all others, it's unquestionably the dominating impact and the infusion of youth on the Major League scene. Never was this more evident than on Monday night when 23-year-old Cubs rookie Kris Bryant cracked his first career walk-off homer into the Wrigley Field bleachers to give the Cubs a dramatic 9-8 win against the Rockies.
And just an hour or so before Bryant's blast landed, the mere suggestion that the Dodgers might consider trading 24-year-old Yasiel Puig turned social media upside down.
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers continue to have conversations with other teams as Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, and starting pitching remains a prime topic of conversation.
There is still a possibility the Rangers could get Cole Hamels from the Phillies, Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross from the Padres or somebody else. But until they do, the plan is for them to keep the rotation the way it is right now.