MLB.com Columnist

Jim Duquette

5 trade candidates who could be bargains

5 trade candidates who could be bargains

Since the creation of the second Wild Card in 2012, we've seen an increase in the number of teams with legitimate postseason aspirations. As a result, Major League Baseball has encountered strong sellers' markets around the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadlines in recent years.

This year, the price tags -- in terms of money and prospects -- will be steep for some of the available talent. And teams could have high-end options available for virtually every type of roster hole.

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Jim Duquette is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Welcome back, back, back ... Jose Fernandez!

Fans 6 over 6 innings, hits leadoff homer in fifth

Welcome back, back, back ... Jose Fernandez!

MIAMI -- The long wait was to once again see Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez pitch. But the Marlins' ace energized and entertained on Thursday afternoon with his bat as well as his blazing fastball.

Fernandez celebrated a triumphant return from Tommy John surgery, striking out six, while allowing three runs in six innings and also smashing a home run in Miami's 5-4 win over the Giants at Marlins Park.

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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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full roster Monday

Watch selection shows on ESPN; Final Vote to get underway Monday

All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full roster Monday

It was historic because it happened exclusively online. It was personal because it decided the fate of your favorite players. It was intense because you argued a lot. And it was teamwork because you helped shatter a Major League Baseball record.

After 65 consecutive days of relentless fan voting to determine starting positions players for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, the largest All-Star balloting program in sports closed at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

FAQ: How exactly are All-Star rosters constructed?

FAQ: How exactly are All-Star rosters constructed?

It's the time of year when division races become clearer, the Trade Deadline looms and the baseball world prepares to descend upon one lucky city that has been selected to play host to one of Major League Baseball's jewel events -- the All-Star Game.

With the All-Star Game, comes All-Star confusion -- not about the game itself, but the rosters, and how exactly they're configured.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Key things to watch for in today's games

Key things to watch for in today's games

If the Yankees and Rays are going to separate themselves from the rest of the pack in the American League East, they'll have to do it with pitching. Chris Archer has been a constant force at the top of Tampa Bay's rotation, and he'll be matched against Masahiro Tanaka on Friday at Yankee Stadium, 7:05 p.m. ET.

Archer allowed five runs in his last outing, but prior to that game, he had won six straight decisions. The right-hander struck out 10 batters last time out, but he also allowed a season-high three home runs. Even with that last start, Archer logged a 4-1 record and a 2.63 ERA in his six June outings.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Top international prospects signing breakdown

Top international prospects signing breakdown

Thursday marked the start of the 2015-16 international signing period, a day when some of the best teenage prospects in the world signed with teams and took huge steps toward fulfilling their Major League dreams.

The Dodgers, as expected, made the biggest splash when the market officially opened, agreeing to terms with two of the top five prospects on MLBPipeline.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, including a $16 million deal with 19-year-old Cuban right-hander Yadier Alvarez. They also landed the No. 5 prospect on the list, Starling Heredia, and are thought to be in contention for top-ranked 20-year-old Cuban outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez, who isn't expected to sign until later in the month.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brewers bullpen catcher sets new cheesesteak record

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Brewers bullpen catcher sets new cheesesteak record

Brewers bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel was looking surprisingly spry Thursday after making culinary history at Citizens Bank Park.

He'd just broken the record for cheesesteak consumption in the visitor's clubhouse at the Phillies' 11-year-old yard, downing 20 of the massive sandwiches as of Thursday afternoon -- and counting. On Wednesday, Hanel broke the previous three-game mark held by Mets bullpen catcher Eric Langill when he took the first bite of cheesesteak No. 18. On Thursday, Hanel blew past Marlins right-hander Mat Latos' four-game record (18), and had already finished No. 20 when it was time to head out to catch Wily Peralta's pregame bullpen session.

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Braves sink Scherzer with walk-off in ninth

Braves sink Scherzer with walk-off in ninth

ATLANTA -- It took a fortunate hop, but the Braves found a way to conquer Max Scherzer, courtesy of a one-out, walk-off single that Cameron Maybin bounced over the third-base bag to conclude Thursday night's 2-1 win over the Nationals at Turner Field.

Scherzer entered the ninth having retired 10 straight batters, going back to Andrelton Simmons' fifth-inning RBI single. But the tide turned when Pedro Ciriaco opened the bottom of the ninth with an infield single. Two batters later, Maybin bounced his game-winning hit over the third-base bag and into left field. Against Washington manager Matt Williams' wishes, the umpires didn't review the play because it was a ruling that occurred in front of the bag.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Minor Leaguer channels Wright with barehanded catch

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Minor Leaguer channels Wright with barehanded catch

Sometimes, a baseball is so perfectly placed between an outfielder and infielder that it's impossible to catch. If you're an infielder running out for it, no twist or turn or Rey Ordonez tutorial video will get your glove in the right place. So, you can either let the ball drop, or have a little bit more fun -- and do something such as the below.

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Red Sox ride 8-run first to series win vs. Jays

Red Sox ride 8-run first to series win vs. Jays

TORONTO -- The Red Sox rode a big first inning all the way to a 12-6 victory over the Blue Jays in the series finale at Rogers Centre on Thursday night. Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt each went 4-for-6 at the plate, Mookie Betts and Alejandro De Aza had three hits apiece and Wade Miley posted a five-inning start to help Boston clinch the series.

The first eight Red Sox batters scored as the visitors tallied nine hits in the first inning, driving Toronto starter Matt Boyd from the game before he was able to record an out. David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez cracked back-to-back homers, De Aza tripled and six other Red Sox singled to provide Boston all the offense needed to stave off a four-run second inning and a two-run ninth from the Blue Jays.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers open int'l signing period with a flurry

Sources say club has deals with Alvarez, Heredia, Brito and Cruz

Dodgers open int'l signing period with a flurry

The Los Angeles Dodgers are making a big splash on the first day international prospects can sign, stocking their Minor League system with several top international prospects, including right-handed pitcher Yadiel Alvarez for $16 million.

The Dodgers signed Alvarez, 19, ranked No. 2 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list; outfielder Starling Heredia, ranked No. 5, for $2.6 million; infielder Ronny Brito, ranked No. 21, for $2 million; outfielder Christopher Arias for $500,000 and shortstop Oneal Cruz for $950,000.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays sign Vladimir Jr. as int'l free agent

Son of nine-time All-Star, 2004 AL MVP ranked No. 4 on MLB.com Top 30 list

Blue Jays sign Vladimir Jr. as int'l free agent

There's a familiar name set to begin his journey through the professional ranks.

The Blue Jays signed 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for $3.9 million. Guerrero is ranked No. 4 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Venable blast lifts Padres past Cards in 11th

Venable blast lifts Padres past Cards in 11th

ST LOUIS -- The Padres opened a four-game series at Busch Stadium with a 5-3 win over the Cardinals on Thursday after Will Venable broke an 11-inning tie with a two-out, pinch-hit home run off reliever Carlos Villanueva.

The win snapped San Diego's three-game losing streak and sent St. Louis to a third straight home loss for the first time this year. Venable's blast came after the Padres successfully challenged Clint Barmes' drive down the right-field line that stayed in fair territory. It had initially been ruled foul.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Brewers could be valuable against Reds

Brewers could be valuable against Reds

Welcome to DraftKings fantasy baseball, the Official Daily Fantasy Game of Major League Baseball.

The players listed below could provide difference-making stats for DraftKings participants on Friday.

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Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yovani's scoreless streak at 29 1/3 frames

Yovani's scoreless streak at 29 1/3 frames

BALTIMORE -- Right-hander Yovani Gallardo takes the mound each start with the intention of giving up no runs. For the past 29 1/3 innings -- including the six he threw in the Rangers' 2-0 win over the Orioles on Thursday -- he's done just that.

Gallardo has not given up a run in four consecutive games, and his streak of scoreless innings is the fourth longest in Rangers' history, according to STATS Inc. On Thursday he allowed just two hits and three walks while striking out two.

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Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Springer forced to DL with right wrist fracture

Springer forced to DL with right wrist fracture

HOUSTON -- The Astros placed George Springer on the 15-day DL with a right wrist fracture Thursday, one day after he took a pitch off his wrist and left the Astros' 6-5 win over the Royals in the sixth inning.

In a corresponding move, Houston recalled Alex Presley from Triple-A Fresno, where he was hitting .308 with 74 hits and 35 RBIs in 64 games. The Astros also transferred pitcher Brad Peacock to the 60-day DL.

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Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crew sends Knebel, Rogers to Triple-A

Right-handers Cravy, Goforth recalled, added to Milwaukee bullpen

Crew sends Knebel, Rogers to Triple-A

The Brewers optioned right-hander Corey Knebel and utility man Jason Rogers to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Friday and recalled right-handers Tyler Cravy and David Goforth.

Since being called up in mid-May, Knebel had been used sparingly. He's pitched in 19 games, allowing seven runs in 21 1/3 innings.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kazmir takes game to next level

Kazmir takes game to next level

OAKLAND -- Scott Kazmir's trade value may be at a season high after twirling a gem in a 4-0 win over the Mariners on Thursday night, holding Seattle to two hits in eight superb innings. All the while, the A's, winners of 12 of their last 18, have to wonder what their second half could look like with the lefty on their side.

"When you're that good, and we have the record that we do, there's going to be speculation and there's going to be guys talked about based on the fact they're in the last year of their contract," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I know he likes it here. He's all about his team. He's become a leader here the last couple years, by performance and in the clubhouse. He's a resource for me."

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

2015 Draft: Signing and Bonus Tracker

Here's a complete breakdown of which 2015 Draft picks from the first 10 rounds have agreed to terms, along with their reported bonuses and starting assignments. The list will be updated through the July 17 signing deadline.

Clubs have not announced or confirmed bonuses.

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Ross hits a homer, something that dinosaurs don't do

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Ross hits a homer, something that dinosaurs don't do

According to some, the four things that separate humankind from animal is our minds -- our "generative computation, promiscuous combination of ideas, the use of mental symbols, and abstract thought." 

That's obviously wrong. It's dingers. I mean, have you ever seen a dog or a bear or an aardvark smack a home run? And if you have, could you email us because that's internet gold? 

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Gray rejoins A's after bout with salmonella

Right-hander feeling better, but will likely miss a second turn in rotation

Gray rejoins A's after bout with salmonella

OAKLAND -- Right-hander Sonny Gray was back in the A's clubhouse before Thursday's series opener against the Mariners, feeling "much better" following a two-day hospital stay recovering from a bout of gastroenteritis caused by salmonella.

The bacterial infection attacked his colon, which enlarged to twice its normal size, Gray was told. The pitcher, who began experiencing symptoms Saturday and had a fever as high as 103, is eating solid foods again for the first time since Sunday and was slated to go through some light activity Thursday, including catch.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

239 reasons to love baseball and America

Fourth of July is perfect time to celebrate country and sport

239 reasons to love baseball and America

Pedro Martinez, about to be inducted into the Hall of Fame later this month, struck out 239 batters for Boston in 2002 and gave up 239 home runs in his career.

Rod Carew led the Majors with 239 hits for Minnesota in his American League MVP season of 1977 -- exactly 80 years after Wee Willie ("hit 'em where they ain't") Keeler reached that career-best number for Baltimore.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Sano enjoys Major taste of winning most of all

Sano enjoys Major taste of winning most of all

KANSAS CITY -- Before Thursday night's game, Miguel Sano was asked repeatedly what his goal was for his Major League debut.

His answer never really varied by more than a few words. "Try to get a win tonight," Sano said.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs' extra-base hits sink Rockies

D-backs' extra-base hits sink Rockies

PHOENIX -- Jeremy Hellickson pitched seven innings of one-run ball and the offense gave him more than enough support, as the D-backs took the series opener against the Rockies, 8-1, on Thursday night at Chase Field.

David Peralta put the D-backs ahead, 3-1, in the sixth with a two-run triple. In the seventh, Yasmany Tomas and Aaron Hill each added a two-run double to break it open. Hellickson allowed just three hits and struck out six with no walks.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Like his Facebook page. Jake Rill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Close, non-reviewable call ends it in Atlanta

Close, non-reviewable call ends it in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- The Nationals stayed on the field longer than most losing teams Thursday night, after the Braves' 2-1 walk-off victory in the series finale at Turner Field, but only because of a close call on Cameron Maybin's game-winning hit down the third-base line.

Maybin went down in the zone and connected with a low slider from Max Scherzer with a runner on second and one out in the bottom of the ninth, driving the ball into the dirt just in front of home plate and then watched it bounce over Yunel Escobar and third base and land in foul territory past the bag.

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Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Norris comes up big in rare start at first base

Norris comes up big in rare start at first base

ST. LOUIS -- The way his night was going offensively on Thursday, Derek Norris figured he had to find a way to contribute even if it didn't mean swinging a bat.

So Norris, who before Thursday's game against the Cardinals had only played 16 career innings at first base, did it with his glove.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seager, Sweeney among Thursday's top prospects

Dodgers Nos. 1 and 7 prospects help power Oklahoma City's offense in win

Seager, Sweeney among Thursday's top prospects

A trio of top Dodgers prospects helped Triple-A Oklahoma City wallop Memphis, 8-4, on Thursday night.

No. 1 prospect (No. 5 overall) Corey Seager led the way with a two-run homer. The third baseman finished 1-for-3 and has hit in eight of his past nine games. No. 7 prospect Darnell Sweeney -- 3-for-5 with a double, triple and RBI -- and No. 8 prospect Scott Schebler, who smashed a solo homer in a 1-for-5 night, also pitched in to help the Dodgers improve to 52-27, the best record in the Pacific Coast League.

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Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gibson fires 8 scoreless as Twins blank Royals

Gibson fires 8 scoreless as Twins blank Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson continued his mastery of the Royals by humming through eight scoreless innings and allowing just four singles in a 2-0 win on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals lost their fourth straight as the Twins moved 3 1/2 games out of first in the American League Central.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arenado perplexed after rare two-error game

Rockies third baseman makes no excuses for lapses

Arenado perplexed after rare two-error game

PHOENIX -- Often, Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado peeks at his own defensive plays on the replay board, usually because even he has to see just how he made them. Thursday night, he had to look to see what the heck happened.

A tie game with the D-backs degenerated into an 8-1 loss after Arenado flubbed a grounder straight at him with one on and two out in the sixth. David Peralta followed with a two-run triple off Chris Rusin, and the game soon became a rout.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Better late than never as Rangers top O's

Better late than never as Rangers top O's

BALTIMORE -- A brilliant pitchers' duel that began with Kevin Gausman and Yovani Gallardo went scoreless until the the top of the ninth inning, when Texas scored two runs on as many hits in a 2-0 win over Baltimore on Thursday night.

Leonys Martin, batting against Chaz Roe with one out and a runner on second base, singled to center field, plating Shin-Soo Choo and breaking the scoreless tie. Two batters later, Rougned Odor knocked in Martin with a single to right field.

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com.Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.