MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

10 teams to watch as Trade Deadline nears

10 teams to watch as Trade Deadline nears

Oakland general manager Billy Beane was center stage leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline last season.

He could be the man in the middle of activity again this year -- only from a different angle.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. 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.

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.

Today's starting lineups: July 3

Below are today's starting lineups that have been made public by Major League Baseball's clubs.

A lineup is not official until it is handed to the umpire.

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Bour powers up again as Marlins outduel Cubs

Bour powers up again as Marlins outduel Cubs

CHICAGO -- Christian Yelich hit a solo homer and Justin Bour clubbed his fourth blast in his past four games to power the Marlins to a 2-1 victory Friday over the Cubs in front of 41,212 at Wrigley Field.

Bour's tie-breaking homer came with two outs in the sixth off starter Jason Hammel and landed in the basket rimming the right field bleachers at Wrigley Field. The Cubs' starter had retired 14 in a row before the home run.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. 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.

Yanks, A-Rod resolve statistical bonus matter

Four charities will receive total of $3.5 million

Yanks, A-Rod resolve statistical bonus matter

The Yankees and Alex Rodriguez have resolved the issue regarding bonuses under the provision of his contract related to historic statistical accomplishments.

The two parties agreed that $3.5 million will go to charities. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of Tampa and Pitch In For Baseball will receive donations totaling $1 million and the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Foundation will receive $2.5 million.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fernandez feels 'fantastic' day after debut

Marlins will work young ace back into regular routine after All-Star break

Fernandez feels 'fantastic' day after debut

CHICAGO -- At first, the Marlins are easing Jose Fernandez back into action. But the 22-year-old's workload will increase after the All-Star break.

The Miami ace made a dazzling return from Tommy John surgery, giving up three runs and striking out six in six innings in Thursday's 5-4 win at Marlins Park. Topping his storybook afternoon, Fernandez also belted a home run.

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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.

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.

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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Left oblique strain lands Beltran on DL

Yanks option Dugas, recall Flores, Petit from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Left oblique strain lands Beltran on DL

The Yankees placed outfielder Carlos Beltran on the 15-day disabled list on Friday with a left oblique strain.

The move is retroactive to Wednesday.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers DFA Joba, Gorzelanny in 'pen makeover

Detroit calls up Ferrell, VerHagen to fill newly opened relief spots

Tigers DFA Joba, Gorzelanny in 'pen makeover

DETROIT -- The Tigers had a bullpen shakeup on Friday, designating veteran setup men Joba Chamberlain and Tom Gorzelanny while promoting converted starters Jeff Ferrell and Drew VerHagen.

The Tigers' bullpen has struggled after a strong start. After a three-game sweep to the Pirates that included 11 runs on 24 hits over 16 1/3 innings against Detroit relievers, the team made the shuffle, going with younger arms into the midseason stretch.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seager claims top fantasy prospect spot

Seager claims top fantasy prospect spot

Every week, the MLBPipeline.com crew will rank the top 10 fantasy baseball prospects in the Minor Leagues. These rankings are based solely on expected 2015 fantasy production in the Major Leagues, in contrast to the MLBPipeline Top 100 Prospects list, which reflects long-term value in all phases of the game.

If you haven't seen all the talk about prospects being called up and rookies making major contributions in 2015, you're either not a baseball fan or you've been living under a rock.

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Cubs use Caray video for 7th-inning stretch

Late iconic broadcaster leads fans in 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame'

Cubs use Caray video for 7th-inning stretch

CHICAGO -- Harry Caray sang the seventh-inning stretch again at Wrigley Field on Friday.

The late Cubs broadcaster led the crowd of 41,212 in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" via a video on the new scoreboard at the 100-year-old ballpark.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Baseball's most explosive players

Baseball's most explosive players

Some people go to the ballpark to literally see fireworks, with weekend postgame extravaganzas often sparking up the promotional schedule. And yes, now that July is upon us, we're waiting on fireworks in the trade game, as discussed in this week's installment of "The Cycle."

But here on the eve of Independence Day, let's take a look at guys who generate on-field fireworks. I'm talking about physical freaks of nature whose eye-catching exploits are all the more appreciated now that we have Statcast™ data to demonstrate how rare they really are.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. 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 Guerrero Jr.

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

Blue Jays sign Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

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.

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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Morse to play another rehab game before return

Marlins considering other positions for slugger while Bour progresses at first

Morse to play another rehab game before return

CHICAGO -- The Marlins may have Michael Morse back in the lineup as early as this weekend, but the organization first wants the veteran first baseman to have at least one more rehab assignment game.

Morse, who was close to being reinstated, tweaked his back a few days ago. He is scheduled to play for Class A Advanced Jupiter on Friday, and then he will be re-evaluated.

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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.

Rose better after Mets' charter lands for him

LA-bound team plane stopped in Detroit after radio play-by-play man fell ill

LOS ANGELES -- The Mets' team charter made an emergency landing Thursday night in Detroit to allow WOR Mets radio play-by-play voice Howie Rose to see a doctor after feeling ill on board.

WOR made a statement on Friday that Rose was feeling better after the incident, but due to lengthy travel, doctors advised him to rejoin the Mets next week, when they return to New York.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. 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.

Two Cuban players defect while playing in US

Two Cuban players defect while playing in US

Two baseball players have defected from Cuba while in the U.S. for a series of games against U.S. collegiate players, according to The Associated Press.

Third baseman Luis Yander La O left the Cuban team in North Carolina, while outfielder Yadiel Hernandez also previously defected, according to the sports website Jit.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. 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.

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.

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

Jim Callis

Callis conducts hypothetical Draft

With randomly assigned team, our expert dishes on who he would take

Callis conducts hypothetical Draft

I've critiqued how teams have fared in the Draft for more than 25 years, so starting in 2003 I decided it was only fair to put my own modest amount of expertise on the record. Ever since, first at Baseball America and now at MLB.com, I've conducted an annual hypothetical 10-round Draft to see how well I could do.

So far, I have "signed" 32 big leaguers, including first-rounders Jason Heyward and Shelby Miller, fifth-rounder Chris Archer and ninth-rounder Kyle Gibson. My imaginary farm system features a pair of Top 100 Prospects in Kyle Freeland and Forrest Wall, and all of my hits and misses can be found here.

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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.