MLB Rumors: Tons of teams after Jon Lester

July 30, 2014 – 2:53 am by Ryan Phillips
    Jon Lester

As baseball’s 2014 trade deadline approaches it is looking more and more like the Boston Red Sox will move Jon Lester out of town. Reports late Tuesday night confirm that at least four teams are after the 30-year-old three-time All-Star.

The Oakland A’s, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates are all apparently in on the big lefty and the Red Sox are listening to offers and trying to make a deal happen. So far this season Lester has made 21 starts and is 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. He also boasts 149 strikeouts against just 32 walks in 143 innings.

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La Russa opens Hall of Fame Pandora’s Box

July 29, 2014 – 1:24 am by Hickey

la russa

In all their cleverness, the Baseball Writers Association of America attempted an end run around the steroid era last week when it announced the timeframe of eligibility on the Hall of Fame ballot would be shortened from 15 years to 10. But in its infinite stupidity, the BBWAA actually left the flank to its moral high ground exposed by inducting manager Tony La Russa into the Hall on the very same weekend.

If not for the success created by the juiced-up monsters anchoring his lineup in Oakland, La Russa would not have earned the credentials needed for Hall of Fame induction. And you cannot pretend the exploits of Mark McGwire are somehow invalid when it comes to McGwire’s own candidacy, but can count when it comes to La Russa reaching Cooperstown. It becomes intellectually dishonest to argue otherwise, which is frankly no worse than the dishonesty shown by steroid users and those who enabled them in the 1980s-2000s.

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MLB Rumors: Starting pitching market is bare

July 28, 2014 – 2:45 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Jon Lester

Several contenders are looking for starting pitching as Major League Baseball’s trade deadline approaches, but according to sources we’ve talked to and reports around the web, they’re not finding it. Teams that appeared willing to deal certain players two months ago are now more inclined to hold on to their top-end starters and it’s driving up the price on lower-tier guys. As a result, there is a chance we don’t see much dealing before Thursday’s deadline.

A few weeks ago it looked like the Philadelphia Phillies were in full-on sell mode. They had put both Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee on the market and were also willing to dump Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in an effort to get younger. But while Lee (along with his elbow issues and massive contract) can certainly be had, Hamels has reportedly been pulled off the market*. Rollins, Utley and Howard can probably all be had but each carries a significant contract and the Phillies would want prospects in return.

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Report: Dodgers have talked to five teams about Matt Kemp

July 25, 2014 – 4:30 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Matt Kemp

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of a pennant chase and that is obviously the franchise’s top priority. But ranking just below the team’s quest for a World Series title is somehow solving its logjam in the outfield. To that end, the Dodgers are trying feverishly to trade Matt Kemp and his massive contract.

According to Jon Heyman, five teams have shown interest in Kemp or have at least talked to the Dodgers about him. The problem for Los Angeles is that the team will have to eat a significant portion of the $107 million left on his contract to facilitate a trade.

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Video: All nine Padres score in one inning against Cubs

July 25, 2014 – 12:16 am by Ryan Phillips
    Yasmani Grandal

The San Diego Padres and their usually inept offense managed to do something truly remarkable Thursday night during a 13-3 win over the Chicago Cubs. The Friars scored nine runs in the top of the sixth inning. What’s more, every Padre in the lineup scored a run in that inning.

The sixth inning was crazy, as the Padres sent 15 men to the plate in what was their biggest inning since they also scored nine runs on July 20, 2011 against the then-Florida Marlins. The 15 plate appearances were a first for the team since San Diego sent 15 to the plate against the Houston Astros on July 28, 2007.

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Report: Phillies considering releasing Ryan Howard

July 24, 2014 – 2:10 am by Ryan Phillips
    Ryan Howard

A few years ago Ryan Howard was one of the most feared hitters in baseball, and now he’s on the verge of being out of the game altogether. On Wednesday a report surfaced claiming that the Philadelphia Phillies are considering paying the rest of Howard’s contract and releasing him after the season.

Howard is owed $25 million this season and a total of $60 million over the next two seasons, but he has been so bad over the past few years that he’s basically wasting a roster spot. Howard is a three-time All-Star, won the National League Rookie of the Year in 2005 and was the 2006 National League MVP. But since 2011 he has dealt with serious injury problems and has been awful when healthy.

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Jack White is the literal face of Cubs baseball

July 22, 2014 – 11:23 pm by Hickey

jack white cubs

 

The Chicago Cubs added an official mascot, Clark the Cub, this offseason. But we’re pretty sure no one has more accurately summed up the Cub fan experience than rocker Jack White, who took in Tuesday night’s game at Wrigley Field the night before his own show in the Windy City.

I believe the dictionary definition for this particular look is “bemused.” And I’m fairly certain it has appeared on my own face at some point during the majority of Cub games I have attended or watched in my lifetime.

As it turned out, the Cubs actually produced a reason to smile later on, beating the Padres 6-0 behind two home runs from former Padre prospect Anthony Rizzo to snap a five-game losing streak. But it won’t be long before we pull out our “Jack White face” again.

(h/t Nick Pants)

MLB Rumors: Phillies telling teams Cole Hamels isn’t available

July 22, 2014 – 1:04 am by Ryan Phillips
    Cole Hamels

The Philadelphia Phillies are a team that is most definitely a “seller” as the 2014 MLB trade deadline approaches. After Monday night’s 7-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants, the Phillies are 43-56 and sit 12 games out of first place in the National League East. Despite that, Philadelphia is apparently going to hold on to what may be its most valuable trade chip.

The Phillies are reportedly telling teams that they won’t be trading Cole Hamels. The 30-year-old three-time All-Star isn’t having a great year, but left-handed starting pitchers are always in demand. Especially those who have won NLCS and World Series MVPs.

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