MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ROUND UP-TRADE RUMORS-BUMGARNER-PENCE-RAMIREZ

For contenders looking for bullpen help, Kelvin Herrera has it all: success, readiness for multiple roles and postseason experience. Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire

Manny Machado will be the most discussed trade target of the summer in the media, because of his superstar pedigree and because of his impending free agency. But the Kansas City Royals’ Kelvin Herrera could turn out to be the most-talked about among teams, with the highest volume of suitors. By Buster Olney, ESPN

It’s a cliche to say something “came out of left field,” but when you’re writing about baseball, you get to use that particular cliche. MLB’s league office sent out a press release Thursday that came out of that proverbial left field, and it raises some very fundamental questions about the game. By Bradford Doolittle, ESPN

Russell Martin is not a shortstop. He’s a catcher, and a darned good one. You could even say he is an absentee third baseman and second baseman, judging by the handful of games he’s appeared there over his career. But a shortstop? He played one whole big league inning at the position before Saturday’s 2-1 loss against the Phillies — and that came on May 15 (though he was more than willing to do it had Team Canada needed him). He never even had a chance to show off his fielding range that day. By 

Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner declared himself fit to return to the big leagues sooner than expected if needed following his first rehab start since pinkie surgery.

Bumgarner took an encouraging step in his recovery, throwing 47 pitches (31 strikes) for Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday. He mixed his fastball with a nasty curve over 3 2/3 hitless and scoreless innings, striking out eight of the 12 batters he faced from Albuquerque. Bumgarner walked one. By Michael Wagaman

The bell has tolled for Hanley Ramirez in Boston. On Friday, the team announced that it was designating the veteran first baseman for assignment to make room on the 25-man roster for the returning Dustin Pedroia. The move ends Ramirez’s uneven Red Sox tenure after three-plus seasons and with tens of millions still owed to him this year, and comes as a mild surprise for a team atop the AL East and owning baseball’s best record at 34–16. By JON TAYLER

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Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well. By Ashley Varela

Houston Astros right-hander Lance McCullers is saying “my bad” for his behavior during Saturday’s loss to the Cleveland Indians. In the second inning of the eventual 8-6 defeat, Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel committed an error that allowed a run to score. McCullers, who was on the mound for Houston, was visibly upset about the error and appeared to show Gurriel up with a vulgar reaction. By Larry Brown Sports

In the bottom of the first inning, Brett Gardner launched a homer on just the second pitch from Los Angeles Angels starter Jaime Barria. Three pitches later, Judge made it back-to-back homers on a bomb to center. But the blast did more than just turn a 1-0 Yankees deficit into a 2-1 lead. The home run was the 70th of Judge’s career, making him the fastest MLB player to reach the markper ESPN Stats & Info. By , USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Kershaw has been in the majors for 10 years as of Friday, and he has been more than just the best pitcher in baseball — he has had one of the best starts to a career of any pitcher we’ve ever seen. By 

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With just a few days remaining in May, we now have nearly two full months of data to work with. And some players can no longer be cleanly lumped into the categories of hot or cold starters to the season, as their performances in April and May differed greatly. This week’s 10-pack of trade tips focuses on players who were surprisingly good or bad this month and are likely to soon see their performance swing in another direction. By Fred Zinkie, Rotoworld

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The scene at Raley Field on Saturday afternoon was a bit of a surreal one. After every round of batting practice at the minor league park, Hunter Pence would step a few feet from the cage and chat with Madison Bumgarner. By NBC Sports Bay Area

 

Back in 2016, Terry Francona’s usage of Indians left-hander Andrew Miller was revolutionary, and the way he deployed his best relief pitcher, particularly during the postseason, has since had a profound impact on the way MLB teams have used their bullpens. The Andrew Miller Effect changed the game of baseball, and was a fascinating story to watch. By MLB Trade Rumors

 

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