MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NEWS-FREE AGENTS-KERSHAW-ALL STAR BALLOTS

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Clayton Kershaw lasted only five innings in his return from the disabled list and will have an MRI on his back Friday.

Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo had a controversial slide into Pittsburgh catcher Elias Diaz on Monday that the league said should have been ruled interference on Rizzo. Then on Wednesday the benches cleared after Pirates starter Joe Musgrove slid into Javier Baez at second base.

At 36-21 the Milwaukee Brewers lead the NL in wins by four games. A big factor has been 24-year-old lefty Josh Hader who has somehow built on his excellent rookie season. In 33 innings, Hader has a 1.09 ERA. He’s completely dominated hitters, posting a 55.9 percent strikeout rate.

The Brewers have five first-round draft picks playing for their Class AA affiliate producing a wide range of results. Clint Coulter, taken with the 27th pick in the 2012 draft as a high school catcher out of the state of Washington, later converted to the outfield and no longer is considered a big-league prospect.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, singer Ciara, are investors in a group hoping to bring a Major League Baseball team to Portland.

Yoenis Céspedes isn’t even a year and a half into his four-year deal with the New York Mets and it’s possible his general manager Sandy Alderson already has some regrets.

MLB.com ballot is open for business online and on your mobile devices (fans can vote for All-Star starters up to 35 times, including a maximum of five ballots cast in any 24-hour period), there is plenty to consider among the candidates.

Big trade deadline decision awaits teams. Rays, Pirates among teams in ‘gray area’ with 2 months until trade deadline. 

The Boston Red Sox formally announced that Hanley Ramirez cleared waivers and has been released. He is now a free agent.

Recently released by the Dodgers left-hander Henry Owens agreed to a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Patrick Corbin Arizona Diamondbacks will be the big winner in free agency. He’s going to hit the prime market age at 29, which makes him reasonably young as free agent pitcher.

Manny Machado helped his market by returning to his original position of shortstop, proving capable of pinning down the premium spot. Machado is batting .324/.392/.612 with 31 extra-base hits in 56 games.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly announced that right-hander Kyle Barraclough will take over as the team’s closer.

 

 

 

 

 

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