MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NEWS OF THE DAY

PHOTO: MLB.com

Baltimore’s “barreling ahead” with its Britton trade talks, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets. Along with the teams mentioned below (the Astros, Cubs, Yankees, Phillies and Red Sox), the Giants are among the clubs in the mix for Britton, according to Crasnick. To this point, the AstrosCubsYankeesPhillies and Red Sox have all been connected to Britton in fairly prominent fashion. Surely, as is the case every summer, though, the top relievers on the market will draw at least some level of inquiry from the majority of contenders.

MLB Trade Rumors: Cole HamelsTexas Rangers starting pitcher and former Philadelphia Phillie, apparently would like to return to Philadelphia, telling Philly writer Scott Lauber that a trade to the Phillies would be “a blessing.” Hamels also calls being with the Phillies on August 5, 2018, when the 2008 championship Phillies team is honored, “the perfect scenario.”

Hamels is widely believed to be on the trade block, and is one of the better starting pitchers seen as likely to move. Complicating the Rangers’ efforts to get a good return, however, is that Hamels is making over $20 million in 2018, has a $20 million team option with a $6 million buyout for 2019, and has a 20 team no trade clause that limits where he can go. Some of the teams that would seem to be most interested in Hamels, such as the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, and the Milwaukee Brewers, are on that list, and thus Hamels can veto a deal there. He cannot, however, veto a trade to the Phillies.

With the MLB Trade Deadline less than two weeks away, the Miami Marlins will have plenty of offers for the first-time All-Star. J.T. Realmuto wanted out of South Florida back in January, but has cooled on the notion, and has become one of the unquestioned leaders in the clubhouse and on the field.

Trading Realmuto would mean the Miami Marlins are giving up one of their core pieces to build around. It also means any team willing to make such a deal will relinquish a king’s ransom in return for arguably the best catcher in the National League.

“The Nationals could be willing to “revisit” talks with the Marlins about J.T. Realmuto, according to Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman,” writes Mark Polishuk of mlbtraderumors.com.

Did the Kansas City Royals do the right thing by holding off on trading away their ‘pieces’ last season? Perhaps, we will never know and quite frankly, regardless of the side you take in that argument, you would be correct. However, Mike Moustakas returned, and now all signs point to him being traded. The question is to where and what can they get in return.

Some of the questions and issues that limited Moustakas as a free agent are still present. While he hits a good amount of home runs, he doesn’t get on base at a good clip (.306) for the season and currently isn’t hitting very well either (.249 batting average). However, he can hit home runs and likely won’t be awed by the lights of postseason baseball.

The Seattle Mariners announced that they’ve agreed to a multiyear contract extension with manager Scott Servais. The length of the deal isn’t yet known.

“Scott has created a culture here in Seattle that allows players to be successful,”general manager Jerry Dipoto said of Servais. “They are encouraged to be themselves, which has resulted in a loose environment, while still maintaining the focus on team above self. His leadership has also been evident through the ongoing growth and impact of one of the best coaching staffs in Major League Baseball. He has been the right leader at the right time for the right team and I look forward to many more years together.”

The extension for Servais comes two weeks after the Mariners locked up Dipoto, who, like Seattle’s manager, had been in the final year of his contract. The Dipoto-Servais duo has been together since 2015, and the Mariners have posted a solid 222-199 record with them at the helm.

While the Mariners have also extended their major league-worst playoff drought to 16 years under their current leadership, the team may finally break that ignominious streak this season. The M’s will begin the second half of the campaign on Friday with a 58-39 record, which gives them a three-game edge over the American League West rival Athletics for the AL’s last wild-card spot. (Photo by USA Today Sports)

Given how difficult it is to quantify the performance of a manager, it’s debatable whether Servais – an ex-major league catcher – has had a significant impact on the Mariners. Thanks in some part to Servais, though, the Mariners have exceeded preseason expectations in 2018 and have done so without one of their best players, second baseman Robinson Cano, who’s simultaneously recovering from a fractured right hand and serving an 80-game suspension. Cano has appeared in just 39 games this year, making Seattle’s success all the more impressive.

With Cano slated to return in mid-August, Servais & Co. will work in the meantime to stay in playoff position. The club entered the All-Star break in an awful skid, as it followed an eight-game winning streak by losing eight of 11. But regardless of whether Seattle recovers and finally returns to the postseason this year, it appears Servais will be atop its dugout for the foreseeable future.

With the Tigers gearing up to sell prior to the July 31 non-waiver deadline, most of their efforts are on trying to move pitchers Mike Fiers and Francisco Liriano and center fielder Leonys Martin, per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. While two of the team’s best players – right-hander Michael Fulmer and right fielder Nicholas Castellanos – have come up in trade rumors, Detroit’s not actively shopping the pair and it would take a lot to acquire either, Crasnick adds. That jibes with reports from last weekend. By  

 

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