- Mike Oz at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
Welcome to The Stew's annual trade deadline deal tracker, which is already off to a blockbuster start thanks to Billy Beane. Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes are headed from the Boston Red Sox to the Oakland A's in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes. Beane and the A's are clearly all in with that pitching rotation, but they paid a big price in giving up Cespedes' bat for the stretch run. Read more about the trade from Jeff Passan and Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.
How will the other contenders respond as we approach the 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline? There are a few other big names said to be available, the question is whether a contender can swing a deal to acquire David Price, John Lackey, Alex Rios, Matt Kemp or any of the others who have been gossiped about the past few weeks. We'll find out soon.
The ticker below gathers all the latest info from the industry's top reporters (newest news is at the bottom). Want some human interaction? The Stew crew will be here to chat at 2 p.m. ET.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
- - - - - - -
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
Your browser does not support iframes.
Jordy Mercer of the Pittsburgh Pirates launched a fourth-inning homer Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants, and the home-run ball played a mean game of fan abuse.
If you watch the video above, the whole thing happens so quickly that you'll probably just find yourself wondering — like our friend @GGGiants — why left fielder Michael Morse was jumping. His arms aren't that long.
To get the full story of this Giants fan abuse, we need to examine this Vine version of the play made by Marc Normandin of SB Nation:
The ball strikes the fan in the chin, which surely couldn't have felt good. Oh well, at least she still has her beer to drown her sorrows ... wait! The ball took out the beer too?! Yep, it ricocheted right into the cup and destroyed it.
Somebody obviously didn't love that baseball enough as a kid. That's no way to treat a person.Thu, Jul 316:40 PM PDTPittsburgh at ArizonaPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
By all accounts, Eric Chavez is a great guy. He was also a great ballplayer before injuries derailed his career, causing him to play just 212 games between 2007 and 2011.
Chavez, 36, announced his retirement Wednesday after 17 seasons in the big leagues, and he did so with one final classy gesture. He left $1 million on the table, which the Arizona Diamondbacks would have owed him had he just sat on the disabled list the rest of the season.
He played 44 games for the D-backs in 2014 until a knee injury sidelined him. Chavez was due the rest of the $3.5 million contract he signed in the offseason, but he told CBS Sports' Jon Heyman that his conscience wouldn't let him take the money and not play.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
The Boston Red Sox have traded another pitcher — just not the one every baseball fan is waiting to hear about.
The Red Sox sent Felix Doubront to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday for a player to be named later, ending Doubront's unhappy stint in the Boston bullpen. FOX Sports' Jon Morosi first reported a deal was close. Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan reported it was done.
Source: Red Sox have traded Felix Doubront to the Cubs. @jonmorosi had it close.
As @alexspeier said, Doubront goes to the Cubs for a PTBNL that will BN after the Rule 5 draft.
Doubront — 2-4 with a 6.07 ERA — was increasingly unhappy about his role in Boston to the point of speaking out publicly last weekend, telling MassLive.com:
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
We're inching close to MLB's non-waiver trade deadline. Teams have until 4 p.m. ET Thursday to get their deals done, or take their chances with waiver trades.
A number of teams could use help at the trade deadline. And a number of teams are in the mix for some of the biggest names on the market — the Los Angeles Dodgers, for instance, seem linked to almost anyone who is available.
But do the Dodgers really need to make a deal? Probably not. They could stand pat and still make the playoffs. The St. Louis Cardinals didn't need to make a deal to make the playoffs. They're a team with talent that just needs to play better. Though, getting Justin Masterson from the Cleveland Indians is going to help that mission.
Other teams aren't in such a desirable place. Other teams have playoff hopes that may just hinge on whether they do something meaningful. Other teams need to act before Thursday's deadline.
Here are five teams The Stew believes need to get down to business:Thu, Jul 317:10 PM PDTAtlanta at LA DodgersPreview Game
The Stew's Trade Talk Tracker follows the juiciest rumors in MLB until Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline. We'll give you the day's most important links about who may (or may not) be changing teams soon.
LEADING OFF: Tuesday was quite quiet as far as trades go, meaning a trade-deadline flurry could be coming Wednesday and Thursday. Brace yourself.
PRICE WATCH: The Rays are still "talking and willing" to trade David Price, but it's going to need to be a courageous front-office move. [CBS Sports]
AND HE'LL START: Rays expect to start Price as scheduled Wednesday. [@jonmorosi]
ICYMI: Pirates are the "dark horse" team in the Jon Lester sweepstakes. [Yahoo Sports]
If you don't watch "The Bachelorette" — and why would you when there's baseball on your TV? — then this might come as a surprise: The last two guys to "win" the popular find-a-soulmate competition show were former Minor League Baseball players.
Life after baseball doesn't just include coaching, broadcasting and telling stories about the good ol' days. Apparently going on a reality show and trying to get hitched is a viable option too.
Josh Murray was chosen on Monday night's finale by Bachelorette Andi Dorfman, ending their made-for-TV courtship with a marriage proposal. Josh Murray is the brother of Aaron Murray, the University of George quarterback and Kansas City Chiefs rookie, and a former six-year minor leaguer who was drafted in the second round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002.
Josh Murray never made it past Single-A and hit just .213 in his MILB career, but Murray made it further in baseball than many do. He eventually went back to play college football with his brother at Georgia.
In the movie "Little Big League," a 12-year-old named Billy Heywood inherits the Minnesota Twins when his grandfather dies. He eventually hires himself as manager.
The film turned 20 years old earlier this month and while the Twins could have beckoned Luke Edwards, the actor who portrayed Heywood, back to Minnesota to throw out a first pitch and shake some hands, the team actually did something else to commemorate the anniversary of the film — something with a bit more heart. They gave another youngster the chance to "manage" the Twins.
Ryan Lueschen, a 14-year-old Twins fan, was born with a rare heart condition that required him to have four heart surgeries before he was in kindergarten. Because of a recent complication, he was in the hospital again, having surgery to install a pacemaker.Thu, Jul 315:10 PM PDTMinnesota at Kansas CityPreview Game
Let's put this on the record: Late-night TV talk shows would be much better if MLB pitchers showed up every night to hit hosts in the face with baseballs. It would be a reason, certainly, to put Jay Leno back on the air.
As of right now, only Jimmy Kimmel, host of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," is on board with this. He had Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on Monday night. Kimmel asked Kershaw to knock an apple off his head with a ball.
That's putting a lot of trust in Kershaw's command, which is plenty great, mind you. That's still just a daunting situation, whether it's Clayton Kershaw or Clayton Bigsby tossing the ball.
Kershaw, looking stiff in a fancy TV suit, didn't bring his best stuff. But he still managed to knock the apple off Kimmel's head — after hitting him in the face (!!) with the baseball.
Let's watch it again in GIF form (and over and over again, if you like):
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 days ago
Your browser does not support iframes.
By the most important measure, Yu Darvish had a good game Monday night. His Texas Rangers beat the New York Yankees. Darvish himself earned a win, pitching seven innings and striking out eight in Texas' 4-2 victory.
But here's where Darvish failed: He still couldn't figure out Brett Gardner, the Yankees center fielder and leadoff man. Gardner hit two homersoff Darvish, going 3-for-5 in the game.
That improved Gardner's career mark against Darvish to 5-for-11. Four of his hits? Homers. That makes him one of three players to have four career homers against Darvish (Brandon Moss and Mike Trout are the other two).
Your browser does not support iframes.
Those two homers and the .455 career batting average were enough for Darvish to unload one of the best quotes of the year. Per ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews: