Thursday July 14th, 2016

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Major League Baseball is nearing its trade deadline, as teams have until Aug. 1 to acquire players for the stretch run or trade away veterans to prepare for the future.

Plenty of big names and big organizations are expected to be involved in the coming weeks. The Chicago Cubs, who struggled heading into the All-Star break, could be on the market for some pitching, dangling their young prospects as bait. The Yankees, meanwhile, could be sellers as they fall behind in the AL East race.

Some of the more recognizable names on the trade block include Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Carlos Beltran, Jay Bruce and Jonathan Lucroy.

Stick to this page for the latest rumors from around the league.

Strike Zone podcast: Jay Jaffe on All-Star rosters, Matt Harvey

Thursday (all times Eastern)


• The Cubs may find bullpen help within their own organization instead of dealing at the deadline. Brian Matusz returned to Chicago’s Triple A team Wednesday after a rehab stint in Double A, and could be an option for the big-league club if he pitches well. Matusz held lefties to a .186 average last season. Former All-Star closer Joe Nathan is also on Chicago’s Triple A team, and is eligible to come off the 60-day DL this weekend. Nathan is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery. (Chris Kuc, Chicago Tribune)

• Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp has turned into a valuable asset for the team. Rupp, 27, hit .287 in the first half, and is under team control through 2020. The catcher would probably net the best return out of anyone Philadelphia could trade at the deadline. Teams with potential interest include the Indians and White Sox. (Corey Seidman, CSN Philly)

• Despite injuries elsewhere on the roster, the Mets’ No. 1 priority at the trade deadline will be to acquire another relief pitcher. Relievers on New York’s radar include the Padres’ Ryan Buchter and Brad Hand, the A’s John Axford and the Braves’ Chris Withrow. As for their starting rotation, the Mets will try to fill-in Matt Harvey’s spot as necessary until Zack Wheeler returns from surgery rehab. (Mike Puma, New York Post)

• Nearly 10 teams have inquired about Padres starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz. The Padres are willing to deal the lefty, but want a substantial return for one of the few quality pitchers on the market. The Rangers are among the teams seriously interested in Pomeranz. (Dennis Lin, San Diego Union-Tribune)

• Cleveland has emerged as a “sleeper team” who could deal for a top reliever at the deadline. The Indians have enticing prospects, and the Yankees—with Miller and Chapman—are looming as a logical trade partner. Cleveland entered the All-Star break in first in the AL Central. (Buster Olney, ESPN)

• The Phillies released right-handed reliever Edward Mujica at his request, the team announced Thursday. Mujica, 32, has pitched exclusively at Triple A so far this season, where he was an All-Star. In a career spanning 10 seasons with six MLB teams, Mujica has a 3.85 ERA and 50 saves.

• The Blue Jays are interested in signing a Yoenis Cespedes-type deal with slugger Jose Bautista, who is in the last year of his contract. Cespedes signed a three-year, $75 million deal with the Mets before this season. Bautista wants a contract closer to five years and $150 million. Both Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion will be free agents this winter, so it could be an expensive off-season for Toronto. (Jon Heyman, Today’s Knuckleball)

• The Rangers and second baseman Rougned Odor have put their contract talks on hold. Odor, 22, is under team control through 2020. He is currently set to hit free agency at age 27. The Rangers offered Odor a five-year deal worth roughly $35 million, but added two club option years at the end of the contract. Odor has 16 home runs so far this season. (Jon Heyman, Today’s Knuckleball)

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