The MLB trade deadline is less than one week away, as the action in the second half of the season continues to heat up.
The race to make moves before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is on, and teams looking to acquire a big bat or solidify their starting rotation for a playoff run are making calls around the league.
The Orioles have been the most active so far, trading All–Star shortstop Manny Machado to the Dodgers and sending closer Zach Britton to the Yankees for three pitching prospects.
Teams are placing a premium on starting pitching, knowing that a dominant rotation can lead to postseason success.
Here is the latest news and rumors from around the league:
• The Rays traded lefthanded pitcher Jonny Venters to the Braves in exchange for an international signing slot. (Tampa Bay Rays)
• The Rangers have reportedly traded pitcher Cole Hamels to the Cubs, pending a physical. Texas will receive minor leaguers in exchange for the southpaw and send "a significant amount of cash to cover Hamels' salary." (Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports)
• The Pirates are interested in acquiring Rangers closer Keone Kela. The Rangers conducted background work on four of Pittsburgh's prospects but are not considering them in current trade discussions. (Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic)
• There is a "real chance" that the Cubs could acquire Hamels from the Rangers, who are looking to downsize their payroll and pick up some prospects. (Joel Sherman, The New York Post) However, the Braves also remain in the mix for teams targeting Hamels. (Steve Phillips, MLB Network Radio)
• The Blue Jays traded pitcher J.A. Happ to the Yankees in exchange for infielder Brandon Drury and minor league outfielder Billy McKinney. (Toronto Blue Jays)
• The Cubs have made inroads in getting Hamels from the Rangers. (Joel Sherman, MLB Network)
• The Braves have talked with the Blue Jays about trading for starter Marcus Stroman. (Jon Morosi, MLB.com)
• The Brewers have acquired closer Joakim Soria from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for minor-league pitchers Wilber Perez and former first-round pick Kodi Medeiros. (Mark Feinsand, MLB.com)
• The Yankees have talked to the Twins about Ervin Santana and others. (Jon Heyman, FanCred Sports)
• The Angels are sending catcher Martin Maldonado to the Astros for lefthanded pitcher prospect Patrick Sandoval and about $250,000 in international bonus pool money. (Jeff Fletcher, Southern California News Group) (Joel Sherman, New York Post)
• The Blue Jays trade minor league first baseman Chad Spanberger, outfielder Forrest Wall, a player to be named later or cash considerations from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for pitcher Seunghwan Oh. (Team announcement)
• The Yankees might have interest in trading for Rangers starters Hamels. (TR Sullivan, MLB.com)
• Nationals GM Mike RIzzo said something "extreme" would have to happen for team to consider moving Bryce Harper. (Joel Sherman, New York Post)
• The Blue Jays are getting close to moving southpaw J.A. Happ. Sources say the Yankees are "heavy in the mix" for Happ, while the Brewers are also potentially "still in play" to acquire the pitcher. (Mark Feinsand, MLB.com)
• The Cubs are also in the mix for Happ and the Brewers are also trying to land a starter before the trade deadline. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)
• Zach Wheeler is drawing "heavy interest" on the trade market. (Andy Martino, SNY)
• The Phillies, Indians are among most serious suitors for Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones. (Jon Paul Morosi, MLB.com)