Morning Jolt: Teams lining up for Astros star?

Thursday, July 21
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Pence suitors lining up?

This can be a dizzying time of the baseball year, and a Wednesday tweet mentioned the Astros' willingness to move Hunter Pence, possibly to the Braves. With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looming, this is the season for rumors and speculation. Astros general manager Ed Wade has made it clear he'd be willing to entertain trade discussions with anybody and everybody. With teams such as Philadelphia and Atlanta coveting a righthanded-hitting outfielder and Boston, San Francisco, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Detroit seeking outfield upgrades in general, [Pence] is becoming an increasingly popular topic of conversation. (The Houston Chronicle) Comment

Niners-Raiders moving in together?

Is the end of labor strife the start of something big in Santa Clara? It is hardly big news that the 49ers and Raiders are talking about joining forces for a stadium project. Those discussions began on a tentative basis a few years ago. It is big news, however, if the Raiders are finally becoming serious about working with the 49ers to get a deal done. And it is especially big news if, as I suspect, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is quietly but firmly shoving the teams toward each other in the same way a mutual friend will shove an awkward teenage couple together at a school dance. Indications are that such a tango is under way. Jed York, the 49ers owner, has long been open to the notion of co-occupying the team's proposed Santa Clara stadium with the Raiders. (San Jose Mercury News) Comment

Mets would trade Beltran within division

The Carlos Beltran Watch may unfold in real time, but, as of Thursday morning, he remains a member of the Mets. All he did on Wednesday was hit a game-tying home run in the fifth to help set up Angel Pagan's walk-off homer. The Phillies, Giants, Brewers, Pirates, Rangers and Braves also have been among teams reported as potential suitors for Beltran, a pending free agent and one of the few proven power bats on the market. A team source indicated Wednesday that the Mets would not be opposed to deal Beltran within the NL East to rivals Philadelphia or Atlanta if those offers were deemed the best returning package. The official added that the Mets aren't necessarily looking to acquire a specific position in potential deals for Beltran or other players, just the best prospect or combination thereof. (New York Daily News) Comment

Must-See Photo
Must-See Photo

Angels rookie pitchers Bobby Cassevah (left) and Jordan Walden (center) head for the showers with their backpacks after the Angels' 9-8 win over the Rangers Wednesday night.

Must-See Video

Jimmer has still got it.

Game To Watch

C.C. Sabathia goes for a major league-leading 15th win as the Yankees take on the Rays, 7:10 p.m. ET.

This Day in Sports
SI Vault: More Wayne Gretzky
  • 1996 -- Wayne Gretzky signs a two-year-deal with the New York Rangers.
  • 1989 -- Mike Tyson KOs Carl Williams in 1:33 to retain the IBF/WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles.
  • 1973 -- Hank Aaron hits Ken Brett's fastball for his 700th career home run.
  • 1959 -- Elijah 'Pumpsie' Green pinch runs and plays shortstop to become the first black player to hit the field for the Red Sox.
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