- Doug Mittler, ESPN Insider
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The pitchers and reserves for next week’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati were released Monday, and they include one reliever who tops our rumors roundup.
Let’s take a look at some of the players who might have a new home soon after the Mid-Summer Classic:
Jonathan Papelbon: The Phillies’ reliever has a limited no-trade clause, but claims that it is not an issue as long as he is traded to a contender that will use him as a closer. That, of course, could limit his options. Papelbon, named to the NL All-Star team Monday, said he would be “surprised” if he is not pitching for a contender later this summer.
Shin-Soo Choo: The Rangers have a surplus of left-handed hitters that includes Choo, Prince Fielder, Josh Hamilton, Mitch Moreland and Rougned Odor along with top prospect Joey Gallo. Ken Rosenthal hears the Rangers could balance things out with a “creative” deal involving Choo, but it would need to wait until after the offseason. The 33-year-old Choo is owed $102 million over the next five seasons.
Aramis Ramirez: The offensively-challenged New York Mets have been mentioned as possible suitors for the Brewers’ third baseman who will retire after the season. Those rumors could heat up again now that the 37-year-old Ramirez, who was barely hitting over .200 as of early June, is stroking at a .360 clip with three homers and 15 RBI in his last 15 games. Any deal would likely involve a club eating most of the prorated portion of the $14 million that Ramirez will earn in 2015.
Neal Cotts: According to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, Twins GM Terry Ryan has checked in with Brewers counterpart Doug Melvin. The trade bait could include Cotts, a left-handed reliever who has a 0.92 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in his last 18 outings for the Brewers.
Hunter Pence: The Giants’ right fielder has missed the last 29 games with wrist tendinitis and was not expected to return until after the All-Star break. Pence, however, has had productive batting practice sessions on Sunday and Monday and could be back sooner than expected.
Brandon Beachy: After Carlos Frias landed on the disabled list, the Dodgers will have to find a way to replace him for at least one more start before the All-Star break. One option is Beachy, the former Braves right-hander who is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery. Beachy has a 2.41 ERA in five rehab appearances, including six innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday night. The Dodgers had reliever Yimi Garcia make his first big league start Monday against the Phillies.