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MLB rumors roundup for July 27

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Any questions about the health or effectiveness of Cole Hamels were erased Saturday when the Phillies’ left-hander no-hit the Chicago Cubs.

If it was Hamels' last game for the Phillies, where will he land next? The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers have emerged as the likely favorites to land Hamels while the Phillies also continue to discuss the three-time All-Star with at least four other teams -- the Cubs, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox, reports ESPN’s Jayson Stark.

Stark says the “Rangers and Dodgers view Hamels as an attractive alternative to this winter's deep class of free-agent aces, because he is under contract for three more years after this season and has a team or vesting option for a fourth season.”

The Phillies have put up a steep price for Hamels, and it remains to be seen how that might change as Friday’s deadline approaches. The trade of Johnny Cueto to Kansas City for three prospects can be viewed as good news for the Phillies because it did not remove any big-market teams from the Hamels sweepstakes, writes Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Here are other rumors making the rounds with the deadline fast approaching:

  • Tyler Clippard: There are strong indications that Clippard could be the next pending free agent to be moved by the Oakland Athletics, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Nationals, Mets and Yankees were listed as possibilities for the veteran reliever.

  • Ben Zobrist: It seems that every contending team is interested in the versatile Zobrist, and Slusser expects a deal to be completed this week. The Mets were believed to be in the mix, but likely filled that need with Friday’s deal for Kelly Johnson.

  • Yasiel Puig: The Dodgers would like to add another starter to their injury plagued staff, but there are conflicting stories as to whether any deal might include the enigmatic outfielder. There were a few reports Saturday morning claiming that Puig had been assured by Dodgers brass that he won't be traded, but Puig later told the Los Angeles Times that he has been given no such assurances.

  • David Price: Bo McKinnis, the agent for Price, was not optimistic that his client will still be with the Tigers after the deadline. McKinnis told MLB Radio that he expects GM Dave Dombrowski to wait until Thursday or Friday before making up his mind on any deal.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates: It has been rumored for weeks that the Bucs are looking for a first grade upgrade over Pedro Alvarez, who is hitting just .232/.301/.430 while having all sorts of problems defensively. With that in mind, the Pirates have checked in with the Red Sox on Mike Napoli as well as outfielder Shane Victorino, reports Bill West of the Tribune Review. Napoli has $6.2 million remaining on his contract for this season and Victorino approximately $4.9 million, so the Red Sox would likely have to absorb a good chunk of the remaining salary. Alvarez did homer in back-to-back games against the Nationals on Thursday and Friday before striking out three times on Sunday.

  • Los Angeles Angels: The Halos have starting pitching depth and are talking to teams about trading from their surplus to find a left fielder to hit in the middle of the lineup, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Opposing executives tell Sherman the starters more likely to be traded are Matt Shoemaker and C.J. Wilson.

  • Chase Utley: The Phillies’ second baseman could be an option for the Angels when he comes off the disabled list, says Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Given Utley’s salary, he could be a viable option for an August waiver deal since few teams would put in claims to block a deal.

  • Martin Prado: After completing a deal for Cueto, the Royals are interested in the Marlins’ infielder, but Miami would have to eat some of the remaining salary to complete a deal, tweets Jon Morosi. Prado could be an option at second base, where Omar Infante is hitting just .230/.243/.307.

  • Justin Upton: The Padres are “open to doing just about anything,” and trading pending free agent Upton is their biggest priority since he would bring the biggest trade return of any position player, reports ESPN Insider Jim Bowden. Bowden lists the Mets, Angels, Astros and Cubs as possibilities.