After fortifying their bullpen with deals for Huston Street, Jason Grilli and Joe Thatcher, the Los Angeles Angels are not done in their quest for pitching.

Burnett a fit in Pittsburgh? 

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
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The idea of Phillies pitcher A.J. Burnett returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates is looking more and more plausible.

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UPDATE:The New York Yankees have acquired Headley in a trade with the San Diego Padres, a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand.

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The San Diego Padres already have traded away closer Huston Street. Could their third baseman be the next to go?

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Would A's deal Tommy Milone? 

July, 22, 2014
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Tommy Milone, demoted to the minors earlier this month following the acquisition of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel has asked the Oakland Athletics to trade him, reports Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

Rosenthal adds “the Athletics have received trade inquiries on Milone, but the team is not eager to move him, knowing he might be needed due to injury or ineffectiveness.”

The A’s have no incentive to accommodate Milone, who is better than many starters currently in the majors. The southpaw owns a career 3.84 ERA in 468 2/3 innings, and had gone 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA in 11 starts prior to his demotion.

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Available pinch-hitters 

July, 22, 2014
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In an era of increased specialization, one of baseball's unique jobs is not faring well in general. While offense is down throughout the game, pinch hitters are struggling at an even higher rate in 2014.

Entering Tuesday, pinch hitters were hitting a mere .211 this season, a full 41 points below baseball's batting average for all hitters, and last year pinch hitters batted just .217.

That is something to keep in mind as July 31 approaches. All teams looking to add a backup position player hope the new player can provide value as a pinch hitter. Here are some veterans who might be available with their pinch-hitting prowess in mind:
  • Travis Snider, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates: The promotion of Gregory Polanco has cut into Snider's at-bats, and Snider could be a bargaining chip as the Pirates look to add another reliever. Snider is tied for the major league lead with 11 pinch hits, including a run-scoring double against the Rockies last Friday that snapped an eighth-inning tie.
  • Ryan Doumit, OF/C, Atlanta Braves: Evan Gattis returned from the disabled list Monday, moving Doumit further down the depth chart in Atlanta. Doumit has a .248 BA and four home runs in 149 career pinch-hit at-bats.
  • Bobby Abreu, OF, New York Mets: Even if the Mets are not major sellers at the deadline, they could look to deal the 40-year outfielder. But a word of caution: Abreu may be hitting .259 overall, but he's just 2-for-27 (.074) as a pinch hitter, his primary role for any contender.

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Cliff Lee staying in Philly? 

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
8:43
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It is an old baseball adage that you never read too much into any particular game. But when it comes to assessing the trade value of Cliff Lee, there may be no other choice.

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Twins ready to sell? 

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
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Minnesota general manager Terry Ryan dropped a strong hint Monday that the Twins will soon be trade deadline sellers.

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Alex Rios a fit in KC? 

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
7:17
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The Kansas City Royals, who scored a grand total of two runs in three losses to the Red Sox last weekend, are interested in dealing for Rangers outfielder Alex Rios.

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The centerpiece of the July 31 trade deadline sweepstakes remains David Price, who not only is enhancing his market value but also is putting the Tampa Bay Rays back in the postseason picture.

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Are the Marlins ready to sell? 

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
12:47
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Could the Miami Marlins soon be joining the relatively small list of trade deadline sellers?

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The market for Phillies pitcher A.J. Burnett may be picking up steam.

Over the weekend, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reported the Phillies and Orioles "have had very preliminary talks on a trade" that would send Burnett to Baltimore.

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Any takers for Jim Johnson? 

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
9:21
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Call it addition by subtraction if you want, but the Oakland Athletics are looking to find a new home for reliever Jim Johnson.

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Benoit the next Padre to go? 

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
8:45
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The San Diego Padres already have traded away their closer, and are talking to teams about their top set-up man.

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The market for Cliff Lee 

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
8:10
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In what amounts to an audition, Cliff Lee returns to the Philadelphia Phillies rotation Monday night against the Giants, his first outing since landing on the disabled list in late May with a strained flexor-pronator tendon in his elbow.

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The Boston Red Sox remain in last place in the American League East, but the idea of another round of October baseball at Fenway Park no longer seems farfetched. The Sox have won seven of their last games after a weekend sweep of the Royals and are 7 games off the pace in a relatively mediocre division.

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