Brian Matusz is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Iowa to start for the Cubs on Sunday.
The Cubs have talked about wanting to slot in a sixth starter soon in order to give their starting five a bit of a breather and they have still yet to announce a starter for Sunday's series finale against the White Sox. Matusz, who was signed to a minor league deal in June, has posted a 1.93 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 11/3 K/BB ratio over 9 1/3 innings in two starts at Triple-A Iowa.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Athletics continue to receive calls on Rich Hill despite his blister issues.
Starting pitching is proving to be very hard to come by on the trade market, and despite his blister issue, Hill still looks to be a very attractive commodity. The veteran southpaw owns a 2.25 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 90/28 K/BB ratio over 76 innings on the season.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Mets offered the Brewers a package of three players, including Travis d'Arnaud and perhaps Brandon Nimmo, for Jonathan Lucroy.
It's unclear if the Brewers have any interest in that deal or if the two clubs continue to negotiate. There remains a strong likelihood that Lucroy will be wearing a new uniform in August, and the Mets have been his most ardent suitor thus far.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that while the Reds have received calls on Dan Straily, they appear likely to keep the right-hander rather than move him at the trade deadline.
Straily has pitched very well recently, going 2-1 with a 2.40 ERA in his last five starts. While it may be beneficial to sell him while his value is high, the Reds may believe that he has turned a corner and will be a valuable contributor in the future.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Mets have interest in acquiring Steve Pearce, though the cost to acquire him is higher than they're willing to pay at this time.
The hard-hitting right-hander would provide a nice boost in the middle of the Mets lineup and his versatility would certainly help as well. Pearce, who is set to hit free agency after the season, is hitting .313/.390/.527 with 10 homers and 29 RBI in 59 games this season.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals are focused on acquiring closer Mark Melancon from the Pirates.
There are multiple teams chasing after the Pirates stopper, and he would be an instant upgrade to the struggling Jonathan Papelbon in the Nationals bullpen. Melancon owns a stellar 1.51 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 38/9 K/BB ratio across 41 2/3 innings while converting 30 saves.
Daniel Murphy (hamstring) is not in the Nationals starting lineup on Saturday.
In what would have been a juicy matchup against Giants right-hander Jake Peavy, Murphy will get an extra day to rest his hamstring that tightened up on Friday. Trea Turner will start at second base and bat leadoff for the Nationals on Saturday.
Nationals recalled RHP Reynaldo Lopez from Triple-A Syracuse.
Lopez flashed his potential during his first start by registering nine strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings of work, but he was also torched for six runs on 10 hits in a losing effort. He could be worth the gamble as a tournament flier in daily leagues due to his high-strikeout upside.