Andy McCullough reports that the Royals have inquired on John Lackey.
It backs up a previous report from Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. McCullough adds that the Red Sox are "said to be seeking a sizable return." It's not a surprise, given that Lackey has a $500,000 club option on Lackey for 2015 that's as a result of his 2012 Tommy John surgery. The rigthy boasts a 3.60 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 116/32 K/BB ratio over 137 1/3 innings this season.
MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports that the Rangers are considering signing Neal Cotts to a contract extension.
They're fielding trade offers for Cotts, but Sullivan says extending the left-hander "could be preferable to the Rangers." Cotts has been fantastic since the beginning of last season, posting a 2.03 ERA and 115/36 K/BB ratio over 102 relief innings. "That wouldn't be bad," Cotts said of a potential extension. "Not at all, with the people we have coming back. We have had quite a few injuries and we have underplayed somewhat, but I think it will be a different situation next year. We're going to have a good ballclub."
The Tigers have yet to decide when Andy Dirks (back) will resume his rehab assignment.
Dirks was pulled off his rehab assignment earlier this month due to muscle inflammation in his surgically-repaired back. He's resumed baseball activities, but it's not clear when he'll be ready for game action. Obviously, he's a long shot at this point to be a major contributor to the Tigers this season.
An MRI on Twins pitching prospect Kohl Stewart's right shoulder came back clean.
Stewart has an impingement, but it appears he's avoided a serious injury. While it certainly qualifies as good news, they seem likely to shut last year's No. 4 overall pick down for the season. Stewart holds a 2.42 ERA through 81 2/3 innings of work at the minor league level this season.
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman was told by a Rays source that the team is "talking and willing" on the David Price trade front.
"[We'll] see if any teams have the desire," the source added. Heyman was told by rival executives that they believe general manager Andrew Friedman "has the guts to deal Price when the team has rallied from nowhere to the cusp of the AL pennant race. A few even suggest that he may prefer to pull the trigger." USA Today's Bob Nightengale has indicated that the Cardinals could have an offer on the table of Oscar Taveras, Shelby Miller and their competitive balance pick in exchange for Price. It appears, however, that the Rays may want even more. FOX Sports' Jon Morosi says that Price is expected to start for the Rays Wednesday afternoon "barring a dramatic turn" in trade talks.
Brandon Belt (concussion) could be cleared to begin a short rehab assignment or possibly be activated from the disabled list by this weekend.
Belt passed a concussion test Monday, clearing the way for him to resume swinging a bat Tuesday. He'll incorporate additional activities as the week goes one before playing in games by the weekend. The first baseman has been out of action since July 19.
FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reports that it's "increasingly likely" that Jon Lester will be scratched from Wednesday's start due to ongoing trade talks.
The Red Sox have yet to officially scratch him, but they have a contingency plan in place with Brandon Workman on standby at Triple-A Pawtucket. With no long-term extension in sight, Boston has decided they're best off exploring the trade market for Lester. The left-hander hasn't ruled out eventually re-signing with the Red Sox even if he's traded.
Cardinals released C George Kottaras.
Kottaras had been designated for assignment over the weekend following the A.J. Pierzynski signing. He cleared waivers and is now free to sign on elsewhere.