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Michael Saunders (oblique) took batting practice Wednesday and could be on a rehab assignment as soon as the weekend.

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Saunders still isn't swinging at 100 percent and that "it's going to take some time," but McClendon had hopes Saunders will be advanced enough to begin a rehab assignment this weekend. Saunders has been on the disabled list since July 11 due to an oblique strain. He was hitting .276/.327/.434 before the injury.
Jul 30 - 8:10 PM

James Paxton (lat) threw a 45-pitch bullpen session Wednesday and is on track to rejoin the Mariners rotation on Saturday.

"I was throwing all my pitches where I wanted to throw them today, my mechanics felt smooth, everything was coming out at the right time. It felt good," Paxton said after the session. The left-hander hasn't pitched since April 8 due to a strained lat. He may have some rust early, but Paxton was pitching well early and could be a valuable contributor for the M's down the stretch.
Jul 30 - 8:03 PM

Andrew Cashner (shoulder) threw another successful bullpen session on Wednesday.

Of note, Cashner was able to throw sliders without discomfort, something that couldn't be said earlier this season. A rehab stint is on the horizon, possibly as early as next week. If all goes well, Cashner should be back with the Padres by the middle of August.
Jul 30 - 7:57 PM

Cubs optioned RHP Blake Parker to Triple-A Iowa.

Parker made two scoreless appearances since being recalled on July 26. The right-hander was sent down for another bullpen arm after Tuesday's 16-inning game.
Jul 30 - 7:52 PM

Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press believes Brian Duensing could draw some trade inquiries before Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline.

Duensing owns a 2.27 ERA and 1.19 WHIP as a reliever this season, and in a market where lefties Andrew Miller and Antonio Bastardo are drawing interest Berardino views Duensing as a trade candidate as well. He also reports the Twins haven't approached Duensing about a long-term deal. Duensing, 31, will be a free agent following the 2015 season.
Jul 30 - 7:49 PM

A source tells Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star that the Royals aren't close to a deal for Emilio Bonifacio.

Bonifacio was on hug watch after his name was absent from a delayed Cubs starting lineup, and the Royals were reported as his expected destination. It still could happen, but right now there doesn't seem to be a ton of fire there. Bonifacio and his .279/.318/.373 line remain likely to be moved before Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline.
Jul 30 - 7:44 PM

Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored as the Giants topped the Pirates 7-5 on Wednesday.

The Giants banged out 12 hits in the game, all singles. Sandoval drove in a run, his 45th RBI of the season, with a hit in the eighth inning. The RBI and runs scored were his first in seven games, and he's without an extra-base hit in that span. The third baseman is hitting .277/.326/.425 overall.
Jul 30 - 7:18 PM

Charlie Morton allowed four runs on nine hits over five innings in Wednesday's no-decision against the Giants.

Morton has now failed to turn in a quality start in three of his last four starts, a bad trend for a guy who will never have much fantasy value for his strikeout ability. Morton walked three batters while striking out two. The right-hander owns a 3.54 ERA and 1.22 WHIP through 22 starts, and he'll match up with the Marlins on Tuesday.
Jul 30 - 7:13 PM
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