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Joe Mauer (oblique) hit in the batting cage on Thursday.

The next step is taking live batting practice, though that hasn't been scheduled yet. Mauer has been swinging a bat for a few days now and hasn't had any setbacks, which is obviously a good sign. A return sometime next week would seem to be doable.
Jul 24 - 8:14 PM

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Pirates' interest in A.J. Burnett is "mild at best."

He adds that their interest "might fall further" if Burnett intends to pick up his 2015 player option, which would be worth $12.75 million if he makes 32 starts this season. Burnett, of course, pitched for the Pirates from 2012-13 and they wanted to re-sign him over the winter but were outbid by the Phillies. Heyman also says that the Orioles' interest in Burnett "doesn't seem keen, either." The righty holds a good-but-not-great 3.86 ERA in 2014 and it appears his market might be drying up.
Jul 24 - 8:11 PM

Manny Machado (back) is hoping to return to action sometime over the weekend.

Machado is missing a third straight contest Thursday with what he calls annoying pain" in his lower back, but he's expected to take batting practice and field grounders prior to the game. Ryan Flaherty is getting a third straight start at third base Thursday.
Jul 24 - 7:32 PM

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said that Avisail Garcia (shoulder) was "looking pretty normal" while taking live batting practice on Thursday.

"You see how close he’s getting," the skipper added. The White Sox ruled Garcia out for the season when he tore his left labrum in early April, but he's healed quicker than expected and it's looking like he has a real shot to return late this season. It's not clear when Garcia might go out on a rehab assignment, but he would surely need a bunch of rehab at-bats.
Jul 24 - 7:20 PM

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs are "trying to trade" Edwin Jackson.

It won't be easy, as Jackson has posted a 5.22 ERA over 51 starts for the Cubs and is due about $26 million through the 2016 season. However, the right-hander is durable and has flashed upside in the past, so it's possible the Cubs might find a taker as long as they're willing to eat most of the contract. The Yankees have been mentioned as possible suitors of Jackson, though that might change now that they've acquired Chris Capuano.
Jul 24 - 7:12 PM

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Diamondbacks are "looking to trade" Aaron Hill.

It appears that they're much more likely to move Hill than Martin Prado, as Heyman says the club is "barely listening" to inquiries on Prado. Hill is batting .251 with eight homers and 49 RBI in a down season and is still owed $28 million through 2016, so Arizona probably wouldn't receive a whole lot in return.
Jul 24 - 7:09 PM

Willie Bloomquist will undergo an MRI on his right knee Thursday.

Bloomquist hurt the knee while running to first base on Wednesday. He's already been placed on the disabled list, but a timetable for his return won't be known until the MRI results come back.
Jul 24 - 6:56 PM

Jeff Samardzija limited the Astros to one run and five hits over eight innings in a victory Thursday.

Samardzija struck out six and walked none against the accommodating Astros lineup. As a member of the Cubs, Samardzija went winless in six starts this year when he allowed one or no runs. He's now 2-0 for the A's in such outings.
Jul 24 - 6:55 PM
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