According to FOX Sports' Jon Morosi, the chances of a David Price trade "have increased."
The Rays have moved closer to contention for a postseason spot over the past month-plus, so thought has been that they might want to hang onto their ace. But the elite starting pitcher market has now centered around Price with Jon Lester already heading to Oakland. The Rays' asking price will likely be sky-high, but pretty much every contending team is seeking a top-tier arm. The Dodgers and Cardinals are among the teams with rumored interest.
Rays outfield prospect Mikie Mahtook went 2-for-5 with a stolen base for Triple-A Durham on Wednesday.
Mahtook is hitting .300/.365/.465 for the season, but is hitting .241/.298/.299 in July. His future is cloudy due to the Rays crowded outfield and his limited ceiling, but he sports a .412/.459/.639 line against left-handed pitching and could be part of a platoon.
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports the Phillies and Royals are discussing an A.J. Burnett trade.
"No indication that [a] deal is close," Rosenthal adds. It remains to be seen if Kansas City is amenable to assuming Burnett's player option for 2015, which could pay him as much as $14.25 million if he makes 32 starts. ESPN's Jayson Stark reported earlier this week that the Phillies are telling interested clubs they expect Burnett to retire, and Burnett (4.15 ERA) has echoed that sentiment to teammates. If the Royals expect to remain in contention, they need to improve their rotation somehow. This would help.
Padres shortstop prospect Franchy Cordero went 2-for-4 with a home run for short season-A Eugene on Wednesday.
Cordero is hitting .286/.337/.500 with six doubles, three triples, and seven home runs in 40 games in the Northwest League. He is still striking out far too much (47 times in 175 plate appearances, 26.9 percent), but he is consistently making solid contact. He has not experienced the breakout that many were predicting, but he has hit well with Eugene, and should return to Fort Wayne to start 2015.
Houston is "very, very busy" taking calls on Jarred Cosart, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
The 24-year-old is 9-7 with a 4.41 ERA and will exit this season with just 1.070 years service time, leaving him under club control for years. The Astros will need to be presented with an offer they can't refuse, but GM Jeff Luhnow is apparently fishing hard.
Twins recalled 1B Kennys Vargas from Double-A New Britain.
Vargas, 23, was batting .281/.360/.472 with 17 home runs and 63 RBI in 97 games this season at the Double-A level. He could see regular starts at DH but is doubtful to hold fantasy value outside of AL-only leagues.
Indians catching prospect Francisco Mejia went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk for short season-A Mahoning Valley on Wedenesday.
The 18-year old Mejia is hitting .272/.339/.381 in a league where the average age is 21, which is a testament to his talent. He has nine errors, but has thrown out 33 percent of would-be base stealers. He will likely finish the season with Mahoning Valley, and open 2015 with Low-A Lake County. He has the potential to hit .300 with 20-plus home runs, but is unlikely to reach the major leagues until late-2017.
The Astros are telling other teams that Chad Qualls isn't available, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports.
If you're confused as to why Houston, miles outside of contention, is making a 35-year-old closer unavailable, we're with you. Qualls would have been a nice rental for a playoff hopeful. He is 1-2 with a 3.19 ERA and 11 saves in 15 chances, and is set to make a reasonable $3 million next year.