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Grant Balfour will play catch Tuesday for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last week.

That's a good sign for his progress. Balfour was estimated to need 4-6 weeks of recovery time, but assuming he stays on track, there's still a chance he'll be ready for the start of the season. If not, Ryan Cook or Sean Doolittle could get some early save chances.
Tue, Feb 19, 2013 01:00:00 PM

Red Sox acquired OF Yoenis Cespedes from the Athletics for LHP Jon Lester and OF Jonny Gomes.

Cespedes can elect to become a free agent after the 2015 season and the A's stood little chance of locking him up long-term, so they shipped him off to Boston for a three-month ace rental. The 28-year-old Cuban outfielder has massive power -- which should show better at Fenway Park -- and will be an upgrade to Boston's outfield defense both this season and next season. He was hitting .256/.303/.464 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI in 101 games this year for Oakland. The Red Sox also got the A's Round B competitive-balance pick in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft.
Jul 31 - 10:24 AM

Athletics acquired LHP Jon Lester and OF Jonny Gomes from the Red Sox for OF Yoenis Cespedes.

The A's were unsatisfied with their rotation even after acquiring Jeff Samardzija (and Jason Hammel) from the Cubs, so they got a little more creative and picked up the top ace on the trade market. Lester can become a free agent after the 2014 World Series and is highly doubtful to re-sign with Oakland, but he'll give the club a big boost down the stretch and into October. The 30-year-old left-hander was sporting a 2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 149/32 K/BB ratio in 143 innings this season for Boston. Now he moves to the most pitcher-friendly park in MLB.
Jul 31 - 10:16 AM

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets are "highly doubtful to move" Daniel Murphy.

There has been interest -- most notably from the Nationals -- but Murphy is under contractual control through the 2015 season and so the Mets would have to be overwhelmed by an offer to pull the trigger on a deal. Murphy, 29, is hitting .295/.341/.423 with eight home runs and 11 stolen bases in 105 games this season.
Jul 31 - 9:23 AM

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Nationals are among the teams eyeing Asdrubal Cabrera.

The Blue Jays and Giants -- who both have pressing needs at second base -- have also been linked to the impending free agent infielder. Washington, like Toronto and San Francisco, is set at shortstop, so Cabrera would presumably play the keystone there as well. The 28-year-old is batting .246/.305/.386 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 97 games this season as Cleveland's shortstop.
Jul 31 - 8:37 AM

Astros pitching prospect Mark Appel tossed five scoreless innings Wednesday in his Double-A debut.

Appel was promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi this week despite posting a hideous 9.74 ERA in 44 1/3 innings at High-A Lancaster. And it was clearly the right move. The 23-year-old right-hander walked four in his debut but also struck out four and gave up only two hits. He is likely to finish out the 2014 season at the Double-A level but could move to Triple-A at the start of 2015. Appel was the first overall pick (out of Stanford) in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.
Jul 31 - 8:25 AM

Matt Kemp singled in the game-winning run Wednesday in the tenth inning against the Braves, garnishing a monster offensive night.

He went 3-for-4 with two homers and four RBI on Tuesday, and 3-for-4 with a round-tripper, walk, two RBI and two runs scored tonight. Kemp has gone 12-for-19 (.632) during the Dodgers' five-game winning streak. Kemp was batting .265 10 days ago, but his hot streak has spiked his average to .288, the highest mark the outfielder has posted since finishing at .303 in 2012. Don't count out the possibility of a fireworks display over the last two months.
Jul 31 - 1:51 AM

Zack Greinke allowed only one run over eight innings and struck out 13 in a no-decision opposite the Braves on Wednesday.

He allowed five hits and walked one. Greinke has struck out 10-plus in consecutive outings, and now has five 10-strikeout games in 2014. After punching out 148 batters in 177 2/3 innings last year, Greinke has struck out 153 across 139 1/3 frames thus far. Greinke, who hosts the crosstown Angels on Monday, is 12-6 with a 2.65 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He'd be in the Cy Young conversation if he pitched in the American League, not so in Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright's sprawling shadows.
Jul 31 - 1:43 AM

Jedd Gyorko finished 3-for-5 with a double, solo homer, four RBI and two runs scored in Wednesday's 12-1 thrashing of St. Louis.

Lady and gentleman, we've officially received signs of life from the 25-year-old second baseman. Gyorko hit just .162/.213/.270 in 221 plate appearances before missing close to two months with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Since his activation on Monday, he's gone 6-for-11 (.545). Gyorko is owned in only 33-percent of Yahoo! leagues, a number that isn't high enough. Based on the offensive chops he showed as a rookie -- including a .249/.301 /.444 slash line and 23 homers, which earned a five-year, $35 million contract extension -- it's not out of the question that the former top prospect could thrive over the next few months.
Jul 31 - 1:36 AM

The Cardinals and Pirates are the two teams "pushing hardest" for Jon Lester, sources tell FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi.

Rosenthal notes that the Dodgers remain involved as well. The Cardinals made a move for a starter on Wednesday, acquiring Justin Masterson from the Indians, but they remain interested in Lester as more impactful starter to pair with Adam Wainwright. Lester would immediately become the Pirates' ace down the stretch. Lester is a free agent after the season.
Jul 31 - 12:01 AM

Brandon Barnes broke a 4-4 tie in the 10th inning with an RBI single, his only hit in five at-bats in Wednesday's win against the Cubs.

The Rockies had loaded the bases against lefty Wesley Wright and Barnes dropped a single into left field to put his club up 5-4. It was a rare sign of life from the outfielder, who has played sparingly while slashing .241/.291/.392 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 218 plate appearances.
Jul 30 - 11:33 PM

The Giants are likely to release second baseman Dan Uggla in the coming days.

A report surfaced Wednesday that the team had already parted ways with the struggling infielder, but Uggla remains a member of the Giants for now. He likely won't be for too much longer, though, as sources have indicated to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman that Uggla will be cut loose soon. Uggla is 0-for-11 with six strikeouts and three errors through four games with the club.
Jul 30 - 11:29 PM




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