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6:45 PM ET, July 17, 2017

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 Top News: 
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
Rays Discussing Justin Wilson, Tony Watson  —  11:44am: Rosenthal tweets that Tampa Bay is also discussing Pirates lefty Tony Watson.  The 32-year-old Watson is earning a bit more than twice Wilson's salary ($5.6MM) and is a free agent at season's end.  He's also having a down year …
RELATED:
Fox Sports:
Tigers, Royals open four-game series (Jul 17, 2017)
Discussion: Royals Review and Bless You Boys
Detroit News:
Mensching: Tigers must keep Fulmer, try to deal JV
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:
Why lefty closer Justin Wilson is Detroit Tigers' biggest trade bait
Discussion: Bless You Boys
Vito Chirco / Detroit Free Press:   Detroit Tigers' next foe: Kansas City Royals in downward spiral
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:   Talkin' Tigers podcast: Al Avila missed boat on firing Brad Ausmus
UPI:
Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez activated from DL in advance of start  —  The Boston Red Sox activated left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez from the 10-day disabled list ahead of his start Monday night against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.  —  Rodriguez, 24, returned from his injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket.
RELATED:
Fox Sports:
Red Sox manager Farrell says protest denied on play vs Yanks  —  BOSTON (AP) Red Sox manager John Farrell says Major League Baseball has denied Boston's protest over a bizarre play on the bases last weekend involving Matt Holliday of the New York Yankees.  —  Farrell said he wasn't surprised …
Scott LauberESPN / ESPN:
Rodriguez's return restores Red Sox rotation to full strength
Discussion: Over the Monster
Kevin Santo / USA Today:
The Dodgers' historic hot streak: How their 29-4 run came together  —  Los Angeles has a lot to smile about.  The Dodgers are not just the hottest team in baseball but on a breakneck pace that could put the 2017 club among the greatest in their rich franchise history.
Discussion: Associated Press
RELATED:
Associated Press:
A 125-win pace?  Dodgers believe surge is sustainable  —  MIAMI (AP) — Clayton Kershaw's notion that the past five extraordinary weeks are the new norm for the Los Angeles Dodgers seems to be taking hold.  —  Going into the All-Star break, Kershaw suggested the Dodgers' surge might not be a surge at all, but a sustainable pace.
Adam Kilgore / Chicago Tribune:   The Los Angeles Dodgers have become baseball's version of the Golden State Warriors
Joel Sherman / New York Post:
Mets should let a Jacob deGrom trade offer blow them away  —  MORE FROM: … You own a house.  You love the house.  It is the keeper, the one you bought with the plan to raise a family there.  —  But you also paid attention in Economics 101 the day the professor mentioned that when supply is low and demand is high, prices soar.
Discussion: MLB Daily Dish
RELATED:
Mark SimonESPN / ESPN:
Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey look ‘free and easy’ as they begin throwing programs  —  FLUSHING, N.Y. — Day one, a significant day in the life of any baseball player rehabilitating from a notable injury, went without any hitches for two of the New York Mets' prized arms, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey.
Discussion: Amazin' Avenue and FanRag Sports
Fox Sports:
Mets, Cardinals clash in pivotal four-game set (Jul 17, 2017)
Discussion: Viva El Birdos
Alex Butler / UPI:
Cincinnati Reds OF Billy Hamilton helps man propose to girlfriend … Baseball's stolen base leader Billy Hamilton helped a couple get engaged this weekend in Cincinnati by presenting the ring at an autograph session.  —  The Cincinnati Reds' centerfielder was taking part in a meet-and-greet Saturday …
Discussion: Red Reporter and Federal Baseball
RELATED:
Cincinnati.com:   Cincinnati Reds recap: Washington Nationals complete sweep with 6-1 win
Zach Buchanan / Cincinnati.com:   Nationals' Ryan Raburn: I was surprised Reds released me
ESPN:
Nats' Ryan Zimmerman hits homer No. 235 to top franchise list  —  Ryan Zimmerman went deep in the first inning Monday against the Cincinnati Reds to become the Washington Nationals' franchise home run leader with his 235th.  —  Zimmerman, 32, took Scott Feldman deep to left-center field …
Discussion: FanRag Sports and Forbes
RELATED:
Jorge Castillo / Washington Post:
The Nationals made a trade to improve their bullpen. But who will close?
ESPN:
Olney: Players who will be traded before the deadline  —  Justin Verlander has been mentioned in trade talks, and it's possible that market moons and stars will align and the future Hall of Famer switches teams.  But any Verlander deal would be incredibly complicated for the Tigers to pull off …
Discussion: Let's Go Tribe
RELATED:
Bob Nightengale / Tallahassee Democrat:   MLB trade deadline: Likely destinations for all the top stars on the block
Alex Butler / UPI:   Study shows affordability of attending games in every MLB city
Sarah Trotto / UPI:
Seattle Mariners complete sweep of Chicago White Sox with 10-inning win  —  CHICAGO — The Seattle Mariners have started the second half of the season on a roll.  Now they'll see where they'll go.  —  Nelson Cruz homered in the 10th inning and the Mariners held off the Chicago White Sox 7-6 …
RELATED:
Bradford DoolittleESPN / ESPN:   Return of the King: A Mariners turnaround hinges on Hernandez
Fox Sports:
Astros look to improve with Mariners up next (Jul 17, 2017)
Discussion: Lookout Landing
Associated Press:
Braves activate Sean Rodriguez, Danny Santana from DL  —  ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have activated utility players Sean Rodriguez and Danny Santana from the disabled list.  —  Right-hander Jason Hursh and infielder Jace Peterson were optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett.
RELATED:
ESPN:   Braves activate infielder Sean Rodriguez 5 months after surgery
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Jon Lester aims to rekindle success vs. Braves  —  Cubs catcher Willson Contreras says “I think we are back” after the team swept the Orioles with an 8-0 win on Sunday, July 16, 2017.  (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)  —  Chicago Tribune  —  Jon Lester will take the mound Monday night …
RELATED:
Fox Sports:
Cubs' Lester looks to rebound at Atlanta (Jul 17, 2017)
Discussion: Talking Chop and Bleed Cubbie Blue
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Sierra goes for 10 straight against Mets  —  NEW YORK  • Magneuris Sierra, whose record nine-game hitting streak at the start of his Cardinals career has lasted since early May, is back in the lineup Monday night as the Cardinals play the first of four games here against the Mets.
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
Blue Jays Designate Lucas Harrell For Assignment  —  The Blue Jays announced that they've recalled right-hander Dominic Leone from Triple-A Buffalo and designated fellow righty Lucas Harrell for assignment in order to clear a spot on the roster.  —  Signed to a minor league pact this offseason …
Discussion: Bluebird Banter
Rustin Dodd / Kansas City Star:
Royals demote Jorge Soler to Omaha, recall Billy Burns to fill roster spot  —  Jorge Soler's turbulent first season with the Royals has continued with another demotion to the minor leagues.  —  The Royals sent Soler, a 25-year-old outfielder, back to Class AAA Omaha on Monday afternoon …
Discussion: Royals Review
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Ability to play shortstop would keep Robinson with Rangers  —  BALTIMORE  —  The return of right-hander Keone Kela from the disabled list will put the Texas Rangers in a tight spot when deciding which players needs to be taken off the active roster to make space for him.
ESPN:
Phils activate Cesar Hernandez, put Aaron Altherr on DL  —  The Philadelphia Phillies activated second baseman Cesar Hernandez from the disabled list on Tuesday and placed outfielder Aaron Altherr on the 10-day DL with a strained right hamstring.  —  Hernandez last played on June 9 …
Discussion: The Good Phight
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Rangers' Diekman inching closer to first bullpen session  —  BALTIMORE  —  The three abdominal surgeries since January aren't what's driving Jake Diekman mad.  —  It's the wait for his first bullpen session since undergoing three abdominal surgeries for ulcerative colitis …
Discussion: Lone Star Ball
David Murphy / Philly.com:
Amid maddening inconsistency, Herrera's flashes for Phillies can't be ignored |  David Murphy  —  One thing I have come to suspect about sports is that the difference between the good and the great has little to do with physical talent.  —  Like any such claim, the validity of this one depends …
Doug Mittler / ESPN:
Rumor Central: A's not looking to deal Blake Treinen?  —  The Oakland Athletics are not looking to flip Blake Treinen after acquiring the veteran reliever in Sunday's deal with the Washington Nationals.  —  A's executive vice president Billy Beane told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle …
 
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 More News: 
Ryan Fagan / Sporting News:
MLB trade rumors: Sonny Gray could help these contenders if A's make a deal
Discussion: Talking Chop
Aj MassEspn / ESPN:
Trade buzz heating up in Miami, Detroit and Chicago
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:
Yankees' Michael Pineda will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday
Doug Mittler / ESPN:
Rumor Central: Plenty of interest in Padres relievers?
Doug Mittler / ESPN:
Rumor Central: Braves shopping Jaime Garcia?
Zach Braziller / New York Post:
Quincy Enunwa sees the Jets' tanking evidence, too
Discussion: FanRag Sports and ProFootballTalk
 Earlier Picks: 
Daniel Popper / New York Daily News:
Yoenis Cespedes sits out in Mets loss, but expects to play vs. Cardinals
Discussion: Sporting News
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Sierra quickly earns ‘regular playing time’
Fox Sports:
Marlins host Phillies looking for first win of homestand (Jul 17, 2017)
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
With roles scrambled, Cards' bullpen blows another game in 9th
Discussion: Viva El Birdos and 101Sports.com
Fox Sports:
Pirates get chance to make up ground on Brewers (Jul 17, 2017)
 

 
From WeSmirch:

TMZ.com:
John Heard Dead at 71

Lanford Beard / People.com:
Catfish's Nev Schulman Is Married to Laura Perlongo: 'I'm a Very Lucky Man!'

Jacey Fortin / New York Times:
Beyoncé Statue at Madame Tussauds Is Removed Amid Criticism

 
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