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2:50 PM ET, July 27, 2021

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 Top News: 
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
MLB trade deadline: Surprising teams that could go all-in and new names to watch as July 30 nears  —  Perhaps it should be no surprise that the San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays, two of the most aggressive teams in baseball at improving their rosters, have placed themselves squarely …
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Patrick Mooney / The Athletic:
It would be ‘naive’ to think the Cubs haven't been distracted by a season set up for the trade deadline  —  There's no way to prove that the looming trade deadline has impacted the Cubs' on-field performance.  Baseball is an unpredictable sport.  There are inexplicable elements to every season.
Discussion: Cubs Insider and Bleacher Nation
The Athletic:
Padres on pace to exceed luxury tax threshold for first time; Eric Hosmer trade among the possible options  —  With A.J. Preller, the Padres' unrelenting head of baseball operations, virtually everyone is in play at all times.  Almost nothing can be ruled out, though that does not mean Preller operates without parameters.
RELATED:
ESPN:
San Diego Padres acquire All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier from Pittsburgh Pirates, sources say  —  MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres  —  The San Diego Padres are acquiring second baseman Adam Frazier from the Pittsburgh Pirates, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Ken Davidoff / New York Post:
Mets' agreement with Kumar Rocker suddenly in jeopardy  —  The Mets' agreement with their first-round draft pick Kumar Rocker is in limbo after the team expressed concerns with the right-hander's pitching elbow during his physical examination, multiple industry sources told The Post.
JB Bird / UT News:
Joint Statement from The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Oklahoma  —  The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Oklahoma notified the Big 12 Athletic Conference today that they will not be renewing their grants of media rights following expiration in 2025.
Discussion: FanSided, Slate, The Athletic and UPI
Ken Rosenthal / The Athletic:
Concerns about Trevor Story; what Max Scherzer's unique contract means; more trade deadline notes  —  Rockies shortstop Trevor Story is one of the biggest names on the trade market, but mostly by reputation.  Story, 28, is in the middle of his worst offensive season, and some baseball people are alarmed by his poor throwing.
Deesha Thosar / New York Daily News:
Mets split doubleheader with Braves to start huge five-game series  —  The Mets began their critical five-game series against a division foe with a sleepy loss, but they salvaged the evening with their ninth doubleheader split of the season.  —  Jeff McNeil extended his hit streak to 13 games …
Stefan Stevenson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
‘Keep it light.’ As Texas Rangers losing streak hits 12 games, manager, radio team adapt  —  Games are supposed to be fun after all.  And baseball is just a game.  —  That's an easy concept in theory, of course, but when you're a major league baseball team struggling at an historic rate …
Mike DiGiovanna / Los Angeles Times:
2021 hindsight: Inside the Trevor Bauer disaster and how the Dodgers got here  —  What could be Trevor Bauer's last public comment in a Dodgers uniform was uttered in frustration as the pitcher stood up to leave a videoconference following a 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on June 28.
The Athletic:
Twins, Byron Buxton can't reach agreement on contract extension, increasing chance of offseason trade  —  Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton could not agree on a contract extension, increasing the possibility he will be traded this offseason and perhaps making the team more willing …
Chris McCosky / Detroit News:
Tigers players shutting out the noise as trade deadline draws near  —  Kansas City, Mo. — Tigers manager AJ Hinch was talking last week about the upcoming series in Minnesota and offhandedly remarked that maybe the Twins will trade Nelson Cruz by then.  —  Well, about that.  The Twins did, in fact, trade Cruz.
Dennis Young / New York Daily News:
Taijuan Walker has come back to Earth at the worst time for the Mets  —  After a dominant first half, Taijuan Walker has looked human for the better part of a month.  It finally caught up to the Mets on Saturday night, when Walker gave up six runs in four innings and the Mets fell to the Blue Jays, 10-3.
Joel Sherman / New York Post:
Marlins, Reds, Rockies should take advantage of MLB trade frenzy  —  The Marlins should have Sandy Alcantara on the trade market, just as the Reds should have Luis Castillo and the Rockies should have German Marquez.  —  There is no joy in recommending that your favorite team should shop its ace.
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors and Fish Stripes
 
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