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9:35 AM ET, July 28, 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 …
RELATED:
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
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:
Tim Healey / Newsday:
Jerad Eickhoff struggles as Mets get routed by Atlanta  —  The Mets lost to Atlanta, 12-5, on Tuesday after fill-in starter Jered Eickhoff allowed 10 runs, all earned, in 3 1⁄3 innings.  He re-signed with them two days prior after being cut — for the second time in a month — last week.
Discussion: NorthJersey.com
Associated Press:
Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg to have season-ending neck surgery  —  PHILADELPHIA — Stephen Strasburg will have season-ending neck surgery, ending another frustrating year for the Washington Nationals' 2019 World Series hero.  —  The three-time All-Star right-hander felt discomfort …
Discussion: UPI and The Good Phight
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.
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.
Tom Haudricourt / USA Today:
Milwaukee Brewers leftfielder Christian Yelich has been placed in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19  —  PITTSBURGH - Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns announced Tuesday afternoon that leftfielder Christian Yelich had tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed …
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
Eno Sarris / The Athletic:
Eleven MLB trades the numbers say need to be made this week  —  This is not a collection of rumors.  Though some rumors turn out to be true, the method here is to look for the biggest holes on teams that are headed to close battles down the stretch.  Add in a nod to the team's finances and past strategies …
Discussion: Rox Pile and Bluebird Banter
Jim McBride Globe / The Boston Globe:
Patriots tight end Devin Asiasi tests positive for COVID despite vaccination and is out indefinitely  —  The Patriots will be without Devin Asiasi for an undetermined amount of time after the second-year tight end tested positive for COVID-19, a league source confirmed Tuesday.
Discussion: NESN.com and Boston.com
Ronald Blum / Associated Press:
Japan beats U.S. 2-0, turns incredible double play to win Olympic softball gold  —  YOKOHAMA, Japan — Japan won its second straight Olympic softball gold medal, beating the United States 2-0 Tuesday in an emotional repeat of its 2008 victory in Beijing that again left the Americans in tears.
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 …
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
 
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 More News: 
Stefan Stevenson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
‘Keep it light.’ As Texas Rangers losing streak hits 12 games, manager, radio team adapt
 Earlier Picks: 
Chris McCosky / Detroit News:
Tigers players shutting out the noise as trade deadline draws near
Dennis Young / New York Daily News:
Taijuan Walker has come back to Earth at the worst time for the Mets
 

 
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