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8:25 PM ET, July 29, 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:
Ken Rosenthal / The Athletic:
Max Scherzer prefers NL West contenders, sources say, and pace of talks accelerating  —  Padres manager Jayce Tingler and Max Scherzer just missed overlapping at the University of Missouri.  Scherzer was teammates at Missouri with Padres bullpen catcher Brad Flanders for one season.  All three remain friends.
Jim Bowden / The Athletic:
MLB trade deadline rumblings: Bowden on Marlins' ‘coup,’ Max Scherzer sweepstakes, expected ‘flurry of trades’  —  “Be prepared for a flurry of trades with the unexpected ruling the day,” an American League general manager told me Wednesday morning.  I'm not sure what that means or what will transpire …
Joel Sherman / New York Post:
The Yankees' Joey Gallo trade just got a little bit better  —  The Yankees will be receiving more than Joey Gallo and Joely Rodriguez from the Rangers - Texas also is paying both players' salaries the rest of the season, The Post has learned.  —  That is not insignificant …
Associated Press:
Cleveland Indians' Terry Francona stepping down for rest of season due to health issues  —  CLEVELAND — Indians manager Terry Francona is stepping down for the remainder of this season to address some lingering health issues.  —  The 62-year-old Francona has been wearing a boot on his right foot …
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
Elliott Almond / Mercury News:
Sunisa Lee steps up for Simone Biles to keep U.S. gymnastics gold-medal streak alive  —  With Simone Biles watching in the stands Sunisa Lee wins win all-around title at Tokyo Games  —  An expressionless Sunisa Lee walked off the platform in her final rotation Thursday knowing she had performed admirably.
Ryan Divish / The Seattle Times:
Mariners players feel ‘betrayed’ after team trades Kendall Graveman to Astros  —  Marco Gonzales stared at the concrete floor of the Mariners dugout, occasionally lifting his gaze to the field of T-Mobile Park and revealing puffy eyes red from tears.  —  He appeared to be listening …
Nick Piecoro / Arizona Republic:
Diamondbacks release injury-prone pitcher Jon Duplantier  —  The Diamondbacks released oft-injured former top prospect Jon Duplantier on Tuesday in what was a sort of procedural transaction that they hope leads to him signing back with the club on a minor league deal, according to a source.
Discussion: AZ Snake Pit and MLB Trade Rumors
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.
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
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
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 …
 
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 More News: 
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
Top 60 Trade Candidates
Patrick Finley / Chicago Sun-Times:
Andy Dalton doesn't apologize for being the Bears' starter
Gabe Lacques / USA Today:
5 MLB trade deadline deals we'd like to see: Kris Bryant, Craig Kimbrel would supercharge Dodgers
Eno Sarris / The Athletic:
Eleven MLB trades the numbers say need to be made this week
Discussion: Rox Pile and Bluebird Banter
 Earlier Picks: 
Jim McBride Globe / The Boston Globe:
Patriots tight end Devin Asiasi tests positive for COVID despite vaccination and is out indefinitely
Discussion: NESN.com and Boston.com
Ken Davidoff / New York Post:
Mets' agreement with Kumar Rocker suddenly in jeopardy
Deesha Thosar / New York Daily News:
Mets split doubleheader with Braves to start huge five-game series
 

 
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