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9:50 AM ET, July 31, 2021


 Top News: 
Alex Speier Globe / The Boston Globe:
Red Sox get big reinforcement in Kyle Schwarber as trade deadline closes in, but is this just the start?  —  In recent days, members of the Red Sox watched and wondered.  —  Every other American League contender had added key players as Friday's 4 p.m. trade deadline approached.
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 …
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 …
Mandy Bell / Indians News:
Francona takes leave due to health reasons  —  CLEVELAND — Indians manager Terry Francona has been having an internal battle, wondering if he was doing the right thing by trying to manage through his health issues or if he's been hindering his team in the process.
Patrick Saunders / Denver Post:
Trevor Story, Jon Gray stay with Rockies as trade deadline passes  —  Colorado will try to work out a long-term deal with Gray  —  Trevor Story's expectations had been building for months.  —  The Rockies' star shortstop, who will become a free agent at the end of the season …
David Schoenfield / ESPN:
New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom out until September with right forearm inflammation  —  The New York Mets said Friday that Jacob deGrom will be out until September due to additional inflammation in his right forearm.  —  The ace right-hander is 7-2 in 15 starts with a 1.08 ERA …
Discussion: UPI
Tim Healey / Newsday:
Jerad Eickhoff struggles as Mets get routed by Atlanta
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 …
Bo Bichette / The Players' Tribune:
Toronto!!!!!  We're HOME  —  I remember the leg kick.  —  I remember the BAT FLIP.  —  I remember the camera shaking.  —  If you were watching it, man, then you know what I'm talking about.  You know!!!  Like ... I don't even have to go into any more detail, you've got it playing in your head already.
Discussion: New York Post and Bluebird Banter
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.
Deesha Thosar / New York Daily News:
Mets can't ignore their Taijuan Walker problem  —  The Mets have a Taijuan Walker problem.  —  Their No. 2 starter has deeply struggled to start the second half of the regular season.  Walker gave up five earned runs on six hits, including two home runs across five innings, in the Mets' 6-3 loss to the Braves on Thursday afternoon.
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:
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.
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 …
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