Thursday, July 31st, 2014
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Twins recall Kennys Vargas from Double-A 07-31-2014
Kennys Vargas 1B MIN
Twins recalled 1B Kennys Vargas from Double-A New Britain. Vargas, 23, was batting .281/.360/.472 with 17 home runs and 63 RBI in 97 games this season at the Double-A level. But he is doubtful to hold fantasy value.
Report: Astros take Qualls off the table 07-31-2014
Chad Qualls P HOU
The Astros are telling other teams that Chad Qualls isn't available, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports.

CBS Sports
If you're confused as to why Houston, miles outside of contention, is making a 35-year-old closer unavailable, we're with you. Qualls would have been a nice rental for a playoff hopeful. He is 1-2 with a 3.19 ERA and 11 saves in 15 chances, and is set to make a reasonable $3 million next year.
A's acquire Sam Fuld from Twins for Milone 07-31-2014
Sam Fuld CF MIN
Athletics acquired OF Sam Fuld from the Twins for LHP Tommy Milone. Fuld isn't much of a hitter, but he can play all around the outfield and that's useful to Oakland in the wake of Thursday's trade that sent Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes. Fuld is not fantasy-relevant.
Astros take SP Dallas Keuchel off the market 07-31-2014
Dallas Keuchel P HOU
According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Astros have taken Dallas Keuchel off the trade market.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
Keuchel threw his fourth complete game of the season on Wednesday against the A's, allowing only four hits and one run over nine innings. The 26-year-old left-hander owns an impressive 2.97 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 104/33 K/BB ratio through 136 1/3 total frames this season. There was no good reason for Houston to trade him.
Twins acquire SP Tommy Milone from the A's 07-31-2014
Tommy Milone P OAK
Twins acquired LHP Tommy Milone from the Athletics for OF Sam Fuld.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
Milone was pushed even further down the A's rotation depth chart with Thursday's Jon Lester trade. He'll get new life in Minnesota, which is almost as pitcher-friendly as Oakland. The 27-year-old left-hander had a solid 3.55 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 61/26 K/BB ratio in 96 1/3 innings this season with the Athletics. He will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. It's a decent get for the Twins.
Sox land Cespedes from A's for Lester, Gomes 07-31-2014
Yoenis Cespedes LF BOS
Red Sox acquired OF Yoenis Cespedes from the Athletics for LHP Jon Lester and OF Jonny Gomes. Cespedes can elect to become a free agent after the 2015 season and the A's stood little chance of locking him up long-term, so they shipped him off to Boston for a three-month ace rental. The 28-year-old Cuban outfielder has massive power -- which should show better at Fenway Park -- and will be an upgrade to Boston's outfield defense both this season and next season. He was hitting .256/.303/.464 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI in 101 games this year for Oakland. The Red Sox also got the A's Round B competitive-balance pick in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft.
A's officially get Lester, Gomes for Cespedes 07-31-2014
Jon Lester P OAK
Athletics acquired LHP Jon Lester and OF Jonny Gomes from the Red Sox for OF Yoenis Cespedes. The A's were unsatisfied with their rotation even after acquiring Jeff Samardzija (and Jason Hammel) from the Cubs, so they got a little more creative and picked up the top ace on the trade market. Lester can become a free agent after the 2014 World Series and is highly doubtful to re-sign with Oakland, but he'll give the club a big boost down the stretch and into October. The 30-year-old left-hander was sporting a 2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 149/32 K/BB ratio in 143 innings this season for Boston. Now he moves to the most pitcher-friendly park in MLB.
Rockies SS prospect Herrera with 3 hits, HR 07-31-2014
Rosell Herrera SS COL
Rockies prospect shortstop Rosell Herrera went 3-for-3 with a home run and two walks for High-A Modesto on Wednesday. Herrera has gone ice cold since mid-June, hitting .229/.309/.351 over 34 games, striking out 25 times. Despite the concerns that he will need to move to third base full time, Herrera is still playing shortstop about 60 percent of the time.
A's acquire Gomes, Lester for OF Cespedes 07-31-2014
Jonny Gomes LF OAK
Athletics acquired OF Jonny Gomes and LHP Jon Lester from the Red Sox for OF Yoenis Cespedes. Gomes -- who was batting just .234/.329/.354 in 78 games this season for Boston and can become a free agent this winter -- is somewhat of a throw-in to this big Lester-for-Cespedes blockbuster deal. But the 33-year-old corner outfielder can rake left-handers and gives a nice boost to the A's bench. Stephen Vogt benefits most from the Cespedes departure.
OAK to acquire Lester, Gomes for Cespedes 07-31-2014
Jon Lester P OAK
WEEI's Alex Speier reports that the A's have acquired left-hander Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Red Sox for Yoenis Cespedes.

Alex Speier on Twitter
Without many elite-level prospects remaining in the wake of the Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel trade, the A's had to get creative to work out a deal for Lester. And this sure is creative. Cespedes has big-time power, a huge throwing arm, and is under contractual control through 2018, so it's a big piece to give up. Lester gets a massive fantasy boost with the move to pitcher-friendly Oakland.
Indians 1B prospect Aguilar doubles, homers 07-31-2014
Jesus Aguilar 1B CLE
Indians first base prospect Jesus Aguilar went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, and two walks for Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday. The 24-year old Aguilar is hitting .291/.385/.486 with Triple-A Columbus, but .188/.300/.188 with Cleveland. Aguilar will likely see more time with the Indians this year, but it may not be until rosters expand in September.
Astros have made Scott Feldman available 07-31-2014
Scott Feldman P HOU
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Astros have made right-hander Scott Feldman available.

CBS Sports
But the 30-year-old right-hander signed a three-year, $30 million contract with Houston last offseason and hasn't pitched well enough to justify it, so the Astros may have a hard time finding a trade partner. Feldman owns a 4.39 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 19 starts this season.
Dirks (back) to resume rehab games Friday 07-31-2014
Andy Dirks LF DET
Andy Dirks (back) is scheduled to resume his minor league rehab assignment Friday with Low-A West Michigan.

Chris Iott on Twitter
Dirks had his rehab halted in mid-July after experiencing renewed inflammation in his surgically-repaired lower back. There is no longer a timetable for his return.
Mets 'highly doubtful' to trade Daniel Murphy 07-31-2014
Daniel Murphy 2B NYM
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets are "highly doubtful to move" Daniel Murphy.

Joel Sherman on Twitter
There has been interest -- most notably from the Nationals -- but Murphy is under contractual control through the 2015 season and so the Mets would have to be overwhelmed by an offer to pull the trigger on a deal. Murphy, 29, is hitting .295/.341/.423 with eight home runs and 11 stolen bases in 105 games this season.
Nats among teams eyeing Asdrubal Cabrera 07-31-2014
Asdrubal Cabrera SS CLE
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Nationals are among the teams eyeing Asdrubal Cabrera.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
The Blue Jays and Giants -- who both have pressing needs at second base -- have also been linked to the impending free agent infielder. Washington, like Toronto and San Francisco, is set at shortstop, so Cabrera would presumably play the keystone there as well. The 28-year-old is batting .246/.305/.386 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 97 games this season as Cleveland's shortstop.
Appel throws five scoreless in Double-A debut 07-31-2014
Mark Appel P HOU
Astros pitching prospect Mark Appel tossed five scoreless innings Wednesday in his Double-A debut.

Houston Chronicle
Appel was promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi this week despite posting a hideous 9.74 ERA in 44 1/3 innings at High-A Lancaster. And it was clearly the right move. The 23-year-old right-hander walked four in his debut but also struck out four and gave up only two hits. He is likely to finish out the 2014 season at the Double-A level but could move to Triple-A at the start of 2015. Appel was the first overall pick (out of Stanford) in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.
OF Kemp remains white hot, homers again 07-31-2014
Matt Kemp CF LAD
Matt Kemp singled in the game-winning run Wednesday in the tenth inning against the Braves, garnishing a monster offensive night. He went 3-for-4 with two homers and four RBI on Tuesday, and 3-for-4 with a round-tripper, walk, two RBI and two runs scored tonight. Kemp has gone 12-for-19 (.632) during the Dodgers' five-game winning streak. Kemp was batting .265 10 days ago, but his hot streak has spiked his average to .288, the highest mark the outfielder has posted since finishing at .303 in 2012. Don't count out the possibility of a fireworks display over the last two months.
Upton goes 3-for-4 with a double and HR 07-31-2014
Justin Upton LF ATL
Justin Upton went 3-for-4 with a double and a solo homer in the Braves' 3-2 10-inning loss versus the Dodgers on Wednesday. Upton's third hit, a round-tripper to left in the ninth inning which tied the game and saddled Kenley Jansen with a blown save, was his 19th of the season. He's riding a modest four-game hitting streak and is now slashing .287/.354/.511. Upton is on pace for 29 homers and 93 RBI.
Greinke whiffs 13 Braves, allows 1 ER in 8 IP 07-31-2014
Zack Greinke P LAD
Zack Greinke allowed only one run over eight innings and struck out 13 in a no-decision opposite the Braves on Wednesday. He allowed five hits and walked one. Greinke has struck out 10-plus in consecutive outings, and now has five 10-strikeout games in 2014. After punching out 148 batters in 177 2/3 innings last year, Greinke has struck out 153 across 139 1/3 frames thus far. Greinke, who hosts the crosstown Angels on Monday, is 12-6 with a 2.65 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He'd be in the Cy Young conversation if he pitched in the American League, not so in Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright's sprawling shadows.
Wood gives up 1 run in no-decision vs Dodgers 07-31-2014
Alex Wood P ATL
Alex Wood held the Dodgers to one run over seven innings, striking out eight, in Wednesday's no-decision. The young lefty allowed six hits and a pair of walks. It was a nice bounce back effort after Wood allowed five runs (four earned) and a career-high 12 hits to a meek Padres' offense on Friday. He sliced the ERA to 3.30 and the WHIP to 1.23 in tonight's stellar outing. Wood won't have to tote his bat to his next matchup, which is in Seattle on Tuesday.
Gyorko goes 3-for-5 with double, homer, 4 RBI 07-31-2014
Jedd Gyorko 2B SD
Jedd Gyorko finished 3-for-5 with a double, solo homer, four RBI and two runs scored in Wednesday's 12-1 thrashing of St. Louis. Lady and gentleman, we've officially received signs of life from the 25-year-old second baseman. Gyorko hit just .162/.213/.270 in 221 plate appearances before missing close to two months with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Since his activation on Monday, he's gone 6-for-11 (.545). Gyorko is owned in only 33-percent of Yahoo! leagues, a number that isn't high enough. Based on the offensive chops he showed as a rookie -- including a .249/.301 /.444 slash line and 23 homers, which earned a five-year, $35 million contract extension -- it's not out of the question that the former top prospect could thrive over the next few months.
Solarte continues to mash, smacks 4 singles 07-31-2014
Yangervis Solarte 3B SD
Yangervis Solarte went 4-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored in Wednesday's 12-1 romp over the Cardinals. Solarte had homered in two out of his last three games. He's now tallied an extra-base hit in four of eight games since coming over to the Padres from the Yankees along with Rafael De Paula for Chase Headley. Solarte has slashed .364/.410/.606 during that period. He's a must-start in NL-only formats at the moment, but it's likely you can find better options in your mixed league on the waiver wire.
Hahn allows 1 run to Cards over seven innings 07-31-2014
Jesse Hahn P SD
Jesse Hahn fired seven innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits, in a 12-1 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday. Hahn, who was lifted after 95 pitches having run out of gas, whiffed a trio and also walked two. This was the right-hander's seventh win in his last eight starts. Hahn, a 2010 sixth-round pick who came to San Diego along with Alex Torres for Logan Forsythe, Brad Boxberger, Matt Andriese, and Maxx Tissenbaum in January, entered this evening 6-1 with a 1.47 ERA in seven starts since returning to the rotation on June 14. The 24-year-old right-hander boasts a 1.88 ERA and 1.01 WHIP over his first nine major league outings. Hahn has a nice matchup on deck, getting the Twins in the Twin Cities on Tuesday.
Kelly gets whipped for 4 runs vs. Padres 07-31-2014
Joe Kelly P STL
Joe Kelly was chased out after five innings of work having allowed four runs on seven hits Wednesday in the Cardinals' loss against the Padres. The right-hander struck out five and walked one on the night. After missing almost three months due to a painful hamstring strain, Kelly has yielded 15 runs and 22 hits over 12 2/3 innings in his three road starts since activation. He fired seven innings of one-run ball on July 19 against the Dodgers in his only home start since coming off the shelf. Fortunately, Kelly gets the Red Sox at home next week.
Cardinals, Pirates pushing hardest for Lester 07-31-2014
Jon Lester P OAK
The Cardinals and Pirates are the two teams "pushing hardest" for Jon Lester, sources tell FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
Rosenthal notes that the Dodgers remain involved as well. The Cardinals made a move for a starter on Wednesday, acquiring Justin Masterson from the Indians, but they remain interested in Lester as more impactful starter to pair with Adam Wainwright. Lester would immediately become the Pirates' ace down the stretch. Lester is a free agent after the season.