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D-backs trade Kennedy to Padres

The Padres have acquired starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, who won 21 games just two years ago, according to MLB.com’s Corey Brock.

MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert previously reported that Arizona was nearing an intra-division exchange that  included Kennedy and San Diego’s southpaw reliever Joe Thatcher.

The D-backs will receive Thatcher, Double-A Pitcher Matt Stites and a compensatory Draft pick.

In 21 starts this season, Kennedy is 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA. Thatcher has logged a 2.10 ERA in 50 appearances for the Padres.

Arizona has a bit of depth in its starting rotation, with Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill both expected to soon rejoin the big league club. Kennedy had been previously linked to the Angels, in addition to the Padres.

The D-backs trail the Dodgers by 3 1/2 games in the National League West. San Diego stands 8 1/2 games back.

–Zack Meisel

D-backs close to dealing Kennedy

Arizona is nearing a deal with the Padres that would involve starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, who won 21 games just two years ago. According to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, the intra-division exchange would include San Diego’s southpaw reliever Joe Thatcher.

In 21 starts this season, Kennedy is 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA. Thatcher has logged a 2.10 ERA in 50 appearances for the Padres.

Arizona has a bit of depth in its starting rotation, with Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill both expected to soon rejoin the big league club. Kennedy had been previously linked to the Angels, in addition to the Padres.

The D-backs trail the Dodgers by 3 1/2 games in the National League West. San Diego stands 8 1/2 games back.

–Zack Meisel

Dodgers, Marlins complete Nolasco deal

The Dodgers acquired right-hander Ricky Nolasco from the Marlins on Saturday in exchange for three Minor League pitchers. Miami received young hurlers Josh Wall, Stephen Ames and Angel Sanchez.

Los Angeles will pay the remaining $5.8 million that Nolasco (5-8, 3.85 ERA) is owed the rest of this season. The Marlins also sent international signing bonus slot No. 96 — worth $197,000 — to the Dodgers.

Nolasco joins a Dodgers rotation that has lost Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett for the season. Wall went 1-2 with a 5.60 ERA and Ames went 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA out of the bullpen at Triple-A Albuquerque. Sanchez posted a 2-7 record and 4.88 ERA in 14 starts at Class A Great Lakes. He made two appearances at Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga.

-Zack Meisel

Brewers deal Greinke to Angels

The Angels have won the sweepstakes for Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke, a source has confirmed to MLB.com. FOXSports.com first reported the trade.

Milwaukee will receive shortstop Jean Segura, the Angels’ No. 1 ranked prospect by MLB.com, and two Double-A pitchers — Ariel Pena and John Hellweg — in exchange for one of the top arms available on the trade market. Segura, 22, played in one game for the Angels. He hit .294 with 33 stolen bases in 94 games for Double-A Arkansas.

Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin told MLB.com on Thursday that, “I don’t think there’s any secret, with the Trade Deadline, that this is a possibility. Zack knows that. We know that. Other teams know that.”

Greinke is slated to become a free agent at the end of the season. Melvin said he hadn’t had formal negotiations on a contract extension with Greinke since Spring Training. In 21 starts this season, the 2009 American League Cy Young winner is 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA.

Greinke should strengthen a rotation that already has Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Dan Haren. The Rangers and Braves were also known to be serious suitors for Greinke’s services. The Rangers refused to part with Minor League third baseman Mike Olt, who the Brewers had targeted.

– Zack Meisel

July 25 news and notes: Greinke, Lee, Headley

Now that the Phillies have locked up southpaw Cole Hamels to a six-year, $144 million deal, Milwaukee’s Zack Greinke appears to be the pitcher drawing the most widespread interest. The Braves thought they were closing in on Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, but the 35-year-old would prefer to go to the Dodgers and, with his ability to veto any trade, he has stalled to see if the Dodgers, his preferred destination, make Chicago a better offer. Well, Atlanta is tired of waiting around and general manager Frank Wren says the club has moved on. Our own Mark Bowman provides the details on the Braves’ pursuit of Greinke. The Rangers and Angels are among other teams reportedly interested in Greinke’s services.

Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who has 19 home runs in 70 games since May 1, could interest a number of teams, including the Dodgers, Giants and Indians, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. Soriano, 36, is signed through the 2014 season, with an annual salary of $14 million for each of the next two years.

Morosi and Ken Rosenthal also ponder whether the Phillies will make lefty Cliff Lee available now that they have Hamels in the fold for the foreseeable future. Lee, 33, has three years and $87.5 million remaining on his contract after this season.

The Padres will more than likely deal third baseman Chase Headley prior to Tuesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Heyman reports that as many as 10 teams have checked in on Headley, including the Orioles, Indians, A’s and Pirates. The 28-year-old switch-hitter hit his 12th home run of the season in the first inning of Wednesday’s contest against the Giants.

– Zack Meisel

July 24 news and notes: The latest on Upton, Hanley, Dempster

The first shoe dropped on Monday when the Tigers acquired pitcher Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante from the Marlins. Minutes later, the Yankees dealt for 10-time All-Star Ichiro Suzuki, who switched dugouts at Safeco Field and then went 1-for-4 against his former team, the Mariners.

With the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline just one week away, the hot stove is scorching. Despite making a move on Monday, the Marlins aren’t shying away from the spotlight. Our own Joe Frisaro notes that Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez are garnering plenty of interest from numerous teams should Miami make them available. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says Ramirez could fit for seven different teams, with the Athletics being an intriguing option. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that first baseman Carlos Lee, right-hander Ricky Nolasco and southpaw reliever Randy Choate could also be up for grabs.

The Braves tried to strike a deal on Monday for Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, who leads the league with a 2.11 ERA. Dempster can veto a trade to any team. Rosenthal reported that the Cubs are stalling to see if the Dodgers — Dempster’s preferred destination — make a better offer.

“I want to look everything over before I make a decision, and I’ve got time to do that,” Dempster said Tuesday. “There’s a week before the Trade Deadline.”

Our own Carrie Muskat reports Dempster might string this out right up until next Tuesday’s deadline.

The D-backs have been mentioned as a club that could potentially be a seller. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, however, says the club won’t deal right fielder Justin Upton. Team president Derrick Hall told ESPN.com he would be “completely shocked” if the club moved Upton during the season. The 24-year-old hit 31 home runs and tallied 88 RBIs last season. He has a clause in his contract that allows him to block a trade to the Yankees, Red Sox, Indians or Cubs.

– Zack Meisel

July 23 news and notes: To buy or to sell? That is the question

The trade winds are reaching a strong gust with the non-waiver Trade Deadline just eight days away. With cluttered playoff races in both leagues, clubs are waiting as long as possible before determining if they are buyers or sellers. That has stalled the trade market, though it hasn’t stopped rumors from swirling from coast to coast.

Twins southpaw Francisco Liriano can boost his stock with a quality start tonight at U.S. Cellular Field. Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Angels are among a handful of teams that could be interested in the 28-year-old. Liriano has posted a 3-4 record and 2.84 ERA in 10 starts since rejoining Minnesota’s starting rotation at the end of May.

Should the Indians opt to become sellers at the deadline, they could have a couple of attractive pieces to part with. Closer Chris Perez is slated to earn a raise this offseason. The 27-year-old has converted 26 of 28 save chances this season. Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo is scheduled to hit free agency following the 2013 season. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Giants, who lost closer Brian Wilson for the season to Tommy John surgery, have shown interest in Perez.

The Brewers could also choose to sell, and right-hander Zack Greinke would be a hot commodity. Our own Adam McCalvy reported that Milwaukee offered Greinke an extension in excess of $100 million. As of now, the 28-year-old, who is 9-3 with a 3.57 ERA, is scheduled to be a free agent after the season. Should the Brewers opt to part with him, the Rangers, Angels, Braves and Nationals would be interested, Rosenthal reported.

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez could be another player for whom the Brewers would entertain offers. Our own Ken Gurnick reported that the Dodgers would be interested should Ramirez hit the trade market, though the 34-year-old admitted he’d be surprised if he was dealt, considering he signed a three-year deal to come to Milwaukee during the offseason.

Morosi also tweeted that the Dodgers and Phillies have kicked the tires on center fielder Shane Victorino, though nothing was imminent on that front.

–Zack Meisel

July 17 news and notes: D-backs hitters gaining interest

– In their quest to put an end to 19 consecutive losing seasons, the Pirates — one game behind National League Central-leading Cincinnati — could be in the market for a bat. Pittsburgh entered Tuesday’s action 10th in the NL with 4.08 runs per game and 13th with a .246 team batting average. Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Pirates have been in touch with the D-backs about prized outfielder Justin Upton. Morosi says it’s unclear if Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington would part with a couple of the organization’s Minor League jewels in exchange for the 24-year-old Upton, who hit .289 with 31 home runs and 88 RBIs a year ago. This season, Upton totes a .271 average with with seven round-trippers and 38 RBIs. Arizona, at 43-46, sits six games out of the lead in the NL West. According to Morosi’s colleague, Ken Rosenthal, Upton can block a trade to four teams: the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Indians.

– Upton isn’t the only D-backs player garnering interest. Morosi also reports that the Tigers could be in pursuit of Arizona infielders Stephen Drew and Ryan Roberts. Drew, a shortstop, has played just 13 games this season since returning from a broken ankle. He’s a career .269 hitter in seven seasons with the D-backs. He was the club’s first-round selection in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft. Roberts, 31, is batting .239 with six homers in 76 games.

– While the D-backs try to stay afloat in the NL West, the Marlins are trying to get back to sea level in the NL East. At 43-46, Miami sits nine games behind the division-leading Nationals and six games out of the second Wild Card spot. Our own Joe Frisaro says the Marlins could be sellers should they fall out of contention in the next two weeks, and if they do pawn off their players, perhaps no one is safe. ESPN’s Buster Olney says the Marlins would listen to offers for anyone, including Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Johnson, though they would have to be more than overwhelmed to part with their top performers.

– Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster (5-3, 1.86 ERA) continues to attract plenty of attention on the trade market. Dempster, who currently sports a 33-inning scoreless streak, has the ability to veto any trade, since he has been in the league for 10 years, and five with one team. Olney reported that the Red Sox were actively in pursuit of the 35-year-old, though the Dodgers, Yankees, Braves and a whole host of other clubs have also expressed interest. However, WEEI.com in Boston reported that the Red Sox do not have Dempster on their wish list.

- Zack Meisel

Former Indians Omar Vizquel, Carlos Baerga reunite at Progressive Field

CLEVELAND — Opening Day at Progressive Field brought about a reunion of former Indians infielders.

Jays utility infielder Omar Vizquel, who awed Tribe fans for 11 years with his dazzling defense at shortstop, began his 24th — and perhaps final — season in the Major Leagues on Thursday.

Omar Vizquel and Carlos Baerga shared the Indians' infield for parts of four seasons in the '90s.

Carlos Baerga, who manned second base for Cleveland from 1990-96 and in 1999, has been representing the club as an alumni ambassador. He caught the ceremonial first pitch.

“It’s something special,” Baerga said. “I haven’t been here on Opening Day since I played here. To be here today is something really good for me.”

Baerga and Vizquel shared a few laughs and reminisced about their time together during the Tribe’s glory days of the ’90s.

Baerga can’t believe the 11-time Gold Glove winner is still chugging along at the ripe age of 44. Vizquel is one-and-a-half years older than Baerga.

“He’s amazing. He’s a great player and he stays in great shape,” Baerga said. “I said, ‘Man, what’s going on? You’re making me look bad.’”

The Indians have welcomed several players from that era back to the organization. Sandy Alomar Jr. is the team’s bench coach. Kenny Lofton assisted with outfielders and baserunning as a guest instructor during Spring Training. Even Albert Belle, who maintained a hot-and-cold relationship with the club and its fans, made an appearance in Goodyear, Ariz.

“It’s awesome,” Baerga said. “The Cleveland Indians have started doing what the New York Yankees used to do, bringing in the old guys to be with the young players. I’m really proud to do it.”

Vizquel was busy securing a spot on Toronto’s Opening Day roster, so he couldn’t join his former teammates in Spring Training. But seeing his old pals in their new roles has him hopeful for a spot in Cleveland once he finally opts to hang up his cleats.

“I’d like to [be in Cleveland],” Vizquel said. “The Indians have a special place in my heart.”

–Zack Meisel

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