10 most likely to be traded – Infielders

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Mark DeRosa (Indians) – With Grady Sizemore back, the Indians aren’t
likely to sell just yet. Still, at least as big of a problem as being
10 games behind is that they have four teams ahead of them in the AL
Central. DeRosa has been talked about as trade bait for close to two
months now, and the Indians have soured on him as a third baseman after
originally acquiring him to play the position. Given that he’s on pace
for about 30 homers and 110 RBI, it shouldn’t be a problem getting more
for him in trade than they would by letting him walk for draft picks at
season’s end.

Garrett Atkins (Rockies) – It certainly doesn’t bode well for
Atkins’ future in Colorado that he’s been given a total of one at-bat
with the DH available in Anaheim the last two games. At this point, the
Rockies are looking at giving him up for a fraction of what they would
have asked for a year ago or keeping him on the bench and letting his
trade value decline further. It’s unlikely that Atkins has completely
forgotten how to hit; while he was positively brutal during May, he
posted a .247/.289/.429 line in April and he’s at .256/.356/.410 in 39
at-bats during his limited opportunities at month. That he isn’t much
of a third baseman is a problem, one that really cuts into his value,
but he’s gone from overrated to potentially underrated in a hurry.

Nick Johnson (Nationals) – While some free agents-to-be are more likely
to stay with their current teams because of the ramifications of
draft-pick compensation, it only makes Johnson more likely to go. Since
Johnson was limited to 38 games last year, there’s little chance that
the Nationals will receive a pick by keeping him and letting him walk
at season’s end. Perhaps on his way to his first healthy season since
2006, Johnson is currently hitting .315/.423/.444. The OBP is no fluke
and Johnson is a quality defender, so he’s the Nationals’ best
bargaining chip as they attempt to add more young talent to their
organization.

Adam LaRoche (Pirates) – The comments he made after the Nate McLouth
trade didn’t help matters, but LaRoche was already unlikely to finish
the season in Pittsburgh. A divorce would be best for both parties, as
it’d surely help LaRoche to have a chance to ply his trade for a
contender as he heads into free agency at season’s end. While he’s been
a reliable first baseman since the day he debuted in 2004, he’s still
never topped 90 RBI in a season, partly because he sat against lefties
early on and partly because he’s hit in some poor lineups. However,
it’s also the case that his power has tended to disappear in big
situations. A few key homers down the stretch for a more visible team
might do wonders for his reputation as he enters the market.

Orlando Cabrera (Athletics) – There’s no denying that Cabrera has
been one of the AL’s weakest regulars this season, but at least the
price should be right. The A’s have no reason to hold on to him, as he
could well accept arbitration if the team tries to get draft picks for
him this winter. Cabrera is coming off three straight seasons with at
least a .280 average and a .330 OBP, and he was the AL’s best defensive
shortstop in 2008. He’s probably not through as a useful starter.

Aubrey Huff (Orioles) – It was about this time a year ago that Huff
really took off on his way to a .304-32-108 season. However, outside of
that three-month run in 2008, he’s been strictly an 800-OPS guy since
2006. The Orioles, who inked him to a three-year, $20 million deal
prior to 2007, could opt to try to re-sign him for a couple of years,
but they’d likely be better off moving on, especially if they could
cash him in for a couple of prospects this summer. Because of the lofty
RBI totals, he’ll probably be more attractive to some than LaRoche.

Dan Uggla (Marlins) – The Marlins are still a long way from being
out of the race, but unless things go very well over the next month,
both Uggla and Jorge Cantu will be trade candidates. Uggla’s average
remains down, but he has improved to .239/.357/.465 this month and he’s
on pace for 30 homers and nearly 100 RBI. There’s almost no chance that
he’ll be back with the Marlins next season, since he’s due to become
their most expensive player at $7 million-$8 million.

Freddy Sanchez (Pirates) – While it’s always Jack Wilson’s name that
comes up in trade rumors, his double-play partner is at least as likely
to be dealt this summer. If they keep him, the Pirates will have to
decide whether to pick up his $8 million option for 2010 or buy him out
for $600,000. He’s probably worth the cash, but he is 31 and second
basemen tend to age especially badly, making it unlikely that he’ll
still be a quality regular when the Pirates are next ready to contend.
He’d be an upgrade for the Giants, White Sox, Twins, Brewers, Cubs,
Angels and Cardinals.

Felipe Lopez (Diamondbacks) – Lopez could help all of those same
teams. Maybe. While Sanchez is a legitimate .300 hitter, Lopez is 40
points above his career mark in batting .303/.356/.420 this season. On
the plus side, he is cheaper, both in terms of salary and probably in
the talent that it would take to acquire him.

Miguel Tejada (Astros) – The Astros probably won’t be in the thick
of the NL Central race come September, but they’re also unlikely to
give up and start selling off veterans, no matter how much they could
use some young talent. As is, they’re still just six games back in NL
Central and five in the wild card. Tejada is a weak defender at
shortstop and he’s back hitting nothing except singles lately after his
brief power surge in May, but there’s no one in the organization who
would serve as an adequate replacement.

Justin Verlander and Kate Upton are engaged

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, left, and model Kate Upton pose for a photograph during second half NBA All-Star Game basketball action in Toronto on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Associated Press
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Justin Verlander and Kate Upton have been a couple for a long time. And dudes like me have been writing about them for a long time because, well, Justin Verlander and Kate Upton.

They’ve fallen a bit off the radar in recent years thanks to Verlander taking a step back from Cy Young contender status and Upton’s profile likewise receding a bit, but if anything that probably helped things out given how hard it probably is to live a life with paparazzi hovering every time you want to out and get a burger or something.

In any event, those two crazy kids have made it work. Made it work so well that Verlander have Upton a big fat rock that she showed off at last night’s Met Ball, which is a fundraising gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Check it out:

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When you’re on a $180 million contract you can afford stuff like that, I guess.

Anyway, it looks like Upton enjoyed the fancy, star-studded gala in New York. I’m sure Verlander had a good time on the Tigers’ off-day in Cleveland. There’s a lot to do in Cleveland if you know where to look.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon yells toward Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Kyle Lobstein after Cubs' Ben Zobrist was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 2, 2016, in Pittsburgh. The Cubs won 7-2. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cubs 7, Pirates 2: Plunky Brewster. Archie Plunker — no, Archie Plunker’s Place.  Plunkingham Palace. Fran Plunkington. I dunno, but there was plunking here, starting with Jason Hammel hitting Starling Marte to lead off the sixth followed by Kyle Lobstein hitting Ben Zobrist in the seventh. Hard to deny that Hammel hitting Marte wasn’t retaliation for Tony Watson hitting Jake Arrieta in the Wild Card Game last year, though I’m sure everyone denied it. Boys will be boys. Hammel allowed two runs pitching into the sixth and his ERA almost doubled, which tells you how good he’s been in the early going.

Rangers 2, Blue Jays 1: Nomar Mazara won April’s Rookie of the month award yesterday afternoon and several hours later hit a tiebreaking home run in the top of the eighth. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, he threw out a dude at home plate. Not a bad day for the kid. This was also a playoff rematch that had the potential for a plunking. Some think the Rangers still want to hit Jose Bautista for the infamous bat flip last October. Maybe it’ll come later in the series when the game is not as close, but for now the Rangers are probably pretty happy with him going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Giants 9, Reds 6: Johnny Cueto returned to Cincinnati to pitch in front of his old home crowd. He didn’t pitch well, giving up six runs in five innings, but you have a bit of a margin for error against this Reds teams. The Giants bats supplied the margin, rattling out 14 hits, including Brandon Crawford‘s three-run homer in the seventh to put the Reds ahead. He added a fourth RBI in the ninth for some insurance.

Mets 4, Braves 1: Mike Foltynewicz got called up yesterday to make his first big league start of the year. He was greeted by a four-run first inning. Gwinnett County is in the same time zone as New York so you can’t blame jet lag, but maybe he got some bad shortbread cookies on the flight or something. Or maybe, based on the fact that he sucked in 15 starts last year, he’s simply not that great. Maybe if these are the 1988 Braves all over again, as I’ve hoped and suspected, he’s our Kevin Coffman: the guy purported to have great stuff and a great future who just got eaten alive by big league pitching before disappearing into witness protection. Meanwhile, Bartolo Colon — who is way closer in age to Kevin Coffman than Mike Foltynewicz — tossed eight shutout innings.

Brewers 8, Angels 5: Jimmy Nelson had two hits including a go-ahead RBI single. He also allowed only two runs over seven innings and got the win. The Brewers got their runs in bunches, with four in the fifth and four in the sixth.

Twins 6, Astros 2: The Twins, who started the season with a notable losing streak and are considered to be among the top underachievers of the young season, now have the same record as the Astros who were favored by many to win the AL West and who most have said “it’s OK, they’ll come around.” And it’s not because the Twins have turned into world-beaters in the past couple of weeks. I’m not saying it’s time to panic in Houston or anything, but eww. Jose Berrios got his first career win, giving up two runs on three hits with eight strikeouts in five and a third. Much better than his debut.

Nationals 2, Royals 0: Four in a row for the Nats as Gio Gonzalez and the bullpen combine on a five-hit shutout. The Royals have lost six of seven. Three of those losses have been shutouts.

Cardinals 10, Phillies 3: Adam Wainwright provided the game’s biggest highlight with a monster homer. The Cards hit five homers in all. When Wainwright was asked about his homer later he used the term “ducks on the pond” to refer to men on base when he came to bat. Which makes me think that Wainwright is 86 years-old. Seriously, I’m pretty sure he started Game 3 of the 1964 World Series against the Yankees. He was really salty when his manager, Johnny Keane, left St. Louis to take over for Yogi Berra in New York the following year. Everything turned out OK, though.

Mariners 4, Athletics 3Nathan Karns gave up three runs while pitching into the seventh. The M’s won for the fifth straight time in the Coliseum. They may be the only ones who like it there. Not that I can or should slam the place. I’m taking my kids on vacation to California next month and I’m taking them to a game there. I could just as easily take them to a Giants game at AT&T but I sort of want them to see what it was like to go to a ballgame in some weird multi-use place with a better proletariat-to- bourgeoisie ratio like I did in the 70s and 80s.

Padres 2, Rockies 1: Matt Kemp hit a two-run double in the first inning and it held up thanks to James Shields allowing one run over six. Shields has gotten seven runs in support in his six starts this season.

Video: Adam Wainwright crushes a three-run homer into the second deck

St. Louis Cardinals' Adam Wainwright connects for a three-run triple against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
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Adam Wainwright has been bringing the lumber lately. The Cardinals’ pitcher delivered a three-run triple in his previous start, last Wednesday, against the Diamondbacks.

During Monday’s start against the Phillies, he doubled to lead off the third inning. Then, in the top of the fourth, he absolutely demolished a Jeremy Hellickson offering for a three-run home run into the second deck at Busch Stadium to tie the game at three apiece.

It’s the seventh home run of Wainwright’s career and brings his season total up to six RBI, matching a career high.

Video: A Delino DeShields base running gaffe costs the Rangers a run

Texas Rangers' Delino DeShields reacts after he struck out swinging to end the tenth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in Seattle. The Mariners beat the Rangers 4-2 in ten innings. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
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The Rangers would’ve easily taken a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning of Monday’s game against the Blue Jays if not for a base running mistake by Delino DeShields.

Facing R.A. Dickey, Mitch Moreland led off the frame with an infield single. He advanced to second base on a passed ball. After Elvis Andrus flied out, Brett Nicholas drew a walk and DeShields singled to right, loading the bases. Gavin Floyd came in to relieve Dickey, facing Rougned Odor.

Odor skied a fly ball to right-center, which seemed like an obvious sacrifice fly. Center fielder Kevin Pillar made the catch and alertly made a strong throw into second base. Moreland tagged up and scored from third, and DeShields was attempting to tag up on the play as well. However, DeShields was tagged out by shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field — that Moreland scored before DeShields was tagged out — was overturned, erasing the run from the board. That left the game in a 1-1 tie.

The Rangers would eventually take a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth when Nomar Mazara drilled a solo home run to center field off of Floyd. All’s well that ends well, right?