Cardinals and Rockies in the mix for Felipe Lopez

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Felipe Lopez headshot.jpgJon Heyman of SI.com tweets that the Cardinals are Rockies are among the teams interested in free agent second baseman Felipe Lopez.

Lopez, who turns 30 in May, has been overshadowed by Orlando Hudson of late, but is coming off a season in which he batted .310/.383/.427 with nine home runs, 57 RBI and 88 runs scored with the Diamondbacks and Brewers. Though Hudson won the Gold Glove, Lopez outperformed him in UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating). And as I compiled in November, Lopez ranked fourth among free agents in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) last season.

Lopez doesn’t have the reputation of Hudson, but he is nearly three years younger and with the ability to play shortstop, third base and the outfield, he’s far more versatile. Whoever signs him will have a found a nice bargain.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.