Report: Astros told Hunter Pence last night he was being traded

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A source told SI.com’s Jon Heyman that Hunter Pence was told he was being pulled from Thursday’s game due to a trade, only to get left in the game afterwards.

Judging by Heyman’s followup tweet, there’s a suspicion that Astros management agreed to a deal and ownership vetoed it.

If that’s the case, Houston’s in a heap of trouble right now.  GM Ed Wade has made his share of bad deals, but he’s in a great negotiating position here and it sounds like he’s going to be getting plenty of talent in return if he deals Pence.  If ownership is really tying his hands here, then it’s making a big mistake.  The Astros are going nowhere next year, and Pence may never have more trade value than he does right now.

Red Sox prospect involved in serious auto accident

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Via WEEI.com comes a report that Red Sox minor league pitcher Kevin Steen was critically injured in a car crash on Wednesday night near Fort Myers.

The driver of the other car involved in the accident was killed. Steen is in the hospital in critical condition. It appears as though the other driver veered off the road, overcorrected and then crossed the center line, crashing into Steen’s SUV.

Steen, 20, is a starting pitcher. He was a ninth round pick of the Red Sox in 2014 out of Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He’s played three seasons in the Sox season and was about to begin his fourth.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.