Ubaldo Jimenez starts for Rockies with rumors swirling

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With less than 22 hours to go before the trade deadline, Ubaldo Jimenez is in San Diego and ready to make his start Saturday night for the Rockies.

YES Network’s Jack Curry and SI.com’s Jon Heyman are both reporting that the Rockies are asking for catcher Jesus Montero, right-hander Dellin Betances and right-hander Ivan Nova from the Yankees for Jimenez.  It’s down from the original request, which included top pitching prospect Manny Banuelos, but it still sounds as though the Yankees aren’t interested in giving up both Montero and Betances in the same deal.

ESPN’s Buster Olney says rival executives believe the Indians have the best chance of getting a deal done with the Rockies.  They’re believed to have top pitching prospect Drew Pomeranz in their offer.

The Tigers, on the other hand, may be out of the mix, even though they dangled their No. 1 pitching prospect, Jacob Turner.  The 20-year-old Turner made his major league debut Saturday, allowing two runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Angels.

There’s also been word that the Red Sox haven’t been in touch with the Rockies since Thursday.  They may be more focused on Hiroki Kuroda at the moment.

So, we’ll see what happens tonight.  If Jimenez is lights out, the Yankees or Indians might be more inclined to meet the Rockies’ steep asking price.

Bruce Maxwell first MLB player to kneel during National Anthem

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Athletics’ rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell did not stand for the National Anthem on Saturday night. He’s the first MLB player to do so and, like other professional athletes before him, used the moment to send a message — not just to shed light on the lack of racial equality in the United States, but to specifically protest President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire any of their players who elect to protest the anthem by sitting or kneeling.

“Bruce’s father is a proud military lifer. Anyone who knows Bruce or his parents is well aware that the Maxwells’ love and appreciation for our country is indisputable,” Maxwell’s agent, Matt Sosnick, relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Friday. He continued:

Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump’s response to a number of professional athletes’ totally peaceful, non-violent protests.

Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion.

While Maxwell didn’t make his own statement to the media, he took to Instagram earlier in the day to express his frustration against the recent opposition to the protests, criticizing the President for endorsing “division of man and rights.”

Despite Trump’s profanity-laced directive to NFL owners on Friday, however, it’s clear the Athletics don’t share his sentiments. “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive,” the team said in a statement released after Maxwell’s demonstration. “We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

Whatever the fallout, kudos to Maxwell for taking a stand. He may be the first to do so in this particular arena, but he likely won’t be the last.

Alex Wilson broke his leg on a 103-MPH comebacker

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This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.

Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.

Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.

The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.