Report: Wandy Rodriguez will get claimed on waivers

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Danny Knobler of CBSSports says there is “a growing belief in baseball” that Wandy Rodriguez will be placed on waivers this week and that at least one team will put in a claim.

The Yankees discussed a Rodriguez trade prior to the July 31 deadline, but talks broke down amid reports that the Bombers wanted the Astros to eat $17 million of the $38 million owed to the left-hander through 2014.  Knobler says the Yankees are no longer interested in Rodriguez.

That even the Yankees wanted the Astros to take on so much of the salary suggested that Rodriguez would probably clear waivers this month.  However, Knobler doesn’t believe that’s the case.  He says it’s likely at least one NL team will put in a claim.

The Astros could simply let Rodriguez go if he is claimed on waivers.  Doing so would free them from his entire salary, but they wouldn’t get anything in return.  Alternatively, they could pull him back and attempt to trade him to the claiming team.  If that were to happen, the Astros might eat some salary and get a prospect back for him.

If Rodriguez instead clears waivers, the Astros will be free to deal him to any team through the end of the regular season.  The only issue there is that he’d have to be traded prior to Sept. 1 to be postseason eligible for his new team.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.