Gio Gonzalez

Report: The Marlins are talking to the A’s about Gio Gonzalez

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We’ve heard the Marlins connected with all manner of free agents. But how a trade rumor? Here’s one: Miami is talking with the Athletics about Gio Gonzalez

David Villavicencio is the man with this report, and he says that sources close to Gonzalez are telling him that the two teams are talking trade for the lefty. It’s not clear from the report that a deal is imminent, but Villavicencio reports that three different players have been discussed as potential pieces for the deal and that all three  “played significant time with the Marlins last season.”  Not all three would be part of a potential trade.

Such a trade would make all kinds of sense for everyone involved.  The A’s are — as always — looking to get a lot of talent in return for someone  they soon won’t be able to afford, and Gonzalez is worth a boatload on the trade market right now.  Meanwhile the Marlins, despite playing footsie with Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes, really need starting pitching, and Gonzalez would upgrade the rotation in major fashion.

Oh, and let us not forget: the Marlins are all about building a strong local brand, and Gonzalez is a Miami native.

Stay tuned to this one. Because even if the Marlins aren’t ready to pull the trigger on this, there are any number of teams who would like to get in on the Athletics selling off their best pitcher.

Report: Phillies want a top-five prospect for Jeremy Hellickson

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 20: Starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson #58 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the second inning during a game against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on July 20, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.

Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.

ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.

Video: Matt Cain launches a three-run home run

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 26: Matt Cain #18 of the San Francisco Giants hits a three run home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the second inning at AT&T Park on July 26, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.

Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.

It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.

On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.