Philadelphia Phillies v Pittsburgh Pirates

That cuts it: the Phillies are probably looking to trade for a second baseman


No, this isn’t based on any insight or news or tips or even any gossip.  It’s based on this:

Before that, I would have said that Ruben Amaro was probably inclined to wait out Chase Utley’s injury, play Freddy Galvis at second base, get through the early, easy part of their schedule — 30 of their first 39 games come against sub-.500 teams — and remember that the team still won 102 games last season without Utley in the lineup for a large stretch of it.

But now?  Man, if I’ve learned anything about how general managers operate these past few years, it’s that they only talk about how they’re comfortable with a guy taking over for an All-Star is when they’re trying to make it seem slightly less obvious to the other GMs that they’re really wanting to trade.

I know your game, Amaro. Your ninja tricks won’t work on me!

Padres announce Pat Murphy won’t return as manager in 2016

Pat Murphy
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Per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Padres have announced that interim manager Pat Murphy won’t return as the team’s manager in 2016. Haudricourt adds that Brewres manager Craig Counsell tried to get Murphy on his staff, and says to look for Murphy to join the Brewers for the 2016 season.

Murphy led the Padres to a 42-53 record after Bud Black was fired in June. He had previously managed for two years with Single-A Eugene in 2011-12, and at Triple-A Tucson and El Paso in 2013-14.

Former major leaguer Phil Nevin is a candidate for the Padres’ vacant managing position, according to Scott Miller of Bleacher Report.

Royals clinch home field advantage, best record in the American League

Lorenzo Cain
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With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.

95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.

In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.