Padres expected to pursue trades for starting pitching

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We heard yesterday that Edinson Volquez is drawing interest from multiple teams, but don’t take that to mean that the Padres are sellers.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Padres will attempt to upgrade their starting rotation leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. While the club currently sits at 38-38 on the year, their starters rank 25th in the majors with a 4.56 ERA. And Heyman hears that they have at least had discussions about a familiar face.

Their limited revenues could prevent serious runs at any ace who may hit the trade market, though in what seems like a positive sign anyway, there’s word Padres people at least internally have discussed some bigger names — including even their former star Jake Peavy (though there’s no evidence they’ll make a serious run at Peavy in particular).

Of course, Peavy was drafted by the Padres in 1999 and spent the first eight years of his career with the club before being traded to the White Sox in July of 2009. Currently sidelined with a non-displaced fracture in his rib cage, the 32-year-old right-hander is still owed around $22 million through the end of 2014.

Not surprisingly, Heyman considers names like Ricky Nolasco and Bud Norris as more realistic targets, though there figures to be plenty of competition for them. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune mentioned the Orioles’ Jake Arrieta as a possibility yesterday.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.