Aaron Crow and Tim Collins “very available” via trade

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The Royals don’t have much wiggle room with their payroll after signing left-hander Jason Vargas to a four-year, $32 million contract last week, so they are willing to deal some of their bullpen surplus in order to address other areas of need.

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star was told by rival club officials that Aaron Crow and Tim Collins are “very available” in possible trades. Both pitchers will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, so they’ll only get more expensive over time. The Royals would consider offers for any of their relievers, but they are naturally more reluctant to move All-Star closer Greg Holland than Crow or Collins.

Crow, who turned 27 earlier this month, owns a 3.19 ERA over 187 relief appearances in the majors while averaging 9.0 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9. Collins, a 24-year-old left-hander, has compiled a 3.51 ERA and 205 strikeouts over his first 190 innings in the majors.

Dutton currently projects the Royals to have a franchise-record payroll of $87 million in 2014.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.