If the Sox decide to shop relief pitchers, the Dodgers are interested

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers would be interested in a handful of Red Sox relievers should they be made available, including Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller, Burke Badenhop and Craig Breslow.

Not surprising, as the Dodgers have one of the worst bullpens — at least by ERA — so far this season. Relief pitching tends to be the most commonly traded and most commonly sought-after commodity at the deadline, of course, so it’s not like they’ll have the field to themselves. The Tigers, Blue Jays, Angels, Reds and Braves are just some of the many contenders looking to shore up their relief corps this summer.

As for Boston: while trading John Lackey may not seem like a wise idea given that there is every reason to think Boston will contend next year, Uehara, Miller and Badenhop are all potential free agents. And bullpens are a lot easier to rebuild in relatively short order than starting rotations. Dealing one or more of them may be a way for the Sox to turn a lemon of a season into lemonade.

 

Adam Eaton sustains leg injury after tripping over first base

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Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton was carried off the field after stumbling over first base on Friday night. In the ninth inning of the Nationals’ 7-5 loss to the Mets, Eaton appeared to catch his ankle on the bag as he ran out an infield single, suffering a leg injury on the fall. He was unable to put pressure on his left leg after the play and required assistance by two of the Nationals’ athletic trainers as he exited the field.

Eaton is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday, but Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker told reporters that it “doesn’t look too good.” It’s the first significant leg injury the outfielder has sustained since 2014, when he went on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain. He’ll likely be replaced by Michael Taylor in center field for the next couple of games, though that could be a temporary fix as the Nationals seek a better solution during Eaton’s recovery process.

Madison Bumgarner likely sidelined through the All-Star break

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It’s been just over a week since Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner got a serious scare after a nasty dirt bike accident. He escaped with bruised ribs and a Grade 2 strain of his left shoulder AC joint, but there was some speculation that the injuries would cause a significant, if not permanent, setback in the southpaw’s career. Thankfully, things aren’t looking quite so bleak today. Not only will Bumgarner not require surgery, but he could return as soon as the week following the All-Star break, the Giants said Friday.

Of course, that timeline is wholly dependent on how smoothly the recovery process goes, so nothing is set in stone yet. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic estimates 2-3 months of rest and rehab, including “two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he’s big league-ready.” It’s a long and laborious schedule, but still looks much better than any surgical alternative.

Prior to the accident, Bumgarner was working on a solid start to the 2017 season. He maintained a 3.00 ERA, 1.3 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 through 27 innings with the club, though his average 1.75 runs of support per start fed into an 0-3 record.