Rangers plan to hold on to many of their veterans

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The Rangers enter Saturday’s action with the worst record in baseball at 39-57, but they won’t be pawning everybody off. Relievers Joakim Soria and Neal Cotts, as well as outfielder Alex Rios could be traded by the July 31 deadline, but according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the club plans to hang on to Adrian Beltre, Yu Darvish, and Elvis Andrus.

Soria, 30, is in the final year of a two-year, $8 million deal. He has a club option for 2015 worth $7 million with a $500,000 buyout. The right-hander has a 2.59 ERA with 16 saves and a 42/4 K/BB ratio in 31 1/3 innings this season.

Cotts, 34, is earning $2.2 million this season and will be eligible for free agency after the season. The lefty has posted a 3.48 ERA with a 49/16 K/BB ratio in 41 1/3 innings thus far.

Rios, 33, is playing out the final year of a seven-year, $69.835 million contract signed with the Blue Jays back in 2008. A $13.5 million club option for 2015 with a $1 million buyout remains. The outfielder has a .302/.330/.435 slash line with four home runs, 42 RBI, and 16 stolen bases.

It’s easy to see why those three would draw some interest from contending teams.

Travis d’Arnaud’s position in Wednesday’s box score read “3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B”

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The Mets had to scratch both Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores an hour before Wednesday’s game against the Yankees due to ribcage injuries, so Travis d'Arnaud — normally a catcher — borrowed David Wright‘s glove and played third base for the first time in his career. He had played some third base in spring training, but as far as an official professional game goes, he’s never been there.

The first two batters the Yankees sent up to the plate in the first inning were left-handed. But when the right-handed Aaron Judge came up, manager Terry Collins swapped second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera with d’Arnaud. It became a thing. The two swapped once more in the first inning, three times in the second, once in the third, five times in the fourth, once in the fifth, three times in the sixth, four times in the seventh, once in the eighth, and twice in the ninth. It worked, as d’Arnaud didn’t have an opportunity to make a play until catching Todd Frazier‘s pop-up for the first out of the ninth inning — as a second baseman. Cabrera had a handful of opportunities, including immediately after having swapped with d’Arnaud.

The Mets lost 5-3. At the plate, d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. Cabrera was 1-for-4.

Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cecchini are being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas so the Mets don’t have to do the “3B-2B shenanigans,” as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo put it, again.

John Lackey stole the first base of his career

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Cubs starter John Lackey stole the first base of his 15-year career on Wednesday against the Reds. Of course, he spent the first 11 and a half years of his career in the American League, where opportunities to bat, let alone attempt to steal a base, were rare. Lackey entered Wednesday having taken 250 plate appearances, reaching base just 31 times on 17 singles, seven doubles, and seven walks for a .134 on-base percentage. One can imagine the 38-year-old is not exactly the swiftest base runner.

Still, Lackey managed to swipe a bag in the fourth inning. He singled with two outs against Homer Bailey. Then, with an 0-1 count on Ben Zobrist, Lackey broke for second even before Bailey began his windup. Tucker Barnhart stood up to alert Bailey that Lackey was running, so Bailey wheeled around and threw to second base, but Lackey slid into the bag easily safe. It wasn’t a pretty slide, but it did the job.

Lackey, however, was picked off of second base by Barnhart later that inning. Bailey threw a 3-2 fastball wide of the strike zone, walking Zobrist. Lackey had wandered too far off of second base, so Barnhart threw behind Lackey and the tag was applied by Zack Cozart. Lackey was called safe initially. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was overturned, ending the fourth inning.

Base Ba’al giveth and Base Ba’al taketh away.