Phillies wanted Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Julio Urias from Dodgers for Cole Hamels

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FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reported Monday that the Phillies have made ace left-hander Cole Hamels available ahead of Thursday’s July 31 trade deadline, but the asking price on him is apparently sky-high.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes that the Dodgers — who are known to be in the market for a top-tier starting pitcher — reached out to the Phillies front office recently but were told it would take top prospects Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Julio Urias to get Hamels. Los Angeles quickly said no.

Pederson, a 22-year-old center fielder, has batted .318/.450/.585 with 22 home runs and 25 stolen bases in 91 games this season at Triple-A Albuquerque. Seager, a 20-year-old shortstop, owns a .353/.410/.630 slash line with 18 home runs and 71 RBI in 86 games between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga. Urias, a 17-year-old left-hander from Mexico, has registered a 2.77 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 134 strikeouts over his first 113 2/3 innings as a professional.

To call that a massive return package would be an understatement. It’s pretty clear now that Hamels — who is under contract with the Phillies through the 2018 season — is probably going to be staying put.

Javier Baez: “This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it.”

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Infielder Javier Baez is back in camp with the Cubs after helping Puerto Rico to a second-place finish in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He was the focal point of what was, to many, the most memorable play of the entire tournament: Baez pointed at catcher Yadier Molina, who was attempting to throw out a would-be base-stealer, before applying the tag for the final out of the eighth inning.

While Baez didn’t receive much criticism for his theatrics, aside from an insignificant handful of spoilsports, he is one of the players who most exemplifies the emotional, celebratory culture that foreign players bring to Major League Baseball. U.S. (and Tigers) second baseman Ian Kinsler is on the other side of that spectrum, as he said prior to the WBC final that he hopes kids mimic the solemn way U.S. players play the game rather than the emotional, passionate way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play the game.

Baez isn’t about to apologize for the way he and his teammates play the game. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, Baez said, “We do a great job playing and having fun out there. That’s what it’s all about. This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it. but, you know, everybody’s got their style and their talent. I have a lot of fun.”

He continued, “It’s their choice to look at how we play, how excited we get. To us, it’s really huge what we did, even though we didn’t win. All of Puerto Rico got really together. We were going through a hard time over there and everything got fixed up for at least three weeks. Hopefully, they keep it like that.”

Mike Trout proposes change to spring training umpiring

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Angels outfielder Mike Trout came up with an idea that would allow less experienced umpires an opportunity to call some major league spring training action. As ESPN’s Buster Olney reports, Trout thinks the veteran umpires should only call five or six innings as they get back into regular season shape. The rest of the innings could be called by minor league umpires.

According to Olney, baseball officials loved Trout’s idea when they heard about it last week. One official said, “It makes a lot of sense for a lot of different reasons.” Another said, “That’s Trout — he’s always paying attention to stuff beyond what he’s doing.”

Of course, I have to agree that the suggestion is a great one. As Olney notes, the turnover rate for umpires every year is relatively low, so younger, less-experienced umpires have few opportunities to get a feel for what it’s like calling major league action. Even beyond the actual interpretation of the rules, interacting with big league personalities would also be helpful for minor league umpires.