Bill Baer

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Video: Brandon Phillips joins the 2,000 hit club

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Braves infielder Brandon Phillips became the 286th member of the 2,000 hit club on Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader against the Phillies. In the top of the first inning with a runner on second base and no outs, Phillips sent a 2-2 Jerad Eickhoff curve into shallow center field for an RBI single.

Phillips joins Adrian Gonzalez and teammate Nick Markakis as players who have recently joined the 2,000 hit club. Next up on the list is Twins first baseman Joe Mauer, who is at 1,949. Chase Utley, the active player closest behind Mauer, is more than 100 hits behind.

Phillips, 36, is in his 16th season in the majors. For the first 15 years, he was a full-time second baseman, but the Braves moved him to third base to make room for prospect Ozzie Albies at second. Phillips entered Wednesday’s action batting .293/.331/.427 with 11 home runs, 51 RBI, and 67 runs scored in 493 plate appearances.

Report: Trade interest in Justin Verlander picking up

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Tigers starter Justin Verlander has turned his season around over his last 10 starts. During that span of time, dating back to July 8, he has a 2.38 ERA with a 75/19 K/BB ratio in 68 innings. As a result, trade interest has picked up, Jon Morosi reports. The Astros were reportedly interested previously, but a different team has emerged as a potential landing spot.

Overall, Verlander owns a 3.90 ERA and a 167/66 K/BB ratio in 166 innings on the season. While the stats are decent, particularly recently, an acquiring team is most concerned about his age (34) and his contract. He’s owed $28 million in each of the next two seasons and has a $22 million vesting option for 2020.

A contending team would need to add Verlander by Thursday in order for the right-hander to become eligible for the postseason roster.

Blue Jays release Nori Aoki

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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that the club granted outfielder Nori Aoki his unconditional release. He had been designated for assignment on Monday.

Aoki, 35, hit for surprising power in limited action for the Jays after being acquired from the Astros at the trade deadline. In 34 plate appearances spanning 12 games, he batted .281/.294/.594 with three home runs and eight RBI.

If a contending club is interested in Aoki and wants him to be eligible for the postseason roster, he will need to be added by Thursday. Players acquired in September are not eligible for the postseason roster.