Bill Baer

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 21: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on July 21, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Sonny Gray lands back on the disabled list

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Athletics starter Sonny Gray was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm on Sunday, MLB.com’s Mark Chiarelli reports. The club transferred catcher Josh Phegley to the 60-day disabled list, called up pitcher Chris Smith from Triple-A Nashville, and tabbed Zach Neal to start in Gray’s place on Tuesday.

Gray, 26, was on the disabled list earlier this season — between May 21 and June 4 — with a strained right trapezius. It’s been a tough year for the right-hander, who owns an ugly 5.74 ERA with a 93/42 K/BB ratio in 116 innings.

It was widely believed that Gray was going to be a very attractive trade piece for the Athletics this summer, but his injuries and ineffectiveness killed that idea. Gray will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season. Despite the rough year, Gray is likely to see a significant increase in salary.

Report: Brian McCann cleared waivers

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 20:  Catcher Brian McCann #34 of the New York Yankees heads back to the plate against the Oakland Athletics in the second inning at O.co Coliseum on May 20, 2016 in Oakland, California.  The Yankees won 8-3.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
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Yankees catcher Brian McCann cleared waivers, Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reports. That means that the Yankees can now attempt to trade him to any interested team by the end of August.

As mentioned here, a team placing a player on waivers doesn’t necessarily mean anything — most teams will place a handful of players on waivers this month. The Yankees are rebuilding and placed McCann on waivers, likely hoping that another team would claim him and they could pass his remaining contract onto that team. Unsurprisingly, no one bit.

McCann is owed the remainder of his $17 million salary for the 2016 season and will earn $17 million annually through 2018. He has a club option worth $15 million in 2019 with no buyout. He has a no-trade clause, so he would have to approve any trade that the Yankees would make.

Heyman notes that the Braves showed interest in acquiring McCann ahead of the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline. The club wanted McCann to be a veteran presence for an otherwise young team. But it’s unclear if the Braves would be willing to give the Yankees what they want in what is essentially a lost season.

McCann, 32, entered Sunday hitting .233/.330/.417 with 15 home runs and 44 RBI in 345 plate appearances.

Manny Machado hit three home runs in the Orioles’ first three innings

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 07: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a solo home run in the 1st inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 7, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Update #2 (4:57 PM EDT): Machado got a sixth at-bat in the top of the ninth against reliever Michael Ynoa, but he grounded out to third base to end the inning. He finished 3-for-6 with three homers and seven RBI on the afternoon.

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Update (4:25 PM EDT): Machado lined out to center field in the top of the seventh against Carson Fulmer. Still a pretty good shot Machado gets one more at-bat in this game.

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Orioles third baseman Manny Machado hit three home runs in the first three innings of Sunday afternoon’s game against the White Sox. He hit into a well-executed 6-4-3 double play in the fifth inning, but will have at least one more at-bat to try to hit a fourth home run.

If Machado is able to do so, he would become the 17th player to hit four home runs in one game and the first to do so since the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton on May 8, 2012 against… the Orioles.

Machado launched a two-run home run in the top of the first inning against White Sox starter James Shields, putting the Orioles up 2-0. He followed up with a three-run shot in the second, making it a 6-0 game. In the third, against reliever Matt Albers, he belted another two-run shot to left-center, increasing the Orioles’ lead to 10-0.

Machado is now batting .308/.368/.560 with 25 home runs and 67 RBI in 468 plate appearances this season.

Sunday marks Machado’s first three-homer game and his eighth multi-homer game. He’s never had seven RBI in a game before, but he did knock in six earlier this year on May 8 against the Athletics.