Torii Hunter thinks some of his teammates are coasting

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The Angels dropped a fourth straight game to the White Sox on Thursday afternoon and fell six games back of the Rangers in the American League West.  Halos center fielder Torii Hunter, for one, is not happy about it. 

Hunter told ESPN Los Angeles’ Mark Saxon that he thinks some of his teammates might be loafing it in anticipation of the much-need All-Star break.

“We might have some guys looking at the standings and seeing the
three games off for the All-Star break and kind of getting a little
loose, relaxed, don’t really want to do much,” Hunter said. “You can see it. Hopefully it’s not that. Every game, you’ve got to come out 100 percent ready and ready to play hard.

Hunter may be correct, but it can be awfully hard for a team to win baseball games when guys like Kevin Frandsen, Reggie Willits and Paul McAnulty are seeing regular playing time.  Losing Kendry Morales was a major blow to the Angels’ chances this season and Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui have simply looked old.

The 34-year-old Hunter is at least doing his part.  Named to his fourth All-Star game last weekend, he is batting .301/.383/.520 with 14 home runs and 60 RBI through 302 at-bats.

Report: Marlins, Mets, Yankees have discussed three-team trade involving J.T. Realmuto

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Marlins, Mets, and Yankees have had discussions about a three-team trade in which Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto would go to the Mets. It’s not known which other players were discussed in the deal, but Rosenthal notes that the Mets wouldn’t be willing to part with Noah Syndergaard if they are only getting Realmuto in return.

Realmuto, 27, was the best offensive catcher in baseball in 2018, batting .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 531 plate appearances. He has two more years of team control remaining until he becomes eligible for free agency, adding to his value.

The Mets’ catching corps currently includes Kevin Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud, so Realmuto would be a significant upgrade. Such a trade would be the club’s second big splash of the offseason as the Mets finalized a trade to acquire second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from the Mariners earlier this month.

Interestingly, the Mets and Yankees haven’t made a deal involving major league players since December 2004, when the two sides swapped pitchers Mike Stanton and Félix Heredia, Rosenthal points out.