Astros will be sellers, but “unlikely to trade” Hunter Pence

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Houston has MLB’s worst record at 28-51, which puts them on a 57-105 pace and all but guarantees the Astros will be trying to unload various veterans for any kind of long-term help they can get before the trade deadline.

However, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com “the Astros remain unlikely to trade right fielder Hunter Pence unless new owner Jim Crane is approved before July 31 and orders such a move.”

Pence is Houston’s best player, but he’s also earning $6.9 million this season with a hike to at least $8-9 million due in 2012 and as a 28-year-old with an .820 career OPS he’s hardly an elite hitter. Plus, even if the Astros are somehow able to successfully rebuild in just a couple seasons Pence will be 30 years old and on the verge of free agency by then.

Hanging on to Pence may help appease a frustrated fan base in the short term, but if there’s a contending team willing to pay a star-level price for Pence in trade the Astros would probably be better off in the long term if they can cash him in.

Yankees option Clint Frazier to Triple-A

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The Yankees optioned outfielder Clint Frazier to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room on the roster for recently-acquired slugger Edwin Encarnación, The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler reports. Frazier said the news was a “tough pill to swallow,” per Adler.

Frazier went 1-for-5 in Sunday’s 10-3 win over the White Sox. He owns a .283/.330/.513 triple-slash line along with 11 home runs, 34 RBI, and 25 runs scored in 209 plate appearances on the season.

Along with Encarnación, the Yankees are expected to get Giancarlo Stanton back on Tuesday and Aaron Judge could return within the week as well, so Frazier’s spot on the roster was anything but guaranteed.