Report: Rangers, Phillies still discussing Cole Hamels

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Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Phillies and Rangers are still discussing a potential trade involving pitcher Cole Hamels. Heyman adds that both sides still appear to be far apart and there isn’t much optimism that a deal would be reached, but the door hasn’t been shut yet.

The Rangers recently lost Yu Darvish for the season to Tommy John surgery and are hurting for starting rotation help. Ross Detwiler, Nick Martinez, Nick Tepesch, and Anthony Ranaudo are competing for spots at the back of the rotation behind Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis, and Derek Holland. The Rangers hope Holland — who had microfracture knee surgery last year — will be ready to go not too long after the regular season begins.

The Phillies, meanwhile, are in the midst of a rebuild. They have been openly shopping Hamels for quite some time, but are holding out for a significant haul of prospects. The Padres had talked with the Phillies before signing James Shields, and the Red Sox still remain interested but aren’t willing to part with Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart to acquire the lefty.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.