Billy Beane: “I’m not trading [Stephen] Vogt. Period.”

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The struggling Athletics, at 14-29, are expected to sell as the July 31 trade deadline approaches, but GM Billy Beane is apprehensive to move catcher Stephen Vogt and starter Scott Kazmir. Per Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily, Beane’s plan was to hold onto Kazmir and make him a qualifying offer after the season.

As for Vogt, Beane was firm when a GM asked about him, saying, “I’m not trading Vogt. Period.”

Kazmir, 31, has a 3.08 ERA with a 49/19 K/BB ratio in 49 2/3 innings across eight starts this season. Vogt, 30, has been baseball’s most productive catcher on the offensive end of things, batting .311/.411/.615 with 10¬†home runs and 31 RBI.

Cubs to activate Craig Kimbrel on Thursday

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The Cubs will activate reliever Craig Kimbrel ahead of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Braves, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.

Kimbrel, 31, ended a seven-month stint in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month. He has made four minor league appearances, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

With an aggregate 3.96 ERA entering Wednesday, the Cubs’ bullpen has been among the better bullpens in the league. Adding Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers of all-time, certainly can’t hurt and will give them some stability in save situations.