Matt Holliday is not close to returning to the Cardinals

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Matt Holliday told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that his torn right quadriceps muscle is getting “better” and “stronger,” but there’s no timetable yet for the Cardinals left fielder to come off the disabled list.

Holliday has been out since June 8 and recently began hitting and throwing, but the big test will be when he tries to do some running on the injured leg.

Here’s what manager Mike Matheny said about Holliday’s status:

We’re not putting a lot of pressure on him to rush. He’ll be back when he’s ready.

Having baseball’s best record at 48-24 gives the Cardinals plenty of reason to be patient and play things safe with injuries. And fill-in left fielder Randal Grichuk’s good production gives the team even less reason rush Holliday back.

The Marlins made another trade for international bonus pool money

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The Miami Marlins’ primary offseason goal thus far appears to be acquiring as much international bonus pool money as possible. Last week they traded their closer to the Nationals to get some. This morning they traded a couple of low-level prospects to the Astros to get more. Specifically, they traded lefty reliever Brayan de Paula and outfielder Adonis Giron to Houston for an unknown amount of slot money.

De Paula, 19, has pitched in the Dominican Summer League for the past two seasons while posting a 3.05 ERA and 57/16 K/BB ratio over 59 innings. Giron, 17, has one season of Dominican Summer League experience under his belt, where he hit .255/.331/.362 with three homers in 67 games.

The Marlins have made no secret of the fact that they’re after top international prospect Victor Victor Mesa and, possibly, his younger brother, Victor Mesa, Jr., which would explain the stockpiling of bonus money.