Mets, Dodgers not having “active discussions” about Jon Niese trade

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It was reported over the weekend that the Dodgers and Cubs were among the teams with interest in a trade for Mets left-hander Jon Niese. While the southpaw is a logical target for both teams, a match with the Dodgers isn’t considered imminent:

Nothing too surprising here, as teams are likely still in the early stages of evaluating the starting pitcher market. Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Scott Kazmir are among the big names that could be dealt, so Niese falls into the secondary category with the likes of Mike Leake, Matt Garza, Kyle Lohse, Mat Latos, and Dan Haren. With questions in the back-end of their rotation, the Dodgers will be active.

Niese has posted a 4.12 ERA and 58/27 K/BB ratio in 83 innings across 14 starts this season. The Mets have gone back to a six-man rotation to make room for prospect Steven Matz, but a trade involving Niese could change that dynamic. The 28-year-old is making a $7 million salary this season and $9 million in 2016. His contract includes a $10 million club option (or $500,000 buyout) for 2017 and an $11 million club option (or $500,000 buyout) for 2018.

Rangers activate Joey Gallo from injured list

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The Rangers announced on Tuesday that outfielder Joey Gallo was activated from the 10-day injured list. He’s in the lineup, batting fifth and playing center field against the Tigers.

Gallo, 25, went on the disabled list at the beginning of June due to a strained left oblique. He was in the midst of an All-Star-caliber campaign, batting .276/.421/.653 with 17 home runs and 41 RBI in 214 plate appearances.

On a similar note, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that Gallo wasn’t among those offered invitations to participate in the upcoming Home Run Derby. Gallo said of participating, “If I’m not invited, it makes the decision easy.”

It’s one thing for Gallo to not participate because he’s not interested; it’s another thing entirely if he’s not invited, however understandable given his injury. We are all worse off not being able to see Gallo crush dinger after dinger at Progressive Field next month.