– The White Sox have acquired LHP Francisco Liriano from the Twins for INF Eduardo Escobar and LHP Pedro Hernandez. Liriano has struggled this season, posting a 5.31 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 100 innings this season, but has been considerably better of late. It’s still a solid pickup by the ChiSox.
– The Padres have signed RHP Huston Street to a 2-year/$14M contract extension with a $7M option for 2015. Street has a solid 0.91 ERA, 0.64 WHIP and 39 strikeouts over 29 2/3 innings.
– MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports the Rangers “don’t appear too high” on the idea of trading for RHP Josh Johnson. According to Sullivan, the Rangers have health concerns with Johnson and aren’t willing to sacrifice their top prospects. USA Today reported Friday that the sides were still “heavy in talks,” but a trade no longer appears possible. Johnson is under contract for $13.75M next season. The Blue Jays, Angels and Orioles have all expressed interest in JJ.
– Blue Jays’ OF Jose Bautista (wrist) swung a bat Saturday for the first time since going on the DL. He won’t return from the DL when first eligible Wednesday, but isn’t expected to require a rehab assignment. He should rejoin the team in early August.
– According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the D’Backs are not expected to trade SS Stephen Drew prior to Tuesday’s deadline. Drew has drawn plenty of inteest, but GM Kevin Towers confirmed that he hasn’t been presented with a good offer.
– Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates are “still checking in” on Indians’ OF Shin-Soo Choo. The Bucs are reportedly looking for an outfield bat before Tuesday’s deadline. Choo seems like an unrealistic target right now, given that Cleveland is still in the Wild Card hunt. Biertempfel suggests that OF Starling Marte would likely be included in a potential deal for Choo.
– Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Padres “aren’t far down the road” in trade talks involving 3B Chase Headley. Olney suggests the Friars may wait until the winter to trade him, as it would allow more teams to assess their needs in the offseason and potentially draw more suitors. Headley won’t hit free agency until 2015. Any trade would likely see Jedd Gyorko be recalled from Triple-A.
– Reds’ 1B Joey Votto (left knee) is hoping to resume some baseball-related activities on Monday. Votto has done some light running and agility drills. He’s expected to return sometime in mid August. Cincy is 9-2 without him so far.
– Marlins’ OF Giancarlo Stanton (right knee) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday with High-A Jupiter. Stanton expects to be activated on August 10 following 4-5 minor league rehab games. He’s been out since undergoing surgery on July 8 to remove cartilage chips. He’ll return to a .284 batting average with a .919 OPS, 19 home runs and 50 RBI through 80 games played.
– The Marlins have placed OF Logan Morrison (right knee inflammation) on the 15-day DL. It’s the same knee that he had surgically-repaired over the offseason. Morrison fears it might be a season-ending injury due to a tear in his petallar tendon, which would require another procedure. LoMo is batting just .230/.308/.399 with 11 homers over 93 games.
– Phillies’ C Carlos Ruiz (left foot) has been dealing with plantar fasciitis over the past two weeks. Manager Charlie Manuel called it a “mild” case, though Ruiz was in so much pain last week that he had to wear regular sneakers instead of cleats during a pinch-hitting appearance. “It felt like a knife in the back of my foot,” Ruiz said.
– The Giants have placed 3B Pablo Sandoval (strained left hamstring) on the 15-day DL retroactive to July 25.
– According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox have “mild interest” in Mariners’ RHP Jason Vargas. The Orioles and Royals have also been linked recently to Vargas. Cafardo says the Red Sox will wait to see how their weekend series with the Yankees goes before deciding on their trade deadline strategy.
– Steelers’ GM Kevin Colbert told ESPN’s Ed Werder that unsigned RFA WR Mike Wallace is “not available for trade.” Several Pittsburgh beat reporters suggested Wallace could be available for trade following Antonio Brown’s extension. The Steelers are conducting business as if Wallace won’t be on the team. Tweeted the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac on Saturday, “It’s probably safe to assume now that Mike Wallace no longer has Mike Tomlin’s support.” In an ideal world for the Steelers’ organization, Wallace would cave, sign his tender, and agree to play this season “motivated” in a contract year. If that doesn’t happen at some point in the preseason, Colbert may change his tune and begin fielding trade offers.
– The Dolphins have agreed to terms with No. 8 overall pick Ryan Tannehill on a 4-year contract. This comes after a one-day holdout. Tannehill was reportedly seeking a fully guaranteed deal, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Dolphins were able to include offset language. Tannehill will immediately report to training camp and compete with Matt Moore and David Garrard for the starting quarterback job.
– Eagles’ WR Riley Cooper (collarbone) has been diagnosed with a fractured left clavicle. Cooper suffered the injury trying to catch a deep pass from QB Michael Vick. Cooper was believed to be the No. 4 receiver. He’s unlikely to be ready for Week 1.
– Seahawks’ WR Sidney Rice (dual shoulder surgeries) has been cleared to practice. Rice opened camp on the active/PUP list, but was activated after only a few hours. He’ll likely be limited in camp, but should be fine for Week 1.
– Lions’ WR Ryan Broyles (knee) has been medically cleared to practice and removed from the active/PUP list. Broyles’ removal from the camp PUP list means he is ineligible for regular season PUP and should be available for Week 1.
– In an interview with Sirius XM radio, HBO Hard Knocks, supervising producer Ken Rodgers revealed that free agent WR Braylon Edwards recently worked out for the Dolphins. Edwards also worked out with the Seahawks on Thursday. The 29-year-old is coming off a knee injury that limited him to just 15 catches last season.
– According to Ole.com, free agent G Carlos Delfino has talked with four NBA teams–the Suns, Bulls and Pacers–but only has one current offer, from the Rockets, but it isn’t good enough to get him to sign. Houston has reportedly tabled a 2-year contact with the second year an option, but Delfino doesn’t appear to be willing to sign with a rebuilding team. Delfino has also expressed disappointment that the Bucks aren’t looking to re-sign him. He’ll be 30 when the season starts.
– JBL recently made a comment on a story that he read about The Rock possibly not being able to appear at next year’s WrestleMania 29 event. Here is what JBL wrote.
“FYI I believe Rock will be at Mania, just saw an interesting news story on it and posted it at layfieldReport.com Hope you enjoy!!”
– Former WWE Women’s Champion Sable was backstage at Monday’s Raw 1,000 as she accompanied husband, Brock Lesnar, to the show. She has accompanied him to shows before to keep him company since he detests being away from his family, even for a short while. Fans have speculated that with Lesnar’s renewed partnership with WWE, the legendary Diva could return to television as well. That, however, is believed to be highly unlikely. According to the PWInsider, people close to her says that she has absolutely no desire to return to the spotlight and is very content on being a homebody.
– It was reported last week that John Cena and ex-wife Elizabeth Huberdeau had reached a settlement in their divorce proceedings. When news of the divorce broke in May, an inside source told The Miami Herald that it would “dwarf the Hogan divorce in nastiness,” with Huberdeau’s attorney Raymond Rafool stating to TMZ.com the following month that she was convinced the WWE Superstar was unfaithful during their marriage and would prove it in court. But in a sharp turn, Rafool stated that all matters in the divorce were settled and resolved amicably. Former WWE performer Kenn Doane, who has claimed that Cena had an affair with his then-girlfriend/fiancée Mickie James in 2007, weighed in on the divorce settlement via Twitter.
“If I knew I wasn’t going to win in court, I would settle too. His only option. Keeps him a babyface without the world knowing he cheated. He and his lawyer knew if it went to court then his name gets dragged through mud. Settle an walk away. #smartchoice.”
Doane, however, added,
“Honestly I am glad it ended peacefully. Court always sucks.”
– Alberto Del Rio is the new #1 contender to Sheamus’ World Heavyweight Championship. He won a Fatal 4 Way match on SmackDown that also involved Kane, Daniel Bryan and Rey Mysterio. The match will likely take place at SummerSlam and there’s been talk of a third man being added to the match.
– Kevin Nash continues to rant about an NWO reformation taking place involving WWE Champion CM Punk:
“CM Punk can pick who he wants if not me I’m cool with that .just think the brand is so strong an he can continue it with his skill and edge”
– Jim Ross announced in his latest blog that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Mike Tyson are scheduled to attend this year’s Summerslam weekend function in Los Angeles. Ross wrote the following:
Yes. RT @Squirrelly147: @JRsBBQ Will u be appearing alongside @steveaustinBSR and Mike Tyson 4 WWE ’13 roster reveal event Summerslam w’end?
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross, who has witnessed many noteworthy events over the course of his 38-year wrestling career, was asked on Twitter whether he ever sees himself taking part in a “shoot” interview—tell-all interviews where one discusses their career and gives their opinion on other wrestlers and specific events in their past. He responded, “Nope.” Ross also responded “no thanks” regarding whether he would be interested in overseeing TNA Wrestling.
– WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler recently spoke to WWE.com about his legendary feud with the late comedian Andy Kaufman:
Why The Incident Is Still Talked About 30 Year Later: “It was the first time something like that had happened. I don’t know if I should tell this or not, but one night I was flying back on the plane with Vince McMahon. And he said, “You know, King, I’ve never told you this before, but I was so jealous when you got Andy Kaufman and did all that stuff with him down there in Memphis. Because he was from New York, and I thought we could have done all that stuff up here.” But he also said, “But I’ll be honest with you. There’s no way on Earth we could have done it as well as you guys did it.”
How The Angle Would Have Been Different In The WWE:“It would have been a first. Vince loves firsts. To this day, you hear on Monday Night Raw that you’re going to see something for the first time ever. That’s big. And this was the first time any big deal Hollywood star was involved to that extent in wrestling. Vince realized, everybody realized, because it got so much national exposure. Everything back then was still regionalized. Cable TV hadn’t hit yet. The country was divided up into wrestling territories because of TV coverage. Once Vince saw you could use a Hollywood star to get that nationwide exposure, here comes Cyndi Lauper with Captain Lou and Wendi Richter, and then Mr. T gets brought in. The ball got rolling, and it hasn’t stopped to this day. Just in the past year, Hugh Jackman was in there punching Dolph Ziggler.”
Andy Kaufman Paving The Way For Celebrities In Wrestling: “I really feel, in my heart of hearts, that he was responsible for that. I certainly believe that Andy Kaufman deserves a spot in the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame. Without a doubt, we would not be where we are today without his involvement. I really feel that way. Even at Raw 1,000, we had Charlie Sheen challenging Daniel Bryan to a match. It’s Andy Kaufman revisited as recently as last night.”
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has updated the Q&A section of his website, which you can read in its entirety at JRsBarBQ.com. Here are some highlights of what JR wrote about:
The differences with wrestling companies: Leadership, resources, infrastructure, networks, upper management.
Who should wrestle The Rock at the 2013 Royal Rumble: CM Punk.
Should MMA be an Olympic sport: Personally, I’d love it.
His personal dream match: Undertaker vs Lesnar for one. Rock vs HBK. Cena vs Austin. Rock vs Undertaker.
Thoughts on the Undertaker and Kane reunion on Raw 1000th: Enjoyed the nostalgia…likely a one off deal I’m guessing.
Thoughts on the current WWE product: I’d personally enjoy seeing more athletic skills featured, more physicality and drama.
Favorite WWE Diva: Actually several that I like specifically the ones w/ solid, in ring skills.
Chances of Mae Young’s son, the hand, becoming WWE champion by the end of 2012? About as good as your’s or mine…highly unlikely.
Type of match which are hardest to call: Royal Rumble was the most challenging bout to call or a cold bout between two guys phoning it in.
– Alberto Del Rio, Aksana, Antonio Cesaro and other Superstars discuss last night’s SmackDown events in Backstage Fallout. Chris Jericho also explains why he wore a Dolph Ziggler T-Shirt while attacking “The Showoff.”
“Pink. Very summery, with kind of some pastel blues, is it teal? Is that what you call that? I saw the front, it says “It’s not showing off if you back it up.” And that’s pretty much the epitome of what Chris Jericho does every single night,” he says. “So I don’t know if this is a shirt for Dolph Ziggler. It’s definitely not the shirt of someone who’s “losing his touch,” now is it Mr. Ziggy? So uh, come to think of it, I don’t really like this anymore, it’s cheap fabric, pink’s not really my color, so I’ll just give this to you. See ya next week Dolph!”
– WWE United States champion Santino Marella is back with Episode 26 of his Foreign Exchange Youtube show:
– Here is the latest episode of WWE Backsage Fallout featuring backstage interviews from Friday’s SmackDown:
– Following Antonio Cesaro’s victory over WWE United States Champion Santino Marella (non-title match) on this week’s SmackDown, the Swiss superstar says he now wants a title shot:
“After my victory over @milanmiracle on tonight’s #smackdown I demand to be named the #1 contender for the US Championship”
– Friday’s WWE Smackdown social media score only reached 48,547, which was down nearly 50 percent compared to last week’s 2012-high. Smackdown still managed to rank #2 on cable TV for the third consecutive week.
– During a recent interview with the Phoenix New Times, TNA star Rob Van Dam compared WWE to TNA:
“In Total Nonstop Action, individual wrestlers have a lot more freedom to artistically express themselves versus WWE. When we have our matches, they are known to be more athletic, more competitive in nature, and that’s what wrestling fans really appreciate. And the fact there’s more of a focus on wrestling in Total Nonstop Action over the other major company on TV. Whereas WWE has been known to feature more of the 400-pound giants that aren’t necessarily going to (perform) quite as impressively.”
– Thursday’s TNA Impact Wrestling did 1,578,000 viewers, up from last week’s 1,316,000 viewers. Preliminary data shows that the show drew around a 1.1 cable rating. The final number will be released by Monday.