Good morning. Al has already covered the story of the Diamondbacks TV rights.
- There were a whole lotta runs scored last night in MLB. You know about the Cubs scoring 17 runs, but four games had both teams score 10 runs, which tied a record set in 1894. And 12 teams scored at least 10 runs, which again, is the most since 1894.
- Zach Kram has the top stories of the second half.
- The biggest story, of course, has to be whether or not the Angels trade Shohei Ohtani and where he might end up. Tim Keown has a magazine-length profile of Ohtani, his impact, the Angels and where he plays next. The Angels have played themselves back to .500, 4½ games out of a Wild Card spot.
- Dayn Perry has the case for and against the Angels dealing Ohtani.
- The ten teams that need Ohtani the most.
- Mike Axisa ranks all 29 teams as possible trade destinations for Ohtani.
- Sam Blum writes that the Angels have entered the national spotlight as the trade market for Ohtani heats up. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Jesse Rogers looks at which “bubble” teams should be buying and which should be selling at the deadline.
- Mark Feinsand has the top trade needs of every contender and who could fill them.
- Zach Crizer has the 23 best players who could be available at the deadline.
- Ken Rosenthal writes that the Mets can’t solve their problems at the trade deadline, whether they buy or sell. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Dennis Lim looks back at recent trades for rental players to see what the Padres might get for some of their players. (The Athletic sub. req.) This is a useful comparison for all teams, not just the Padres.
- The Cardinals plan to be sellers at the deadline, but Cardinals president John Mozeliak says they have no plans to trade superstars Paul Goldschmidt or Nolan Arenado. Although he did say that if someone makes them a stupid offer, or words to that effect.
- Thomas Harrington has some potential free agents who have a lot to prove in the second half.
- One of those players is the Cubs’ Cody Bellinger. As Esteban Rivera notes, Bellinger and the Rays’ Isaac Paredes have found success from pulling the ball.
- Theo DeRosa has twelve stars who need a strong second half.
- Gabe Lacques looks at how the Marlins became the surprise contenders of 2023.
- The Mets have been scouting Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Yamamoto is expected to be posted by the end of the year.
- The Pirates have signed right-handed pitcher Paul Skenes to a record $9.2 million bonus.
- David Schoenfield looks at which player from each team’s 2023 draft class will be the first to reach the majors. (ESPN+ sub. req.) In most cases, it’s going to be the first-round pick.
- Bob Nightengale speculates that Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw may retire after this season. He also wonders if Brewers manager Craig Counsell will step down at the end of the year.
- Michael Baumann has an historical and philosophical look at strikeouts and Spencer Strider.
- Umpire Malachi Moore ejected Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker while Walker’s back was turned to him.
- In last night’s high-scoring Diamondbacks/Braves game, Diamondbacks phenom Corbin Carroll reached third base on a strikeout.
- The Reds called up rookie Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who sets the new record for the longest name in MLB history. However, they’re just putting “Encarnacion” on the back of his jersey.
- And finally, this is normally the busiest time of the year for ESPN’s baseball reporter Jeff Passan. However, Passan had been suspiciously quiet recently. He just explained why.
This is the culprit.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 17, 2023
You can be damn sure I will be making a bat out of it. pic.twitter.com/WkR4XkGBIH
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Jeff.