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Reports: Nationals trade for Melancon

The Nationals have acquired All-Star closer Mark Melancon in a trade with the Pirates, according to multiple reports. It was first reported by Fox Sports. Since 2013, Melancon's 1.80 ERA is the lowest in MLB.

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Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

The Mariners have sandwiched a couple of singles around a double play against Cubs starter Jake Arrieta, who has been intent on establishing his fastball early. Arrieta went with the hard stuff on 83 percent of his pitches to the first 12 Seattle hitters.

Wallace Matthews ESPN Staff Writer 

Reminder: tonight's Yankees-Rays game starts at 6:10 pm, not 7:10.

Wallace Matthews ESPN Staff Writer 

Alex Rodriguez makes his first start since July 22 tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays and LHP Drew Smyly. Here's the Yankees lineup: Gardner 7, Ellsbury 8, Beltran 9, Rodriguez DH, Teixeira 3, Castro 4, Gregorius 6, Headley 5, Romine 2, Eovaldi RHP

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Nobody is getting good swings so far today against the Cubs' Jake Arrieta or the Mariners' Wade Miley. Sixteen batters, no hits, six strikeouts all told. Only batter to get on base was Seattle's Leonsys Martin, who reached on a strike three wild pitch in the first.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

I'm hearing that Jay Bruce may very well get traded before Monday's non-waiver trade deadline, but it's not likely to be the Mets acquiring him. The Reds are more likely to send him to a team in the West.

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Mariners are now 1-for-11 with RISP in their first 10 innings vs. Cubs pitchers.

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Don't go penciling in Kyle Hendricks to start against the Mariners Sunday night. When asked during his pregame media session Saturday if he was considering mixing in a sixth starter that push the rest of the rotation back a day, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, "It is subject to change, yes." However, Maddon added that the Cubs weren't ready to announce anything but if it happens, the turn would be taken by a pitcher already in the organization.

Jerry Crasnick ESPN Senior Writer 

Potential suitors keep drifting in and out of the Jay Bruce sweepstakes. The Rangers have checked in on Bruce, but their main focus is pitching. The Mets are also keep tabs on Bruce, but he's not a great fit at Citi Field. Bruce is a corner outfielder who hits left-handed, and the Mets already have an abundance of that commodity.

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Joe Maddon explains why he's got Cubs infielder Javier Baez batting clean-up today, but it can be summed up by Baez's slash-line against lefties: .377/.448/.597. His 1.046 OPS against southpaws ranks 17th among MLB qualifiers.

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Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

The Brewers continue to be engaged with the Mets in talks for catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who fits NYM in this way: $4m salary '16, $5.25m '17

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

To be clear: More than a month ago, NYY indicated to other teams they were willing to talk about Brian McCann (and others), as reported then

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

McCann a Georgia guy, with Braves getting ready to move into a new park; he could be a gate attraction, like Freeman.

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

McCann under contract for $17m annually for 2017 and 2018. Yankees have their catcher in waiting in Gary Sanchez ready to go.

Jon Sciambi @BoogSciambi

Never got how Cano got rep that questions attitude/effort--leads MLB in games played since '07. Hard to be a dog IMO and play 156 every yr

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

Context needed: the Braves generate a lot of ideas. And given that catching ATL need moving forward, they have asked NYY about Brian McCann.

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Here is Cubs manager Joe Maddon talking about his decision to give Anthony Rizzo the day off.

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