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There’s also the Yankees, who still are missing injured outfielder Brett Gardner. The Phillies are desperate for bullpen help. If they can get a quality arm to pitch the seventh or eighth inning in a deal for Victorino, he’s gone. Or they could keep Victorino and opt for the compensation draft pick they’d receive for allowing him to walk.


J-UP, J-OUT? Justin Upton finished fourth in NL MVP voting last year while helping Arizona win a division title. But the two-time All-Star right fielder has struggled this season.

Upton turns 25 next month, is signed through the next three seasons and owed $38.5 million, meaning he wouldn’t be a short-term rental for a contending team. He’s also an attractive option for non-contenders.

The Pirates, Rangers, Dodgers, Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves have been linked in talks for Upton. The Diamondbacks would have to get a shortstop, third baseman or top-notch starting pitcher to deal Upton.


WHAT’S ZACK GREINKE’S VALUE? Milwaukee’s chances of trading Zack Greinke decreased because the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner was scratched from his last start and isn’t expected to pitch until next week.

If Greinke pitches well next time he takes the mound and proves he was simply fatigued after making three straight starts, interest in the righty should intensify. Like Hamels, Greinke will be a free agent after the season.

The Rangers, Angels, Tigers, Dodgers, Braves and Chicago White Sox are among the teams who were scouting Greinke. But the Baltimore Orioles might have what it takes to get him. The Orioles, seeking their first winning season and playoff berth since 1997, had their sights set on Greinke before his recent struggles. If they’re willing to part with one of their top prospects, perhaps shortstop Manny Machado, they could land Greinke.


WHO WINS THE RYAN DEMPSTER SWEEPSTAKES? The Chicago Cubs almost certainly will trade Ryan Dempster, who is in the last year of a $52 million, four-year contract. The two-time All-Star righty can help plenty of contenders down the stretch.

The Dodgers, Tigers and Braves appear to be the leaders in the running for Dempster’s services. The Cubs are looking to rebuild through the draft and would want the best package of young players, or one of those lottery picks awarded to several teams in Wednesday’s draft compensation.


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