To end the day, we'll take another look at baseball's eastern divisions, following today's earlier AL-focused version. First, I recommend a look at an interesting piece from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, who passes along some fascinating (and unusually candid) quotes from Stephen Strasburg as his Nationals visit the Mets and fellow phenom Zack Wheeler. "They build you up just to bring you down," says Strasburg.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. acknowledged that the club had interest in Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig before he signed on with the Dodgers, reports Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. "We saw him and we liked him," said Amaro, but "L.A. jumped up astronomically on him. ... It's a huge risk. It's paid off, so far." Likewise, the Phils kicked the tires on fellow Cubans Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler, and even "had interesting conversations with their people," but ultimately felt uncomfortable with the risk.
- The Red Sox have yet to have "a single conversation" with the Phillies regarding third baseman Michael Young, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Nevertheless, Bradford notes, Young could well be a Boston trade target as the trade deadline approaches.
- Many other players could end up on Boston's radar, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. With the team potentially shopping for both starting and relief pitching as well as infield depth (particularly at third), Britton suggests that the Sox could be in on most of the major names that have been batted around.
- After designating Travis Ishikawa for assignment earlier today, the Orioles are hoping they can move the first baseman via trade, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Manager Buck Showalter seemed to be resigned to the fact that Ishikawa was likely headed to another organization: "Would love to have Travis back in Norfolk, but there's 10 days, the way I understand it, and a lot of things could happen." Indeed, if Ishikawa is not traded and clears waivers, Kubatko notes, he could elect free agency rather than accepting a minor league assignment by the O's.