Congratulations to Hideki Matsui, who hit his 500th professional home run tonight. The 37-year-old slugger has 168 homers in the Major Leagues and 332 more in Japan. Here's the latest from around MLB…
- The Mets, Dodgers and Cubs combined to spend nearly $350MM on payroll this season, but aren't threatening for playoff berths. Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com identifies possible trade candidates for the three big market teams.
- Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald hears that Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes is in the Dominican Republic (Twitter link).
- As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains, trade candidates Ryan Ludwick and Josh Willingham have their shortcomings, though both can help contenders. The frustration levels are high for buyers who consider asking prices for players like Ludwick and Willingham "ridiculous," according to Rosenthal.
- Though the Giants would like to improve at shortstop or catcher, there isn’t much out there, as ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick notes (on Twitter).
- The Yankees have not contacted Andy Pettitte about coming out of retirement and do not expect to do so, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan.
- Lastly, I answered some trade-related questions for the Batting Ninth blog.