Astros reclaim sole possession of first place in the American League West. The 2011 AL MVP notched his 200th career victory in Houston's 9-4 victory over its division rivals:MLB MLBA milestone for JustinVerlander as the Astros reclaim first in the AL West. 3TT9i0IAy5Verlander settled in after a rough start in which he gave up two solo homers in the bottom of the first inning. The seven-time All-Star went just 5.1 innings but only allowed four runs with six strikeouts http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-pat-neshek-jersey
, one walk and scattered seven hits.Among active players, VerlanderjoinsBartolo Colon of the Texas Rangers (247) and CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees (244) as the only pitchers with at least 200 wins.The win was also huge for the defending World Series champions, who find themselves locked in a battle atop the AL West standings. The A's won the first two games of the series to tie for the division lead.Verlander is in the midst of a Cy Young-caliber season. Heading into Sunday, heranked fourthamong AL pitchers in FanGraphs' wins above replacement (4.7) and has 223 strikeouts with a 2.65 ERA in 169.2 innings over 27 starts. Some rumors are more fun in theory than reality.The Milwaukee Brewers are reportedly thinking outside the box to address their middle infield woes. According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, they have tinkered with the idea of acquiring Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and moving Travis Shaw to second base.While it's unclear how seriously they will pursue this plan, Shaw began taking grounders at the unfamiliar position earlier this month. The 28-year-old, who played first base earlier in his career with the Boston Red Sox, has never tried the spot in a big league game.There would be a method to Milwaukee's madness if Shaw's relocation solved the club's first base logjam. Unless the playoff contender really wants to go crazy and teach Eric Thames the hot corner, the Brewers should leave Shaw where he is.Batting .249/.309/.468 with four home runs in each of the last three months after an eight-homer April, Moustakas no longer merits the headache. Especially not when other second basemen are available.The Twins' Brian Dozier and the Mets' Asdrubal Cabrera are both pending free agents on teams out of the playoff hunt. Minnesota's Eduardo Escobar or Miami's Derek Dietrich is more likely to play a passable second than Shaw. If the Brewers pay a steeper price, they could possibly land more than a rental in Miami's Starlin Castro, Kansas City's Whit Merrifield or Cincinnati's Scooter Gennett.They are also in the market for starting pitching, and one team can solve both problems.Verdict: FictionKyle Gibson, Twins Infielders Draw Milwaukees Attention4 of 7Kyle Gibson is an interesting trade candidate enjoying a breakout campaign.Hannah Foslien/Getty ImagesMorosi also reported that the Brewers are smitten with Kyle Gibson in addition to the Minnesota Twins' infielders, presumably Dozier and Escobar. General manager David Stearns would hit this deadline out of the park by landing Gibson and one of those position players.The Brewers have received minus-0.4 WAR from their second basemen, so even a toiling Dozier represents a significant upgrade. His career wOBA climbs from .326 to .346 from the first half of the season to the second half, so they can hold out rational hope that the 31-year-old regains his rhythm during the final months of his contract.Escobar may conversely regress from a .357 wOBA 46 points above his career average Mitch Williams Jersey
, but a stadium upgrade will prolong some performance uptick. Last year's production (.254/.309/.449, 1.7 WAR) would nevertheless boost the Brewers' lineup considerably at second base or shortstop.If they are comfortable with having him handle shortstop, they can even ask for both.Unlike Dozier and Escobar, Gibson is under contract beyond 2018. Yet the righty, who turns 31 later this year, has registered a 3.42 ERA after back-to-back seasons with a 5.07 clip. Cashing out a year early would land the Twins a better haul.Attaching him to Dozier and/or Escobar could potentially garner an elite prospect such as Corbin Burnes, who would replace Gibson in their 2019 rotation, if not immediately. Milwaukee's nine losses in its last 12 games ought to trigger a noteworthy deadline deal.Verdict: FactPirates Pursuing Keone Kela5 of 7The red-hot Pittsburgh Pirates have their sights set on Texas Rangers reliever Keone Kela.Ron Jenkins/Getty ImagesEight games below .500 on July 7, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 3.5 games away from a wild-card spot at 53-51. An 11-game winning streak snapped Wednesday has added another buyer to the hot stove.Ranked 12th with a .318 wOBA and 18th in rotation ERA (4.25), they're perfectly competent but unspectacular in most facets. While their 4.34 bullpen ERA dips to 21st on MLB's leaderboard, they're seventh in strikeout percentage and eighth in FIP.A rolling late-inning unit of Richard Rodriguez, Edgar Santana, Kyle Crick and Felipe Vazquez might qualify as the closest thing they possess to a distinguishable strength. That makes their interest in a bullpen upgrade somewhat confusing.The Pirates have "legitimate interest" in Texas Rangers closer Keone Kela, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Despite his injury history, a 25-year-old with a 3.28 ERA, 29.5 strikeout percentage and three more full seasons under team control won't come cheap.It's tough to that imagine a fringe contender鈥攅specially one that cut costs by moving Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole during the offseason鈥攚ill sacrifice significant prospects for bullpen help. The Pirates are more likely to hedge their bets with a cheap rental such as Kela's fellow Rangers reliever Jake Diekman.Their infield also needs a power spark if they're serious about maintaining a late playoff push.Verdict: FictionTigers Wont Trade Michael Fulmer or Nicholas Castellanos6 of 7The Detroit Tigers wont trade Nicholas Castellanos this summer unless theyre blown away by an offer.Tom Szczerbowski/Getty ImagesCertainly not contenders, the Detroit Tigers are poorly aligned to sell this summer. A master con artist couldn't dupe anyone into taking Miguel Cabrera or Jordan Zimmermann Dave Cash Jersey
, who will make a combined $55 million over each of the next two seasons. Outside of Victor Martinez, a 39-year-old playing out his final year with an $18 million salary and .265 wOBA, only Jose Iglesias and Francisco Liriano will depart for free agency this offseason.Their top pitcher and position player aren't going anywhere. The Athletic's Jayson Stark said they won't entertain offers for Michael Fulmer, and Nicholas Castellanos will also stay put "barring a huge overpay." On Wednesday, Stark clarified that while they will at least listen to inquiries on both, a deal remains improbable.Fulmer, acquired three summers ago for Yoenis Cespedes, was enduring the worst season of his early career (4.50 ERA, 1.32 WHIP) before going on the disabled list with a strained oblique. Trading an injured 25-year-old ace yet to enter his arbitration years would make no sense.There's a better case to make for Castellanos. They could fetch a mighty return for a 26-year-old batting .298/.351/.505 with 15 homers and a career-high .365 wOBA, especially in a market devoid of big-name bats. Detroit is doubtful to construct a competitive team next season, his final year under team control.If they don't field offers for him now, they should act with more urgency during the offseason. Superstar slugger J.D. Martinez did not draw a massive trade return months before hitting the open market, so Detroit should learn its lesson and avoid delaying the inevitable.Yet Tigers general manager Al Avila has enough leverage to stand pat unless he's blown away with a remarkable offer, so he'll likely do just that. He should at least dangle starting pitcher Mike Fiers and closer Shane Greene, who can bolt after 2019 and 2020, respectively.Verdict: FactPhillies Interested in Adam Jones7 of 7The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly considering long-time Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones.Greg Fiume/Getty ImagesThe Baltimore Orioles, the summer's biggest sellers http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-pat-neshek-jersey
, have already sent Manny Machado and Britton packing. They could continue their extensive teardown by trading the heart of their franchise.According to Fancred's Jon Heyman, the Philadelphia Phillies have turned their attention to Adam Jones after missing out on Machado. Although also a free agent this winter, the outfielder can veto any trade using his 10-and-5 rights earned by spending the past 11 seasons in Baltimore.Heyman cited Jones' clubhouse leadership as a selling point for the Phillies. Per ESPN.com, they have MLB's youngest active roster at an average age of 26.7 years old.Yet Jones, who turns 33 on Aug. 1, no longer looks like a significant on-field upgrade. He's batting a mundane .276/.303/.420 with his lowest wOBA (.312) since 2008. While Heyman called Jones "one of the best there is" defensively, the metrics don't support that claim.In terms of Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), he's been MLB's worst defensive outfielder since the start of 2017.Besides, Philadelphia's Nick Williams has made significant progress this month by batting .333/.412/.573 with an elevated walk (10.6) and depreciated strikeout (16.5) percentage. Perhaps the Phillies only need a fourth outfielder or left-handed platoon partner, and Jones may not approve a deal to a team where he must embrace a limited role.This seems like a deal more likely to occur later in August if Williams regresses, Philadelphia widens its NL East edge and Jones is more amenable to joining any interested contender. Too many variables remain to sign off on this pairing before the non-waiver deadline.The Cleveland Indians, tied to Jones along with Philadelphia by Morosi, can offer Jones steadier playing time and a higher probability of playing October baseball.Verdict: FictionNote: All advanced statistics are courtesy of FanGraphs unless otherwise noted. Contract information obtained from Cot's Baseball Contracts.