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Stark: Phillies ‘working’ on Werth deal

07.20.10 at 10:55 pm ET
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According to a tweet from Jayson Stark, the Phillies are working on a “major deal” for a starting pitcher and would move outfielder Jayson Werth in a companion trade.

Werth has been the subject of countless trade rumors over the last couple of months. Reports earlier in July suggested that the Red Sox might be a player for Werth, who is in the final year of a two-year, $10 million contract. He is hitting .280 with 13 HR and 50 RBI this season for the Phillies.

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Isringhausen offered deal

07.20.10 at 6:06 pm ET
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After throwing for the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, Jason Isringhausen has been offered a contract by the team, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. Reds manager Dusty Baker was impressed with the 37-year-old’s ability given that he has been out of the game all season, as he told John Fay of the Enquirer that he felt Isringhausen “looked good for a guy who’s been out a while.”

The Yankees, Royals, Cardinals, and Rays are also rumored to be interested in the right-hander, so should he not sign with the Reds, he may have other options.

Isringhausen tied Armando Benitez and Chad Cordero in 2004 for the league lead in saves with 47. In addition to not playing this season, he offered only a small sample size in 2009. Last season with the Rays, he appeared in just 9 games, throwing six innings and allowing six hits, two earned runs, and five walks. He struck out six.

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Hughes to Celtics?

07.20.10 at 4:39 pm ET
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Bill Ingram of Hoops World has tweeted that free agent shooting guard Larry Hughes has narrowed his list of teams down to the Lakers, Heat, Celtics and Bobcats. Hughes finished the 2009-2010 season with Charlotte.

The eighth overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft, Hughes has played for the 76ers, Warriors, Wizards, Cavaliers, Bulls, Knicks, and Bobcats over his 12-year career. He has averaged 14.2, 3.2 assists, and 4.2 rebounds.

Hughes would seemingly fill the void that was created when Tony Allen departed for Memphis earlier this month.

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Stoudemire out of Worlds on contract issues

07.20.10 at 4:23 pm ET
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Amar’e Stoudemire, expected to be a top American player at the World Championships in Turkey next month, is out of the competition because of difficulty insuring his contract, ESPN.com reports.

The Knicks asked their new forward to remove himself from Team USA Monday and Stoudemire complied, though he admitted he was excited to represent the Americans after playing in the 2007 Olympic qualifying tournament.

The USA team learned of Stoudemire’s change of plan Tuesday. The championships start Aug. 28 in Turkey.

Following Stoudemire’s microfracture knee surgery, Phoenix refused to offer him a contract with maximum length, allowing the Knicks to offer the 6-foot-10 forward who averaged 23.1 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game last season a five-year deal worth $100 million, despite saying they were unsure about the contract’s insurance.

Stoudemire’s insurance policy from his previous contract with the Suns is still in place, according to the Knicks, but does not include surgical repair to his left knee.

The Knicks have been unable to secure insurance on his new deal, thereby motivating the Knicks to stop Stoudemire from playing on the USA Basketball national team this summer.

The USA team was relying on Stoudemire to make up for the absences of the 2008 Olympics gold medalists that are taking this summer off.

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Heat want Doc?

07.20.10 at 4:07 pm ET
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There has been talk that though the Heat pulled off some pretty big moves this offseason, their building of a championship-winning team may continue into next offseason. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Pat Riley has his eye on current Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

“Riley has his eye on Doc Rivers to someday coach the Heat,” writes Wojnarowski. “Rivers has one year left on his Celtics contract, and has been heavily affected by the distance between him and his family still living in Orlando.”

Wojnarowski notes that nobody in the Heat organization made any promises of anybody but current head coach Erik Spoelstra being at the helm in Miami, but there will be considerable pressure on Spoelstra to win with the trio of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh.

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Gammons: Rockies turned down Lowrie-for-Iannetta

07.20.10 at 3:32 pm ET
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According to a tweet from Peter Gammons, the Rockies are not actively looking to move catcher Chris Iannetta. In fact, tweets Gammons, they rejected a proposed swap from the Red Sox of infielder Jed Lowrie for the catcher.

One reason as to why the Rockies may be leaning towards keeping the 27-year-old is that he could potentially play first base if incumbent Todd Helton, who has battled back and hamstring issues this season, doesn’t last in his return from the disabled list.

A native of Providence, R.I., Iannetta has a career batting average of .240 but an on-base percentage of .358. He has played in only 27 games this season and has spent time at the Triple A level. He has seven homers in 106 plate appearances this season, playing in 27 games and hitting at a .220 clip.

Lowrie, 26, has been rehabbing after missing the first half of the season with mononucleosis. The 45th overall pick in the 2005 MLB draft, Lowrie has has hit .235 with a .313 OBP in 113 games in the majors.

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LeBron Cavs gear donated to Miami shelters

07.20.10 at 3:23 pm ET
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Cavaliers fans are taking their discarded LeBron James gear to South Beach, according to SportsIllustrated.com.

With James moving on to a new kingdom in Miami next season, his hurting hometown fans cannot get their James gear off their backs quick enough.

Cleveland organizers plan to ship the wine, gold, white and navy Cavs garb — tainted with No. 23 — to South Florida homeless shelters.

Following James’ dramatic one-hour, nationally televised “Decision” earlier this month, the jerseys that once dominated Cleveland closets are quickly piling up at donation drop-off sites, according to a local restaurant manager.

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Modano to decide NHL future in August

07.20.10 at 3:21 pm ET
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Mike Modano wants to wait a little longer before deciding where, if at all, he will play another NHL season, according to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.

The Stars’ 40-year-old center was picked first overall in 1988 by the Minnesota North Stars and has played 20 years in the NHL. He was informed this summer that the Stars were opting for younger talent and would not re-sign him this season.

Modano, the last Dallas Stars player to have been a North Star, leads all-time goals scored and points earned among American-born players in the NHL.

But the unrestricted free agent reported Tuesday he will skate in early August before deciding where he wants to take his hockey career. He has talked with the Sharks, Red Wings and Wild about playing options next season.

The Red Wings reportedly have a $1.25 million offer on the table for a one-year deal with Modano.

Wings coach Mike Babcock said Friday he feels strongly about Modano’s signing with Detroit, which is near where his parents live.

Babcock told NHL.com: “This is a no brainer for Mike Modano — the highest-scoring American player of all-time to come back to your hometown, play in Hockeytown. … It’s not about the cash, it’s about the legacy and the fit. He’ll fit and he’ll be excited to play. I look forward to him signing. I think that’s inevitable. I think that’s what is going to happen.”

Babcock doesn’t expect Modano to sign until Aug. 1 at the earliest, but he believes the Michigan native will re-up for a second season once he’s in Detroit.

Babcock said his plan is to put Modano on a line with Dan Cleary and Jiri Hudler to produce one of the most talented third lines in the NHL.

Modano, however, said he won’t decide what to do until he tests the ice to determine whether to put his body through another season of professional hockey.

Said Babcock: “These veteran players, why would they be in a hurry? Why not see how your body feels? There is no question Mike plays physically, but does he want to go through the grind again? In Detroit, it won’t be a grind if we’ve got all of our players. We’ll get 100 points and you’ll get the puck on your tape.”

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Habs after Bieksa?

07.20.10 at 3:12 pm ET
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According to a report from HockeyBuzz.com, sources have indicated that the Canadiens are nearing completion on a deal with the Canucks that would send defenseman Kevin Bieksa to the Canadiens in exchange for what a source calls a “significant” forward prospect. The report also lists the Ducks as being interested in the defenseman.

Bieksa, 29, has played five seasons in the NHL, posting a career-high 43 points in 2008-2009. A trade of the defenseman in exchange for a prospect would seem to be logical for Vancouver, who is over the salary cap and would benefit financially by taking Bieksa’s $3.75 million cap hit off the books.

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Dodgers looking at Pirates’ Paul Maholm

07.20.10 at 3:05 pm ET
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Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Dodgers are eyeing Pirates starting pitcher Paul Maholm, according to an industry source outside the team.

The 28-year-old lefty has a 6-7 record and a 4.03 ERA in 19 games started this season for Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh, 32-60 this season, have gone beyond “prospect gathering” mode as of Monday, according to bleacherreport.com. General manager Neal Huntington said he would make a trade if a “good baseball trade” presents itself, even if he is unwilling to trade certain players.

MLBTradeRumors.com indicated the $8.36 million Maholm is guaranteed through 2011 is reason enough for the financially constrained Dodgers, who are 49-44 this season, to be interested in the southpaw.

In January 2009, Maholm signed a three-year, $14.5 million extension. He has just $1.86 million remaining this year, $5.75 million in 2011, and a $9.75 million club option for 2012 with a $750,000 buyout.

Tim Brown of Yahoo!Sports.com wrote that the Dodgers also are interested in Toronto relievers Scott Downs, Jason Frasor and Kevin Gregg.

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