The Minnesota Twins placed All-Star catcher Joe Mauer on trade waivers, according to a report by Fox Sports.
The report raised some eyebrows, but it seems the Twins aren't actually trying to peddle the hometown hero. The waivers expired Wednesday.
The fact is that big-name, big-money guys like Mauer land on trade waivers in August all the time. Most players in the majors are run through the wire after the July 31 deadline for making non-waiver trades. This is usually not a sign of a team's desire to get rid of an expensive star but more of a procedural move to gauge potential interest in case a legitimate trade offer were to come along.
Meanwhile, commissioner Bud Selig announced that the Twins will host the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field, where the team has played since 2010. The game was last played in the Twin Cities in 1985 in the Metrodome.
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Major League Baseball and ESPN have extended their television contract through 2021, a deal that almost doubles the amount of money the network will pay annually for baseball content while also all but eliminating local blackouts for ESPN games on Monday and Wednesday nights.
The deal, announced Tuesday, combines rights for TV, radio, digital and international that had been separate. The new single contract adds new rights to air a wild-card game, along with additional rights to highlights and digital content. The previous contracts were worth close to $360 million a year combined. The new deal will be worth about $700 million a year.
Wolf may join Orioles
The Orioles are close to signing free agent left-hander Randy Wolf, who was released by the Brewers last week. Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said there's a chance he could be activated before Thursday's game against the White Sox. Wolf was cut loose by the Brewers after going 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA.
■ St. Louis held catcher Yadier Molina out of the lineup on Wednesday against Pittsburgh a day after he injured his back, neck and shoulder in a violent collision at home plate with Pittsburgh second baseman Josh Harrison, who was trying to score from second on a single. Tony Cruz caught the rest of the game and started in place of Molina on Wednesday. .
■ Dodgers centerfielder Matt Kemp was held out the lineup after he collided with the center- field wall but tests showed no structural damage to his left knee and jaw.
Padres sold for $800 million
The sons and nephews of former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley have bought the Padres for $800 million with a promise of continuing the family legacy of running a first-class organization. Golfer Phil Mickelson has said he'll be involved in the group, but Peter Seidler, one of O'Malley's nephews, said that he still needs to sit down with the golfer to finalize his involvement.