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One of the most exciting weeks in baseball is upon us. The week before the trading deadline let’s fans know whether their team is going to be packing it in or fighting for the playoffs. Some familiar faces have already started making moves with a deal between the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates going down last night. Here are some recent trades:

Los Angeles Dodgers receive: 3B Casey Blake and $$$
Cleveland Indians receive: Minor leaguers C Carlos Santana and RHP Jonathan Meloan
The Indians have to be the biggest disappointment in baseball this season. One win away from the World Series last season this team just cannot put things together, and with the trades of P CC Sabathia and Blake it appears the Indians will be big movers this trading season. Blake should become the Dodgers everyday 3B and should add some leadership to a team sitting 1 game back of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.

New York Yankees receive: OF Xavier Nady and LHP Damaso Marte
Pittsburgh Pirates receive: Minor leaguers RHPs Jeff Karstens, Daniel McCutchen, Ross Ohlendorf and OF Jose Tabata
Once again the Pirates are sending their talent away from the Steel City, and again a team is more than willing to exchange cheap minor league talent for them. Nady will add a strong right handed bat to the Yankees lineup, and Marte is a strong left handed arm for the bullpen. The Red Sox were thought to be interested in Marte which may have added to his inclusion to this trade.

Arizona Diamondbacks receive: RHP Jon Rausch
Washington Nationals receive: INF Emilio Bonifacio
The Diamondbacks bullpen has been struggling a bit this season so the addition of Rausch should help tremendously. He did pitch a scoreless inning with two strikeouts in his Diamondback debut. Bonifacio was a top prospect for the Diamondbacks.

Those are the few trades that happened this week, and we should definitely see more as the week progresses. The big questions will be who is moving guys out and who is moving them in? Teams to watch will be the Detroit Tigers, Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox. Have the big deals already happened with the trades for Sabathia and Harden or will someone pull the trigger on a huge deal? Also, will Barry Bonds sign with someone in the next week or two depending on what happens at the deadline? It should be a fun week and keep coming back to Ground Rule Double for updates.

Other News:
– The Chicago Cubs have recalled former Notre Dame WR Jeff Samardzija from AAA Iowa to replace reliever Kerry Wood who was placed on the 15-day DL this week.
– Peoria Chiefs pitcher Julio Castillo is still sitting in a Dayton, Ohio jail after he hit a fan in the head with a baseball during a bench clearing brawl. He is being held on a $50,000 bond.