The Rangers had been on the fence this year regarding the buy/sell decision.

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The A’s and Yankees have been connected on this deal for a while, but reports are that the teams have been at an impasse trying to hammer out the final prospect details. The Yankees aren’t the only team that would love a young ace who is under club control through 2019, so the Gray market is one filled with dark-horse candidates, such as the Braves and Brewers and other teams who aren’t really in the rental market. And remember this: Because Gray is under club control for two more seasons, they don’t have to trade the right-hander now. They could hold him if they don’t find an acceptable return, then spend the offseason working for the right deal.

The Rangers had been on the fence this year regarding the buy/sell decision. Well, they traded catcher Jonathan Lucroy to the Rockies on Sunday, a pretty clear signal of what they’ve decided to do. Darvish, like Lucroy, is a free agent after this year, and he is clearly the premier starting-pitcher rental on the market right now. Though the Dodgers are a great fit, Darvish would be an upgrade for pretty much any contending team. Don’t be surprised if he winds up with the Cubs or the Yankees, or even in Cleveland.

The Cubs did just that, winning six straight out of the break and overtaking the Brewers last week for the National League Central lead. Sandberg still sees the surprising Brewers, who are 2 1/2 games back of the Cubs, and the Cardinals, who sit 5 1/2 games out, as Chicago’s top contenders in the division.

It’s fun to see (the Cubs) putting the pieces together, along with the front office making some key moves with (Jose) Quintana and a veteran catcher (Alex Avila), Sandberg said. That’s also a very good message from the front office.

Game Womens Ryan Kesler USA Jersey Sandberg teamed with Subway this week on a groundbreaking to renovate a Little League field at Chicago’s Garfield Park. The job, which began Tuesday, includes the upgrading of the field surface, dugouts and fences.

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