Trade rumors are swirling in regards to several big-name players. One ace is already changing uniforms and another is set to return after a lengthy layoff. We also can't forget about the latest injury updates.
For that and more news around the league, here is a rundown of the latest notes and tidbits surrounding each of the 30 teams:
Arizona Diamondbacks - Paul Goldschmidt is one of the best hitters in baseball again this season, but historically, his production is considerably worse in the second half of the season. His career batting average is .312 before the break and .282 after it, while his career OPS goes from .971 in the first half to .871 in the second half.
Atlanta Braves - Nineteen-year-old prospect Ronald Acuna is on the fast track to the majors, thanks to a very impressive first half of the season. After starting the season in high-A ball and then moving to Double-A, the speedy outfielder was promoted to Triple-A on Thursday. ESPN Insider Keith Law mentions Acuna on his Midseason Top 50 Prospects update (I won't tell you where he ranks), and if he continues to hit at the highest level of the minors, a September call-up is well within reach.
Baltimore Orioles - Manny Machado's disappointing first half was one of the big first-half surprises; he enters the second half batting just .230 with a .296 OBP. Shocking stuff. Perhaps his league-high 713 plate appearances in 2015 at the age of 22 and his 696 plate appearances last season has the 24-year-old a bit worn out.
Boston Red Sox - Drew Pomeranz has allowed more than two runs only once in his last 10 starts, and given up only four long balls in that span. He enters the second half with an impressive 9-4 record and 3.60 ERA, and he is 6-1 in his last seven decisions dating back to May 25.
Chicago Cubs - The Cubs gave up several of their best prospects to acquire left-handed ace Jose Quintana on Thursday, including outfielder Eloy Jimenez and RHP Dylan Cease, but our own fantasy expert Eric Karabell writes that Quintana stands to benefit from the move to the National League. The 28-year-old had a 1.78 ERA in five starts last month before getting knocked around by the Rangers and Rockies in his two July starts.
Chicago White Sox - While there may not be much to be excited about regarding the White Sox this season, the big trade with the crosstown Cubs on Thursday gives them yet another big-name prospect to feel great about heading into next season. I don't want to give away where Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech, Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito rank on Law's Midseason Top 50 Prospects update, but let's just say you don't have to scroll down far to find their names. All four could become fixtures on the big league club by late 2018.
Cincinnati Reds - Joey Votto's numbers typically increase after the All-Star break. If you look at his decade in the majors, Votto is a career .304 hitter before the break and .327 hitter after it, while his OPS increases from .940 in the first half to 1.009. We're talking huge sample size here, too, with over 1,350 career games played.
Cleveland Indians - The Indians will be without Lonnie Chisenhall (calf) coming out of the break. The outfielder is expected to be placed on the 10-day disabled list before Friday's game against Oakland, giving the Indians less pop against left-handers. The 28-year-old is batting .368 with two home runs and a 1.042 OPS vs. LHPs this season.
Colorado Rockies - The Rockies have interest in Marlins closer AJ Ramos, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Saunders reports that the Rockies are likely hunting for relief pitchers and he expects them to be buyers at the July 31 trade deadline. Keep an eye on this.
Detroit Tigers - J.D. Martinez is the name to continue to watch out for as far as trade rumors go in Detroit, but one team rumored to be interested -- the Cardinals -- may not be willing to go for a rental, considering that they trail the first-place Brewers by 5.5 games and also have to compete with the divisional arch-rival Cubs to move up in the standings.
Houston Astros - If it weren't for Aaron Judge's superhuman first half of the season, George Springer would be the favorite for the American League MVP coming out of the break. While Springer hasn't been a threat on the basepaths, his bat is at potent as ever and nobody in the majors has more homers this season against lefties (nine). That puts him one ahead of Nolan Arenado, Anthony Rizzo, Justin Turner and Votto.
Kansas City Royals - Whit Merrifield's eight stolen bases in the last month rank fourth in the majors during that span, trailing only Trea Turner, Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton -- three of the best base-stealers in the game. What's more impressive is that Merrifield swiped six of those bags in the final seven games before the All-Star break. As long as Kansas City's leadoff hitter keeps this up, he's more than waiver-wire fodder in fantasy leagues.
Los Angeles Angels - According to Jon Heyman of FanRagSports, the Angels are one of three teams, along with the Blue Jays and Royals, who are interested in Marlins speedy second baseman Gordon. At 45-47, the Angels are right there with the Rangers and Mariners as the AL West teams vying for a wild-card berth while the Astros run away with the division. If the Angels start slowly in the second half, the chances of them becoming buyers will likely diminish.
Los Angeles Dodgers - The Dodgers apparently aren't satisfied with their bullpen as they enter the second half of the season a stellar 61-29. Heyman reports that the Dodgers are interested in Baltimore closer Zach Britton, who was nearly unhittable last season but has missed much of this season due to injury. There's no way the Dodgers would shake up the terrific season Kenley Jansen is having at closer, so the thinking here is for Britton to serve as a shutdown setup man to bridge the gap to Jansen. It would also remove one premier closer from the trade market at a time when fellow NL power Washington is desperate to upgrade in the ninth inning.
Miami Marlins - Giancarlo Stanton is the biggest name among the many trade chips the Marlins are willing to deal before the July 31 deadline, and the powerful right fielder also happens to be swinging a hot bat. His 10 home runs over the last 30 days is tied with Cody Bellinger and Springer for the MLB lead.
Milwaukee Brewers - In his first nine games with the Brewers, catcher Stephen Vogt has already matched his home run total (four) in 54 games this season with the A's. The change of scenery may have been exactly what the two-time All-Star needed, and he's worth a look while playing his home games in hitter-friendly Miller Park.
Minnesota Twins - Minnesota's stance on the trade deadline could rest largely on how well they do in the weeks ahead, but also how well the AL Central-leading Indians and the Royals (three games back) do. The Twins (45-43) will be tested right away with a four-game road series against the 60-29 Astros.
New York Mets - This week, we are taking a closer look at many of the veterans who have played many years and have a track record before and after the All-Star break. In the case of Jay Bruce, his offensive production tends to trail off in the second half (.239/.310/.455 compared to .256/.325/.808 before the break). Keep that in mind, regardless of whether Bruce stays in New York or is traded elsewhere in the weeks ahead.
New York Yankees - The powerful Yankees lineup could soon add even more thump, as the team traded LHP Tyler Webb to Milwaukee on Thursday for minor league first baseman Garrett Cooper, who is batting .366 with 17 home runs and 82 RBIs in 75 games at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Cooper will report to the minors for the Yankees but there's a decent chance he'll get the call to play first base in the Bronx soon.
Oakland Athletics - Yonder Alonso made his first career All-Star game and, fittingly, could be in his final weeks with the A's. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the A's have made the first baseman available in trade talks, and with the Yankees now deeper at first base with the move to get Cooper, it could push the Royals to the front of the line for Alonso.
Philadelphia Phillies - Aaron Altherr's seven home runs against lefties this season ties him for the third most in the majors, and one of those players he's tied with is teammate Tommy Joseph. The problem in both cases is that it has been feast or famine versus southpaws; Altherr is batting just .250 while Joseph is batting .231 with nearly a third of his at-bats resulting in strikeouts.
Pittsburgh Pirates - Starling Marte is set to make his return on July 18 after serving an 80-game suspension for PEDs. Obviously, Marte's mix of batting average and speed (four years in a row of at least 30 steals) makes him one of the more valuable fantasy outfielders in the game. The only question is whether he will be capable of performing up to that level while playing clean.
St. Louis Cardinals - The Cardinals invested heavily in Stephen Piscotty prior to the season, agreeing on a lucrative six-year extension, but the early returns haven't been good for the 26-year-old outfielder. Piscotty's lack of power (six home runs) and speed (three steals) along with .240 average and .731 OPS give him a long way to go to living up to the contract. Even still, Piscotty spent the majority of his time batting in the three-spot in the lineup up until recently.
San Diego Padres - The Padres reportedly have talked with the Yankees about closer Brandon Maurer, who would add another hard thrower in front of closer Aroldis Chapman. Mauer isn't expected to command the package of prospects that highly coveted setup man Brad Hand would.
San Francisco Giants - Madison Bumgarner makes his long-awaited return to the Giants, taking the place of veteran right-hander Matt Cain in the rotation. Cain moves to the bullpen with a 5.56 ERA and 1.69 WHIP this season. Traditionally, Bumgarner has almost the exact same type of results after that break as he does before it, but the big question with the Giants' ace is how well he'll pitch after being sidelined since April.
Seattle Mariners - According to this tweet by Jon Morosi, the Mariners don't plan to deal slugger Nelson Cruz, even if they become sellers at the trade deadline. Surprisingly, the 37-year-old designated hitter is a better hitter at Safeco Field than on the road this season, so it probably wouldn't be the best thing for fantasy owners if Cruz changes uniforms. Right now, though, that seems very unlikely.
Tampa Bay Rays - The Rays announced Thursday that outfielder Colby Rasmus has decided to "step away from baseball." It is unclear at this time what sparked the move, and the team didn't elaborate on the unexpected news. Without Rasmus in left field, it will be up to Mallex Smith and Corey Dickerson to fill his shoes defensively.
Texas Rangers - Adrian Beltre had an injury-marred first half of the season and can only go up from here, but keep in mind that historically, he typically is better after the All-Star break anyway. In his long MLB career, Beltre is a .295 hitter after the break with an .860 OPS.
Toronto Blue Jays - Justin Smoak put together the best half of a season he's ever had in his MLB career, resulting in a starting spot on the American League All-Star roster in Miami. Smoak's newfound confidence and belief in himself at the plate is something to admire, but he is also a sell-high candidate as far as fantasy is concerned. It's easy to forget that he has batted just .221 with a .299 OBP after the break in his career.
Washington Nationals - Daniel Murphy ranked second in the majors last season with 47 doubles, putting him one behind David Ortiz. This season not much has changed in that department, as Murphy is tied with another Red Sox hitter -- Mookie Betts -- for the league lead with 29.