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First call: Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen headline MLB trade deadline | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

First call: Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen headline MLB trade deadline

Tim Benz
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The Nationals' Bryce Harper faces the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on July 26, 2018 in Miami.
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The Giants' Andrew McCutchen is congratulated after scoring against the Oakland Athletics in the fourth inning Friday, July 20, 2018, in Oakland, Calif.

In “First Call” today, could Bryce Harper really be moved? Andrew McCutchen may get traded again, too. A landmark anniversary in Penguins history. And former Steeler Ross Cockrell suffered a sickening injury.


Now that’s a ‘big fish’

A lot of us have used the phrase “big fish” to describe a highly coveted player potentially being moved at the trade deadline.

Well, someone is going to need a bigger boat.

The Nationals are reportedly listening to offers for former MVP Bryce Harper.

Washington is a game under .500. Harper is hitting just .220. And he is set to become a free agent. But the Nats may then try to woo him back in free agency after dealing him to a contender elsewhere.

The Indians reportedly are making a pitch.

The return would have to be massive. So, you know, how about the Pirates dish out Kevin Newman and Tyler Glasnow and we’ll call it even, eh?

That’s enough going back, right? Right?


Cutch trade 2.0

Another former MVP may be on the move as well. That’s former Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen.

The Giants may be shopping Cutch to the Phillies or Indians. Cleveland has been a rumored destination for McCutchen for at least two years now.

The Yankees have also popped up as a destination.

In San Francisco this year, McCutchen his hitting .256 with 10 home runs and 43 RBI. His OPS is .752.


Poor Cueto

In Pittsburgh, we all love to give Johnny Cueto a hard time.

But this is no laughing matter. The Giants right-hander may need Tommy John surgery.

After having a good first season in San Francisco in 2016, he was bugged by injuries last season. Cueto has been on and off the disabled list a lot this year too. He’s 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA in just 53 innings.


Speaking of injuries

Former Steelers cornerback Ross Cockrell broke his leg in practice for the Carolina Panthers.

Check out some of these accounts of the injury via the Washington Post.

“Reporters who were present during the collision painted a somewhat gruesome picture of the scene, with the Charlotte Observer’s Jourdan Rodrigue writing that she ‘could actually hear a bone crack and scream from Cockrell.’ The Observer’s Joe Person, meanwhile, reported that Cockrell was yelling ‘my leg is broke’ while writhing in pain on the ground.”

That’d be horrible for any player. It’s even worse hearing that about Cockrell. He was an overachiever here in Pittsburgh and a genuinely nice person to talk with. He’s definitely a guy worth rooting for in his recovery.


Happy Crosby-versary

Monday, the NHL sent out a reminder that July 30 marked the anniversary of the Penguins drafting Sidney Crosby.

The draft was late that year because of the lockout the previous season. That turned out to be a good thing because the stars were aligned just right for the Penguins to get a generational talent like Crosby.

Keep in mind, Crosby was the first pick in that draft and Patric Hornqvist was the last one at No. 230.

Anze Kopitar and Carey Price also went in the first round. So did Tuukka Rask, T.J. Oshie, Martin Hanzal and new Penguin Jack Johnson.


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