PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies have intensified their contract talks the past few days in order to sign LHP Cole Hamels before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, ESPN.com reported Thursday.
Because the club has been dealing with Hamels' agent, John Boggs, other teams interested in the 28-year-old are thought to have been put on hold, said the report.
The Phillies, whose initial offer was a four-year extension, might be ready to discuss a six-year deal, the report said.
Dempster on move? Cubs RHP Ryan Dempster, scheduled to start tonight at St. Louis, has a 33-inning scoreless streak and a majors-best 1.86 ERA. Still, he is on the block to be traded, and before Thursday's game he said he didn't know of any imminent deals. "I'm sure if they have something they'll come to me," said Dempster, who can veto any trade. Later Thursday, the Dodgers made an undisclosed trade offer, ESPN.com reported.
Reggie's return: Reggie Jackson rejoined the Yankees as special adviser and was in uniform after he made critical comments of slugger Alex Rodriguez and other former stars.
Jackson, 66, said last week that he made a mistake questioning the credentials of A-Rod and others. He told Sports Illustrated that some of Rodriguez's statistics were tainted by his admitted use of performance-enhancing drugs.
"I think Reg has made a number of calls to try to rectify everything," manager Joe Girardi said. "I'm glad he's here. Let's just move on."
Jackson declined to comment.
More Yankees: LF Brett Gardner is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery on his troublesome right elbow next week, likely ending his season.
Cubs-Red Sox deal: The Cubs acquired RHP Justin Germano from the Red Sox for cash. Germano was designated for assignment when Boston activated CF Jacoby Ellsbury last week. The Cubs designated RHP Jairo Asencio for assignment to make room for Germano.
Pedroia back, Ortiz hacks: Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia hit third in his return from the DL (strained right thumb), but David Ortiz, on the DL with a strained right Achilles, will be limited to swings in Fenway's indoor batting cage because he is wearing a protective boot.
Angels: Albert Pujols went 0-for-3 with a walk as a DH because manager Mike Scioscia didn't want the first baseman's banged-up left foot in the field. "We're going to evaluate him every day, but hopefully this is short-term," Scioscia said.
Cardinals: RHP Chris Carpenter had surgery to repair a nerve injury in his right shoulder and is expected back for 2013. The team said rehabilitation should take two to three months, and Carpenter, 37, should be able to have a normal offseason.
Nationals: OF Rick Ankiel, who was hitting .228, was designated for assignment, and closer Drew Storen (elbow surgery) was activated from the DL. Storen hadn't pitched this season after surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. He pitched a scoreless ninth.
Twins: RHP Matt Capps, who was put on the DL on Tuesday with irritation in his rotator cuff, will likely be out for a while.
Bonds' appeal: Prosecutors urged a federal appeals court to uphold former Giants slugger Barry Bonds' obstruction of justice conviction. Bonds wants the court to overturn a felony conviction for misleading a grand jury. The prosecutors' filing with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says Bonds' conviction is correct because he gave "false, evasive and misleading" testimony in December 2003. A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based court will issue a decision later, after hearing oral arguments.