Tricks of the Trade


By: Jeff Yoder

Welcome Back 

The summer heat didn’t stop baseball fans from breaking an MLB attendance record this weekend. Pennant races and blockbuster trades had ballparks in a frenzy. Go back to March and tell me the Mets would sell Max Scherzer to the Rangers in July… What?!

Plus, the women’s World Cup nears the Round of 16, and another running back joins the rebellion. From head-kick KOs to ‘Barbie’ and more, let’s run back the weekend before an all-nighter to watch the U.S. Women’s National Team (3:00 am ET).

Letter Rip!


Tricks of the Trade: AL West Watch

Photo: Diamond Images / Getty Images

Rangers Add Scherzer & Montgomery; Angels Grab Grichuk & Chron as AL West Buyers Go All-In

The MLB trade deadline is approaching faster than Elly De La Cruz on skates, and we’ve got some blockbusters to report. The AL West powers are pushing their chips in for 2023. We saw the Angels remove Shohei Ohtani from the trade market last week, then they added Lucas Giolito. They kept buying over the weekend, acquiring Randall Grichuk and CJ Chron from the Rockies. The response within the division? A Texas-sized blockbuster. The Rangers nabbed three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer from the Mets, who appear to be giving up on 2023. Texas turned around and added two pitchers from the Cardinals on Sunday — Jordan Montgomery and Chris Stratton. That’s three big buys for the Halos and three big responses for the Rangers. They weren’t the only teams snatching up talent for a postseason push. Expect an exciting 36 hours ahead…

MLB Trade Deadline: Tuesday (6:00 pm ET)

MLB Trade Deadline News

Other MLB News

MLB Weekend Highlights



Colt Following: The RB Rebellion

Photo: Cooper Neill / Getty Images

Colts RB Jonathan Taylor Joins Running Back Rebellion, Requests Trade From Indy

Add another star running back to the growing list of disgruntled NFL players. Colts RB Jonathan Taylor officially requested a trade this weekend after a conversation with team owner Jim Irsay on a lengthy bus ride. Taylor is entering the fourth year of his rookie contract without a long-term deal, and he’s joining a movement of ballcarriers fighting back against the NFL’s devaluation of the position. Taylor has been a fan-favorite and workhorse back for the Colts while the team has gone through a rebuild, but JT wants out after one week of camp. Local reports suggested Taylor was an absolute team player in his first three seasons, but that changed after his conversation with Irsay. Despite his production, Taylor missed six games last season with an ankle injury. And when it comes to NFL economics, the Colts aren’t about to give $40 million-plus to the least-valued position in football. 

Average Salary by Position

Quarterbacks: $5.1 Million

Running Backs: $1.8 Million

Receivers: $2.2 Million

Tight Ends: $2.0 Million

Offensive Line: $2.8 Million

Defensive Line: $2.7 Million

Edge: $3.2 Million

Linebackers: $2.4 Million

Secondary: $2.1 Million

Special Teams: $1.7 Million

Only three RBs currently have a contract north of $12 million per year with more than $10 million fully guaranteed through the next two seasons (2024) — Christian McCaffrey (49ers), Alvin Kamara (Saints), and Nick Chubb (Browns).

The Running Back Rebellion: Chargers’ RB Austin Ekeler — who led the NFL in touchdowns last season — requested the first trade of the offseason back in the spring. In light of recent running back disrespect, Ekeler and Titans’ RB Derrick Henry started a group chat that led to a Zoom meeting of star running backs.

NFL Running Back Watch

Saquon Barkley (NYG): Signed 1-Year Deal

Josh Jacobs (LVR): Holdout / Un-Signed Franchise Tag

Austin Ekeler (LAC): Requested Trade

Jonathan Taylor (IND): Requested Trade

Ezekiel Elliot (DAL): Cut / Free Agent

Dalvin Cook (MIN): Cut / Free Agent

NFL Training Camp News

Other NFL News



World Cup Scoreboard

Photo: Chris Hyde – FIFA / Getty Images

Women’s World Cup Group Stage: France Shocks Brazil With Late Winner, Colombia Stuns Germany

A full weekend down under has cleared the way for the final week of the group stage in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. A number of critical one-goal wins helped boost the hopes of England, China, and Jamaica, while France stunned Brazil (2-1) and Colombia pulled an upset against Germany (2-1). Five teams have officially punched their tickets to the knockout rounds — Switzerland, Norway, Spain, Japan, and Sweden. The U.S. Women’s National Team still has work to do with a win or draw against Portugal tonight/tomorrow morning (Tues. 3:00 am ET). Here’s the latest:

World Cup Weekend Highlights

England def. Denmark (1-0)

China def. Haiti (1-0)

Sweden def. Italy (5-0)

France def. Brazil (2-1)

Jamaica def. Panama (1-0)

Morocco def. South Korea (1-0)

Norway def. Philippines (6-0)

Colombia def. Germany (2-1)

Switzerland draw New Zealand (0-0)

Group Stage Standings: Group A Complete

Group A was the first group to complete all three matches on Sunday, and it might be the tightest group race of the tournament. Switzerland (5 points) and Norway (4 points) are moving on while the Norwegian side edged the hosts from New Zealand (4 points) on goal differential. The Philippines (3 points) were also eliminated.

Teams Advancing (5): Switzerland, Norway, Spain, Japan, Sweden

Teams With Work to Do (19): Canada, Australia, Nigeria, USA, Portugal, Netherlands, England, China, Denmark, Haiti, France, Jamaica, Brazil, Italy, South Africa, Argentina, Colombia, Germany, Morocco

Teams Eliminated (8): New Zealand, Philippines, Ireland, Costa Rica, Zambia, Vietnam, Panama, South Korea

Upcoming Schedule

Japan vs. Spain (Mon. 3:00 am ET)*

Costa Rica vs. Zambia (Mon. 3:00 am ET)*

Ireland vs. Nigeria (Mon. 6:00 am ET) — LIVE NOW

Canada vs. Australia (Mon. 6:00 am ET) — LIVE NOW

USWNT vs. Portugal (Tues. 3:00 am ET)

Vietnam vs. Netherlands (Tues. 3:00 am ET)

China vs. England (Tues. 7:00 am ET)

Haiti vs. Denmark (Tues. 7:00 am ET)

*Overnight Matches (Live Updates)

The Group Stage comes to a close on Thursday (Aug. 3). The Knockout Stage begins Saturday (Aug. 5).

Read More

FOX Sports: USWNT Needs Result vs. Portugal, Or the Unthinkable Could Happen

CBS Sports: Group Scenarios: Who Can Advance & What They Need to Do

ESPN+: World Cup Last 16: Why Every Team Left Will or Won’t Win It All




UFC: Justin Gaethje TKOs Dustin Poirier in UFC 291 With Epic Head Kick

BOXING: Terence Crawford Delivers 9th-Round KO of Errol Spence Jr. for Undisputed Welterweight Title


PGA: Lee Hodges (-24) Runs Away With 3M Open for 1st Tour Victory

LPGA: Celine Boutier Becomes 1st French Winner of Amundi Evian Championship


F1: Max Verstappen Takes Belgian GP for 8th Straight F1 Win

NASCAR: Chris Buescher Wins Late Restart at Richmond for 3rd Career Victory


Kelsey Plum (28) & Chelsea Gray (27) Lead Aces to 7th Straight Win

Lynx Win 3rd Straight Despite Alyssa Thomas Triple-Double (87-83)





The Must-Watch List

FIFA Women’s World Cup

Japan vs. Spain (Mon. 3:00 am ET)*

Costa Rica vs. Zambia (Mon. 3:00 am ET)*

Ireland vs. Nigeria (Mon. 6:00 am ET)

Canada vs. Australia (Mon. 6:00 am ET)

USWNT vs. Portugal (Tues. 3:00 am ET)

Vietnam vs. Netherlands (Tues. 3:00 am ET)

China vs. England (Tues. 7:00 am ET)

Haiti vs. Denmark (Tues. 7:00 am ET)

*Overnight Matches (Live Updates)


Rays at Yankees (7:05 pm ET)

Orioles at Blue Jays (7:07 pm ET)
Angels at Braves (7:20 pm ET)

Reds at Cubs (8:05 pm ET)

Full MLB Schedule

Download The Sportsletter’s Must-Watch Calendar



Question of the Day

Do you think NFL running backs deserve better contracts? Or should the market set the value? (click to vote)

 Pay the Running Backs

 Let the Market Decide