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Jack Cooley Headshot

Cooley has agreed to a two-way contract with the Kings, Chris Reichert of The Step Back reports.

Cooley, after going undrafted back in 2013, has bounced around the NBA and the D-League since. Last season, however, he played for the German club MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. He'll look to make a name for himself in the G-League this season.
12:39 pm (EST)
Austin Watson Headshot

Watson -- who ended up filling for salary arbitration -- is seeking $1.4 million, whereas the Predators have proposed an offer of $700,000, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports.

We suspect an arbitrator will ultimately grant Watson a salary that comes in less than his $1.4 million ask, but higher than the $700,000 the Preds wish to provide. The Michigan native largely avoided the AHL this past season and proceeded to put up five goals, 12 assists and 99 PIM in 77 games for the parent club during the regular season. Watson also held his own during the postseason, as he averaged 13:40 of ice time and skated to a plus-3 rating with nine points over 22 grueling contests.
12:37 pm (EST)
Yadier Molina (R) Headshot

Molina (ankle) will return to the lineup Saturday against the Cubs, Jim Hayes of Fox Sports Midwest reports.

He was a last-minute scratch from Friday's lineup, but it would seem the discomfort in Molina's ankle has subsided for the most part. The 35-year-old has hit safely in seven of his last eight games and he's already exceeded his home run totals from each of the past three seasons. His playing time isn't in question even with Carson Kelly now on the roster.
12:33 pm (EST)
Denny Hamlin Headshot

Hamlin was fastest in opening practice for the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Saturday morning. He turned a fast lap of 187.414 mph.

The Joe Gibbs Racing star is carrying a lot of momentum into the Brickyard this weekend coming off his big win at Loudon last week. The No. 11 team unloaded the fastest race car to start the weekend. Hamlin beat out Martin Truex Jr. for the fastest lap of the opening session. He should crack the Top 10 in Sunday's 400-mile race at Indy.
12:30 pm (EST)
Justin Hamilton Headshot

Hamilton has agreed to join the Beijing Shougang Ducks, per his official Twitter account.

After joining the Raptors via trade in mid-July as a filler that allowed the team to unload DeMarre Carrol to the Nets, Hamilton was subsequently waived. Now, he has opted to take his talents to China, signing with the Beijing Shougang Ducks. He averaged 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds across 18.4 minutes per game with the Nets last year.
12:26 pm (EST)
Robert Stephenson (R) Headshot

Stephenson was recalled from Triple-A Louisville and will start Saturday against the Marlins.

The Reds made the roster move official, swapping out Ariel Hernandez for Stephenson, who will toe the rubber in place of Scott Feldman (knee). Stephenson has struggled in 21 appearances (eight starts) at the big-league level so far in his career, and he's lost his shine as a former top prospect as a result, but the 24-year-old has been throwing a lot of strikes lately with Louisville (13 walks in 40.1 innings).
12:20 pm (EST)
Ariel Hernandez (R) Headshot

Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Louisville on Saturday.

Hernandez was called up earlier this month to bolster the Cincinnati bullpen, but was rocked for six earned runs in his last outing, Thursday against Arizona. The meltdown skyrocketed his season ERA to 5.28 over 15.1 innings, earning him the honor of being sent down to clear a roster slot for Saturday's starting pitcher, Robert Stephenson. Look for the right-handed reliever to see more opportunities at the Triple-A level and possibly vie for a late-season call-up.
12:18 pm (EST)
Jordan Martinook Headshot

Martinook reached a contract settlement with the Coyotes on Saturday, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports. The winger, who narrowly avoided an arbitration hearing, will earn $3.6 million over the next two years.

The 24-year-old pivot was selected by the 'Yotes in the second round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, he fashioned 11 goals and 14 helpers over 77 games, and received 2:14 of ice time in shorthanded situations. Arizona's qualifying offer of one year and $687,500 was a bit of a head scratcher given Martinook's scoring acumen and middle-six role, but there should be no hard feelings since the two sides ended up reaching a settlement on their own.
12:12 pm (EST)
Daniel Robertson (R) Headshot

Robertson (neck) participated in fielding drills Friday and manager Kevin Cash said he should begin a rehab assignment within the next week, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Robertson has been working towards becoming a full participant in baseball activities, and it appears he's making good progress in his overall recovery. The 23-year-old shortstop was placed on the DL at the end of June with neck spasms and will likely need multiple rehab games before joining the big league roster.
12:03 pm (EST)
Alex Claudio (L) Headshot

Claudio tossed two scoreless innings and was credited with the win in Friday's 4-3 victory over the Rays in 10 innings.

Claudio faced the minimum six batters in the outing, allowing a base hit to Steven Souza to lead off the bottom of the 10th before generating a double-play ball. While Friday's contest didn't count as a save situation, Claudio's entry into the contest in the ninth inning of a tie ball game illustrates that he clearly has the trust of manager Jeff Banister in high-leverage spots. After collecting the Rangers' most recent two saves, Claudio remains the leading candidate to close out games, but as a soft-tossing lefty, he might not have much staying power in the role. Keone Kela, who was activated from the 10-day disabled list Thursday, warrants stashing in most deeper leagues in the event Claudio eventually transitions back to setup duties.
11:41 am (EST)
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