* Now that Jason Bay is starring on a contending team in a big market the baseball world seems to have discovered him,
but that has as much to do with no one paying any attention to the
Pirates as it does his actual performance with the Red Sox. Seriously.
Bay has hit .290/.389/.564 in 111 games with Boston, which while
very good is also very close to the .296/.399/.546 line that he posted
with Pittsburgh between 2005 and 2006. Take out his injury-plagued 2007
season and Bay posted a .932 OPS in Pittsburgh. He has a .953 OPS in
* Dave Cameron investigates Johan Santana’s struggles like only the boys at FanGraphs.com can. Turns out there, the whole blister theory may be correct.
* Within his latest outstanding blog entry,
Joe Posnanski passes along this amusing tidbit: “Carlos Zambrano has
hit 14 home runs in his last 282 at-bats. David Ortiz has hit 10 home
runs in his last 348 at-bats.” Sure, but how many homers has Ortiz allowed during that time?
* Despite facing a year-long recovery after the second Tommy John elbow surgery of his career, Jason Isringhausen is not ready to call it quits.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.