– The Phillies completed a three-game sweep of the Mets on Sunday
as Joe Blanton outdueled Johan Santana with seven shutout innings. The
stumbling Mets are now four games back of the first-place Phils.
– After being snubbed for an All-Star selection, Mark Reynolds connected for his 24th home run against the Rockies. While he didn’t make the squad, he is one of the choices on the “Final Vote” ballot.
– Ricky Nolasco continued his resurgence,
fanning 12 while tossing eight shutout innings against the Pirates on
Sunday. Nolasco has lowered his ERA from 9.07 to 5.42 in six starts
since returning from the minor leagues on June 7.
– Hanley Ramirez sat out Sunday’s game due to a tight right hip flexor. However, he was named as the National League’s starting shortstop.
– The Yankees managed to defeat the Blue Jays 10-8 on Sunday despite the worst outing of Joba Chamberlain’s career.
– After having surgery on his right rotator cuff last month, Coco Crisp has a similar procedure planned for his left shoulder later this month. He hopes to be ready for Opening Day next season.
– Rehabbing a groin injury, Raul Ibanez is scheduled to play for Double-A Reading on Monday. Ibanez was chosen as a first-time All-Star by the fans on Sunday.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.