* Manny Ramirez hit career homer No. 537 last night
to pass Mickey Mantle for 15th place on the all-time list. Ramirez is
now 15-for-47 (.319) with four homers in 14 games since returning from
suspension and the Dodgers are 28-12 when he’s in the starting lineup.
* Lou Piniella and Milton Bradley had their private coaching session
yesterday, and when asked afterward “how it went” Bradley replied: “It
went. That’s all I care to elaborate.” Piniella was slightly more
forthcoming, saying: “It went well. He was receptive to it and we
didn’t make many radical changes at all. We talked about some things
that felt comfortable.”
* Eddie Guardado is five outings away
from becoming just the 21st pitcher in baseball history to appear in
900 games. Trevor Hoffman (958) and David Weathers (932) are the only
active pitchers ahead of him, although it’s worth noting that 112
different active pitchers have faced more batters than Guardado’s total
* With the Nationals falling 40 games below .500 last night, Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times puts their feat in the context of baseball’s long history of horrendous teams.
Per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Jake Arrieta‘s agent Scott Boras says they’ll discuss a potential contract extension with the Cubs when they meet in January to hammer out arbitration figures.
Arrieta, 30, is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility after earning $10.7 million in 2016. The right-hander followed up his Cy Young Award-winning 2015 campaign by going 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA and a 190/76 K/BB ratio in 197 1/3 innings during the regular season. Arrieta pitched well in the postseason, helping the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908.
While Boras clients tend to go to free agency, it’s not always the case. Stephen Strasburg inked a seven-year, $175 million extension with the Nationals earlier this year.
Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports, citing a source as well as Nikkan Sports, that reliever Koji Uehara is close to signing a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Cubs.
Uehara, 41, finished the 2016 season with a 3.45 ERA and a 63/11 K/BB ratio over 47 innings. He missed some time in the second half with a strained right pectoral muscle. When Uehara returned from the disabled list on September 7, he tossed 11 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts and two walks through the end of the regular season. So there’s at least some evidence, albeit in a very small sample size, that Uehara has stuff left in the tank.
The Cubs recently acquired closer Wade Davis from the Royals. Uehara would join Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards, Jr., Justin Grimm, and Mike Montgomery in what is once again a very deep bullpen.