The Tigers and the Angels are the latest reported — or at least speculated — to throw their hats into the Aroldis Chapman ring. Add their names to the Orioles, Red Sox, White Sox, Cubs, Yankees, Mets, Athletics and Cardinals.
Which is great and all, but does anyone but me think it’s silly to think that any team besides the Yankees or the Red Sox are going to pay $40 million+ for a raw, 21 year-old guy who has never thrown a pitch in affiliated baseball? In light of the intro to my previous post I know this sounds like more of that “it’s the Yankees and Red Sox world and everyone else is just livin’ in it” talk I claim to despise, but really, who among the contenders here have (a) the means to absorb such a loss in the likely event Chapman either gets injured or flames out; or (b) has any track record taking such risks?
The Mets spend money from time to time but all signs point to at least some short term austerity on their part these days. The Tigers have spent some crazy money in recent years, but not on wild fliers like Chapman. The A’s and Cardinals? Please.
I suspect that there will be a press conference within the next month announcing Chapman’s signing, and I suspect that that press conference will take place in either Boston or New York.
The Mets rode a bloop hit and a fortuitous slide by Yoenis Cespedes into a four-run fifth inning against the Cardinals during Thursday night’s game.
After Cespedes drew a one-out walk, James Loney hit a weak pop-up into shallow left field. Left fielder Brandon Moss and shortstop Greg Garcia both gave chase but it dropped in. Cespedes, running the bases aggressively, sprinted towards third base. Moss scooped up the ball and threw to Adam Wainwright covering third base.
Cespedes appeared to have been tagged out by Wainwright, but as luck would have it, Cespedes’ cleats stuck on Wainwright’s glove and yanked it off. Cespedes was ruled safe and the Cardinals challenged the call, but it was ultimately upheld.
After that play, Curtis Granderson struck out, Wilmer Flores reached on a fielding error by Garcia, and Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run home run to right field, pushing the Mets’ lead to 7-0.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.