Blue Jays call off Overbay-for-Snyder trade

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Blue Jays have backed away from a nearly completed Lyle Overbay-for-Chris Snyder trade because of concerns about the catcher’s surgically repaired back. Snyder underwent microdiscectomy surgery in September to relieve pressure on a nerve in his back after hitting just .200/.333/.352 this season in his least playing time since 2004.
He’s expected to be ready for spring training, but with two years and $11.25 million remaining on his contract new general manager Alex Anthopoulos apparently decided against taking the risk on a replacement for free agent Rod Barajas. Piecoro speculates that the Diamondbacks will continue to shop Snyder, who’s purely a backup now that Miguel Montero has emerged as the starter, but may have to wait until spring training to find a taker given the uncertainty surrounding his health.
Also look for Anthopoulos to continue shopping Overbay, because while he had a solid season by hitting .265/.372/.466 in 132 games a mediocre all-around first baseman who’s older than the new GM likely isn’t part of the long-term plan. Overbay has one year and $7 million remaining on his contract, so he’d certainly be a decent fit for contenders looking for a short-term fix at first base and obviously Anthopoulos’ asking price isn’t very high.

Gary Sanchez stays red hot, homers again as Yankees blank Mariners

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 22:  Gary Sanchez #24 of the New York Yankees hits a home run against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on August 22, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has wasted no time acclimating himself to major league competition. Since getting called back up on August 3, Sanchez has smacked nine homers and driven in 16 runs in a span of 18 games. In fact, since August 3, no hitter has homered more than Sanchez and only Charlie Blackmon and Brian Dozier have matched him, Katie Sharp of River Ave Blues notes.

One of those homers came in Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Mariners at Safeco Field. It was a first-inning blast off of Hisashi Iwakuma, quickly giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. They would go on to win 5-0. Sanchez finished 2-for-3 with a pair of intentional walks, a double, and the homer.

Some more fun facts about Sanchez, courtesy Sharp:

  • Sanchez is the first Yankee in club history with nine home runs in his first 21 career games [Link]
  • Sanchez is the third American League player in the last 100 years to hit at least nine home runs in his first 21 career games, joining George Scott and Alvin Davis [Link]
  • Sanchez and Joe DiMaggio are the only Yankees with 15 or more extra-base hits in their first 21 career games [Link]

Sanchez was considered the fifth-best prospect in the Yankees’ minor league system, according to MLB Pipeline. In the majors, he’s carrying a .389/.450/.847 triple-slash line in 79 plate appearances. He has also thrown out five of seven would-be base-stealers.

Katie Ledecky made Bryce Harper hold her medals while she threw the first pitch at Nationals Park

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 13:  (BROADCAST - OUT) Swimmer, Katie Ledecky of the United States poses for a photo with her five medals on the Today show set on Copacabana Beach on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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American swimmer Katie Ledecky, fresh off of winning four gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday night to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Nationals’ game against the Orioles.

As NHL.com’s Katie Brown notes, Ledecky’s favorite player is Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who was on the field with her. So what did she make him do? Hold all of her medals while she threw out the first pitch.

Harper has his fair share of hardware, including a Rookie of the Year Award and an MVP Award, but no gold medals. For shame.