Friedman outlines Rays' offseason plans

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Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman told Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times that the club plans to be active in adding at least one reliever and another catcher to use in tandem with Dioner Navarro.



“We have a list of guys on other teams we have an interest in, and a
list of free agents as well,” Friedman said. “And depending on how the
market evolves on both fronts, it will go a long way toward shaping our
thought process. … We feel like there are a lot of talented names out
there.”




The Rays probably won’t be able to
afford the higher-end relievers like Rafael Soriano or Mike Gonzalez,
however they could have interest in Danys Baez, according to Friedman.
After
missing all of 2008 following Tommy John
surgery, Baez posted a 4.02 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 59 appearances with
the Orioles in 2009. While his strikeout rate fell to a career-low of
5.02 K/9, his
career-high 60.9% groundball rate was among the league-leaders. Baez
previously pitched with the Rays from 2004-2005.




The Rays will likely have to turn to
trades for a catcher since the position is rather thin among the free
agents, however they appear open to continue talks with Gregg Zaun,
despite declining his $2 million option earlier this month.




Some of the juicier tidbits were
buried at the bottom, but probably for good reason. According to Smith, the Rangers and White Sox
have shown interest in B.J. Upton while the Mets and Braves have
inquired about Carl Crawford. The Rays exercised Crawford’s $10 million
option for 2010 earlier this month, and remain interested in discussing
a contract extension.
 


Red Sox set a new major league record with 11 strikeouts in a row

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez #52 of the Boston Red Sox works the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.

The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.

For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dodgers clinch NL West on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Charlie Culberson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a single RBI in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Matt Hazlett/Getty Images
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Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.

The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.

Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.

It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.