Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is back with his latest batch of Hot Stove morsels. While his Sunday column is always worth a complete read, here’s just a few items of interest.
– General manager Theo Epstein would
prefer not to give up Clay Buchholz and Casey Kelly for Roy Halladay.
The Red Sox feel his current price tag is too high considering he is 33
years old, will require a long-term contract and has thrown over 1800
innings this decade. According to Cafardo, their ideal situation would
be to sign John Lackey and deal Buchholz for a young hitter.
– The pitching-hungry Brewers have
talked to the Rangers about acquiring Kevin Millwood, but so far Texas
isn’t biting. Millwood has one year and $12 million remaining on his
contract, so moving his salary would create some room should they
decide to pursue Texas-native John Lackey.
– Despite being linked in trade rumors, Derek Lowe hasn’t heard from the front office regarding a potential destination.
– Cafardo finds the Cardinals a
“good bet” to sign Miguel Tejada, though he also thinks they could be
interested in Mike Lowell if Boston eats part of the contract. The
Giants, Rangers, Orioles (really?) and Mariners are also believed to
have interest in Tejada, according to Cafardo.
3:30 pm ET – Update: In regards to a possible Millwood-to-the-Brewers trade, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he hasn’t spoken with Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin in weeks. It doesn’t exactly refute Cafardo’s report, nor does it dismiss the chance of future negotiations.
Albert Pujols kicked things off for the Angels in dramatic fashion on Friday night, cranking a two-RBI home run off of the Orioles’ Jeremy Hellickson to give the club an early lead in the first inning. The 350-footer was his 18th home run of the year and No. 609 in his 17-season career, tying Sammy Sosa on the all-time home run list for eighth overall and most home runs hit by a player born outside of the United States.
With the home run, Pujols sits just three homers shy of tying Jim Thome’s 612-home run record for seventh on the all-time list. That figures to be the last major milestone still ahead of the designated hitter this season, with Ken Griffey Jr.’s 630-home run mark still a distant 21 blasts away.
The Angels, meanwhile, ran with Pujols’ lead, collecting home runs from Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron, Kaleb Cowart and Mike Trout. It wasn’t quite enough to quash the Orioles, however, who surged to a 9-7 finale after Manny Machado went 3-for-5 with three home runs and struck a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.
The Nationals placed right-hander Max Scherzer on the 10-day disabled list with left neck inflammation, the team announced Friday. Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start against the Padres and replaced by left-hander Matt Grace, though an official roster move has yet to be made to fill his spot on the roster. The assignment is retroactive to August 15.
Scherzer experienced a similar pain on the right side of his neck at the start of the month, though this is the first official stint he’ll serve on the disabled list in 2017. While comments from club manager Dusty Baker suggest that the injury wasn’t caused by any particular trauma, it seems likely that the ace right-hander will be sidelined for at least one more start.
It’s a terrible time to lose a star pitcher, especially with the Nationals positioned to make a deep run in the postseason, but their 14-game cushion in the NL East should buy them some time while Scherzer’s on the mend. Prior to his bout of inflammation, the 33-year-old looked remarkably healthy this season. He pitched through his fifth consecutive All-Star campaign and currently boasts a 12-5 record in 24 starts, complete with a 2.25 ERA (good for second-best among qualified starters), 2.2 BB/9 and 12.3 SO/9 in 160 1/3 innings.