While the Angels’ baseball people are said to have moved on from the idea of keeping John Lackey around, owner Arte Moreno is not letting go:
Club officials had all but decided to part with Lackey during the
team’s organizational meetings at the end of the regular season,
according to multiple major-league sources.
But Moreno, after
watching Lackey pitch well in his three postseason starts against the
Red Sox and Yankees, decided that the Angels should renew their efforts
to sign him, the sources said.
What I said just an hour ago about owners making baseball decisions notwithstanding, the best argument for letting Lackey walk is financial, not competitive. Since Arte Moreno holds the purse strings in Anaheim, his interest in keeping Lackey trumps all. If he’s willing keep Lackey in the fold without sacrificing the team’s other needs — like, say, a cleanup hitter — more power to him.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.