Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Tigers “are close to trading” Edwin Jackson to an unnamed team and “still hope to trade” Curtis Granderson at some point this week. Previous reports had the Tigers turning down the Mariners’ offer for Jackson that included Brandon Morrow and Shawn Kelley, and rumors have been swirling around Granderson for weeks now.
Interestingly, manager Jim Leyland was asked whether Detroit is having a firesale because of sudden payroll restrictions and replied:
You can stop right there. All they are is rumors. We’ve assured everyone of this: Anyone who thinks the Detroit Tigers are having a fire sale is foolish. Because we’re not. I can assure you of that and I’ll leave it at that. Anything else you have you should direct to the general manager.
Trading away the 26-year-old Jackson and 28-year-old Granderson just months after losing a one-game playoff for the division title would basically be the definition of a firesale. Either the reports are wrong or Leyland may be the one looking foolish.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.
Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.
The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.
Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.
Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.
Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.