UPDATE: The deal is official now. Florida receives mid-level prospects Robert Bono and Luis Bryan, plus a player to be named later. And saves a bit of cash, of course.* * * * * * * * * *
Houston has been shopping for bullpen help
after closer Jose Valverde declined arbitration and setup man LaTroy Hawkins signed with the Brewers, and they’re reportedly on the verge of agreeing to a deal with the Marlins for Matt Lindstrom.
Nothing official has been announced yet, but Lindstrom informed
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro that his agent told him to “hang tight” because the two sides are exchanging medical records.
Florida was looking to deal Lindstrom because he struggled in 2009 and is due for a raise via arbitration, but he had a 3.11 ERA and 105/47 K/BB ratio in 124 innings over the previous two seasons and even the mid-payroll Astros won’t have any trouble handling a price tag around $2 million. Lindstrom has just 20 career saves, but if the trade goes through he’ll almost certainly take over for Valverde as the Astros’ closer and bring his mid-90s fastball to a permanent ninth-inning role.
Hanley Ramirez was a complete failure in left field this season in Boston and he batted just .249/.291/.426 while appearing in only 105 games. Ben Cherington, the man that signed him to a four-year, $88 million free agent contract, is no longer with the Red Sox. It’s time for some tough love …
Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo, who just inked a two-year extension to return as John Farrell’s bench coach, told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Sunday that Hanley has been asked to drop 15-20 pounds over the offseason. There have been similar conversations with Boston’s other free agent failure, Pablo Sandoval.
Ramirez is expected to start at first base for the Red Sox in 2016.
Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.
He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.
Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …
The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.
Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.