Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has been following the Adrian Gonzalez situation pretty closely this winter, but recent talks between the Red Sox and Padres are going nowhere. For now, that is.
At conflict is the players San Diego
will receive in return. New general manager Jed Hoyer has asked for
Clay Buchholz and either prospect outfielder Ryan Westmoreland or
right-hander Casey Kelly. As of now, the Red Sox aren’t receptive to
the asking price, but all things considered, it’s a pretty reasonable
return for two years of team control on Gonzalez. They may be more inclined to bite the bullet and make a deal if Jason Bay leaves via free agency.
Expect some continued to-and-fro
over the course of the winter between the clubs, but the most
interesting note from Cafardo’s piece is a teammate of Gonzalez
indicating that Boston would be the first baseman’s preferred
destination should he be traded. The Mariners and Mets, among others,
are also rumored to have varying degrees of interest in the 27-year-old
Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.
Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.
Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.
Despite having hit at least 20 home runs in eight of his 11 seasons in the majors, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has never participated in a Home Run Derby. Currently, he’s tied for the National League lead in home runs with 20, and he hasn’t been invited to this year’s festivities at Marlins Park.
In the event he is invited, Votto said he thinks he can win it, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto likened himself to Ichiro Suzuki, a player known more for his contact abilities and mastery of the strike zone than power. “Just think of me as the Canadian Ichiro — Japan has theirs and Canada has theirs,” Votto said. “I could pull homers into the seats at will.”
Along with the 20 homers, Votto is currently hitting .306/.419/.601 with 53 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 313 plate appearances.
Teammate Scott Schebler also has 20 home runs at the moment and Adam Duvall, who made it to the semifinals of the Derby last year, has 16. Neither of them have been approached about participating in the Derby, either. Per Rosecrans, in the event each was invited, Duvall said he would consider participating if he wasn’t an All-Star and Schebler would participate regardless. Votto said he would only participate if he made the All-Star team.