Ken Rosenthal — writing on a newly-designed FOX website that puts one in mind of the New York Post, for whatever that’s worth — says that the Cubs are going strong after Marlon Byrd now that their primary outfield target Mike Cameron has been snapped up.
Worth noting that there wasn’t a single peep about the Cubs making any overtures towards Cameron in the past few weeks, so saying that the Cubs “wanted Cameron” is kind of like me saying I want Olivia Munn. I mean, maybe it’s true in the literal sense, but it’s kind of meaningless given the lack of action or even the possibility of something happening.
In any event, there are serious concerns that Byrd is a creature of the Ballpark at Arlington, and his splits bear that out (2009, 2008, 2007).
The real question: are the Cubs really going to sign a Texas Rangers free agent — represented by Seth Levinson no less — for the second winter in a row?
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.
The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.
Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.
The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.