The New York Post reports that the Yankees are talking to former Expo Nick Johnson (we must mention the Expos whenever possible lest they slip from our collective consciousness forever) to be their DH. The thinking is that if he signs on for that gig, Johnny Damon becomes an afterthought, because there won’t be a DH slot to cycle him through in order to give some playing time to Melky and Gardner and that gang.
I don’t think that having Johnson means that the door is closed on Damon — the Yankees haven’t been reported to be thinking that Damon would spend a ton of time DHing, and having both of hem in the fold would make for a very, very nice offense — but bringing him in would bring even more pressure to bear on Damon and Boras.
And while we’re on the subject of Nick Johnson — who could probably be had for sub-Matsui money — allow me to urge the General Manager of my Atlanta Braves to cut this whole conversation short by signing Johnson and his .400 OBP and giving him the first base job. It would be nice to have a guy who could take a walk and be on base for Chipper Jones and Brian McCann once in a while, mmmkay?
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.
The Blue Jays completed a four-game series sweep against the Athletics on Thursday afternoon and won their second consecutive game in walk-off fashion. Last night, the Jays went into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 2-0, but a two-run home run by Justin Smoak followed by a solo home run from Kendrys Morales led to a 3-2 walk-off victory.
Thursday’s game was already interesting enough as starter Marcus Stroman, catcher Russell Martin, and manager John Gibbons were all ejected by home plate umpire Will Little. Despite the adversity, the Jays battled the A’s, tying the game at four apiece when Morales blasted a solo home run — his second of the game — in the bottom of the ninth inning. In the 10th inning, A’s reliever Liam Hendriks walked the bases loaded with two outs to bring up Steve Pearce. Pearce worked the count full before pulling a fastball down the left field line for a walk-off grand slam, giving the Jays an 8-4 victory to complete the sweep.
Before Pearce, the last Jays hitter to hit a walk-off grand slam was Gregg Zaun on September 6, 2008 against the Rays, per SportsNet Stats.