Due to the vagaries of geography and time zones and stuff, we easterners don’t get to hear a lot about what happens in Seattle. Oh, we get the big stories: Ichiro is good, Steve Largent has sure hands, the Denny Party has found a new place to settle — but the little stuff often escapes our attention. Stuff like just how bad Carlos Silva is and just how much Mariners fans hate him.
How much do they hate him? The Mariners just traded for baseball’s problem child, and as of 3PM this afternoon, Seattle Times readers are 91%-9% in favor of the deal. Granted, this is not a scientific sampling, but if anything, the sorts of people who click on Internet polls should skew more in favor of the “Milton-Bradley-is-a-bum” talk radio crowd than it does towards people who analyze baseball objectively and thus might realize that Bradley has some basic value. Heck, I’d at least expect this to be a 60-40 thing.
At some point, some Cubs fans are going to try and talk themselves into believing that having Carlos Silva on the team is a good thing. Before they do, they might want to talk to some Mariners fans first, because they prefer Bradley at a ten-to-one clip.
Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.
Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.
It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.
“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”
Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.
This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.
With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.