MASN’s Roch Kubatko thinks some of the remaining free agents on the market should consider lowering their asking prices.
Adrian Beltre, for instance, is still seeking $10-$15 million annually. Plenty of teams are interested in the defensively stellar third baseman, but not at that price. Adam LaRoche is rumored to be asking for a three-year, $30 million deal. He’s out of his mind if he thinks that’s coming. Ben Sheets reportedly wants $12 million, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch since September of 2008.
With so many free agents still looking for employment, baseball’s vaunted free agency period has suddenly blossomed into a buyer’s market and teams aren’t going to fork over major multi-year deals. Even Matt Holliday and Jason Bay are struggling to find offers that appeal to them.
Most of us saw this coming. Revenues are down all over the league and team philosophies have shifted more toward development. But super-agent Scott Boras seems plenty surprised and a whole lot of veteran players are going to be jobless come March and April.
The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.
Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:
Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.