The Cubs are reportedly interested in Ben Sheets who, in turn, is interested in playing for the Cubs. I love it when true love blooms. The problem: Sheets reportedly has been asking for a two-year deal averaging around
$10 million to $12 million per year.
The Cubs would be right to balk at such an asking price for a guy coming off injuries like Sheets is, but then again, the Cubs are paying Carlos Silva $8 million per for the next couple of years, so who are they to judge.
Seriously though, Sheets may be the best choice for a team really looking to make a move next season. Obviously there are still questions about his arm, but it’s not like he’s coming off Tommy John surgery. He could easily get hurt again, but if he doesn’t he could easily be a front of the rotation starter again. Given the gamble he represents, anyone who goes for Sheets would have to have the financial wherewithal to absorb his loss if and when it happens, but I think the Cubs fit that category. So too do the Phillies and the Mets who have also been rumored to be talking to Sheets’ agent.
Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.
While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.
Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.
It’s been a slow start to the season for Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner, who entered Saturday’s matinee against the Orioles with a .188/.316/.234 batting line, three doubles and five stolen bases in his first 76 PA of the year. That all changed in the first inning of Saturday’s game, when Gardner skied a leadoff home run to right field:
Orioles’ right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t find his footing against the Yankees in the second inning, either. Gardner returned for his second home run of the season, a three-run shot to lift New York 5-0 over Baltimore:
Measured at 411 feet in the right field bullpen, the left fielder’s blast marked the seventh home run hit by a Yankee this series. According to the club’s PR department, it’s also the first multi-home run game Gardner has recorded since September 2015. The Yankees currently lead the Orioles 7-0 through four innings.