Adrian Gonzalez is going to be the biggest story of the trade deadline this year. Everyone assumes that the Red Sox will be the front runners for him. And if they continue to stink, they may push even harder for him than they otherwise would. But they’re not the only team in baseball who could use a cheap awesome first baseman. Jon Paul Morosi suggests the Braves could be in on AG.
The basis: well, not even a rumor really. Just the realization that (a) the Braves need offense and could use a first baseman; and (b) Adrian Gonzalez is a first baseman. Trades have materialized from less, of course, but at the moment that’s all there is. No word from a Braves source. No word from a Padres source.
And I sort of hope it stays that way. As I wrote earlier in the week, the Braves are not new to this trade-for-a-stud-first baseman thing. They did it with Mark Teixeira a few years ago, and it was fairly disastrous in terms of the young talent the Braves had to give up. Given that Gonzalez is even cheaper and under team-control longer than Teixeira was, the price in prospects would likely be even higher.
And it would be an overpayment no matter what Gonzalez does while signed for 2010 and 2011, because there is no conceivable way that the current owners of the Braves — Liberty Media — would approve the $180 million+ or whatever it would take to sign AG long-term.
If the Braves traded for Adrian Gonzales it would be like a guy making $40K a year leasing a BMW. Maybe the monthly payments are technically affordable in the short term, but it’s gonna cost too much regardless and at the end of the day he’s not even gonna own the thing.
In short: nice attempt to stir the sauce pan on the hot stove, Jon Paul, but I don’t think anything is cooking here.
Cubs starter John Lackey stole the first base of his 15-year career on Wednesday against the Reds. Of course, he spent the first 11 and a half years of his career in the American League, where opportunities to bat, let alone attempt to steal a base, were rare. Lackey entered Wednesday having taken 250 plate appearances, reaching base just 31 times on 17 singles, seven doubles, and seven walks for a .134 on-base percentage. One can imagine the 38-year-old is not exactly the swiftest base runner.
Still, Lackey managed to swipe a bag in the fourth inning. He singled with two outs against Homer Bailey. Then, with an 0-1 count on Ben Zobrist, Lackey broke for second even before Bailey began his windup. Tucker Barnhart stood up to alert Bailey that Lackey was running, so Bailey wheeled around and threw to second base, but Lackey slid into the bag easily safe. It wasn’t a pretty slide, but it did the job.
Lackey, however, was picked off of second base by Barnhart later that inning. Bailey threw a 3-2 fastball wide of the strike zone, walking Zobrist. Lackey had wandered too far off of second base, so Barnhart threw behind Lackey and the tag was applied by Zack Cozart. Lackey was called safe initially. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was overturned, ending the fourth inning.
Base Ba’al giveth and Base Ba’al taketh away.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hit another jaw-dropping home run, victimizing Mets starter Robert Gsellman in the top of the fourth game of Wednesday night’s game at Citi Field. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes didn’t even move. The ball traveled 457 feet and was hit 117 MPH off the bat, according to Katie Sharp of River Ave Blues.
The home run moved Judge’s AL-best total to 37, putting him two ahead of the Royals’ Mike Moustakas. Along with the prodigious dinger total, he has 80 RBI, 90 runs scored, and a .291/.421/.616 triple-slash line in 499 plate appearances. Judge is on pace for 50 dingers. If it holds, that would give him the rookie record for home runs in a season. Mark McGwire currently holds the record, having hit 49 for the Athletics in 1987.