Sean McAdam, while noting that no conversations have occurred to this effect, observes that Mike Lowell might be a good fit with the Angels.
Makes sense: LAAofA just lost Kendry Morales for the year, they have a swirling vortex of suck at third base right now in the form of Brandon Wood and their DH — Hideki Matsui — has been less than effective. Lowell fits in all three of those slots.
McAdam quotes insiders who observe that the Angels tend to try to fill holes internally if at all possible. That’s great, but at some point you have too many holes. Brandon Wood stinks? Fine, that was always possible. Matsui? No worries, give Mike Napoli a day off behind the dish and hope that limited play causes Godzilla to spring back to life. But those two and no first baseman? Maybe too much to overcome.
It’s hard to see Anaheim wanting to give up too much for Lowell, but it’s not at all clear that they’d have to either. One gets the sense that the Boston brass is sensitive to the fact that Lowell is simply dangling right now. Yeah, it’s a business and all but you have to figure they want to do right by the guy and give him a chance to play.
The biggest barrier to this? Probably the fact that there’s a decent chance that both the Sox and the Angels have wild card aspirations, so why would one team want to help the other before it’s clear whether there’s going to be a race or not.
The Mets traded centerfielder Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers for cash considerations or a player to be named later, the teams announced late Friday night. Granderson was rumored to be drawing interest from teams earlier in the week, and found a landing place after slashing .256/.360/.721 since the start of the month. In a corresponding move, the Dodgers designated right-hander Dylan Floro for assignment to clear roster space for the outfielder.
As a whole, the 36-year-old’s 2017 campaign has been a tad underwhelming. Granderson entered Saturday batting .228/.334/.481 with 19 home runs and an .815 OPS through 395 PA, and accrued 1.7 fWAR to the 5.1 fWAR he produced during his pennant-winning, MVP-contending season in 2015. Still, with under $4 million remaining on his contract, another 20+ homer season around the corner and the defensive chops to man center field, it looks like a prudent deal for the Dodgers as they continue to bulldoze their way to the playoffs this fall.
The club has yet to outline their plans for Granderson, but his addition to a crowded outfield could displace centerfielder Joc Pederson, who turned in a meager .214/.329/.415 batting line through 292 PA in 2017. It could also have ramifications for fellow veteran Andre Ethier, assuming he’s healthy enough to compete for a starting role when he comes off the 60-day disabled list in September. The Mets, meanwhile, are expected to lean more heavily on rookie outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who’s made just five starts this season after struggling to get consistent playing time on the field.
Indians’ right-hander Corey Kluber was removed from the sixth inning of his start on Friday night, bringing a streak of 14 starts with 8+ strikeouts to an unfortunate end after he sprained his right ankle. Kluber stumbled off the mound while trying to field a base hit from Eric Hosmer and was seen visibly limping as he moved to cover first base. He was allowed to stay in the game for one more batter, but quickly yielded a three-pitch single to Melky Cabrera and left the mound with head athletic trainer James Quinlan.
It was a poor ending to another strong outing by the right-hander, who delivered 5 1/3 innings of one-run, four-strikeout ball and took his 12th win of the season after the Indians amassed a nine-run lead. Postgame comments by Cleveland skipper Terry Francona suggest that Kluber isn’t facing a serious setback after sustaining the sprain, however, and might even be good to go by the time his next start comes around on Wednesday.
While the Royals escaped Friday’s loss without injury, the 10-1 drubbing pushed them 6.5 games back of the division lead and half a game behind the Twins and Angels for the second AL wild card berth. They’ll host a rematch on Saturday at 7:15 ET, with left-hander Jason Vargas set to face off against Indians’ righty Trevor Bauer.