Randy Wolf served up five homers to the Cubs yesterday, joining Justin Lehr as the only NL pitchers to allow five homers in a game during the past five seasons.
Marlon Byrd and Geovany Soto both took him deep twice and Derrek Lee blasted his 300th career homer off Wolf, who has now allowed 15 long balls through 13 starts in the first season of a three-year, $30 million contract.
Afterward the 33-year-old southpaw was pretty tough on himself:
This is awful. It’s one of those times when you feel like you’ll wake up and it’s a bad dream. But it’s not. It’s reality. I have to deal with it and try to get better. I’m making a lot of mistakes out there and I’m not getting away with any of them. I’m better than that. I’ve just got to find a way to get better than that. I haven’t pitched well yet in my mind. It’s frustrating because I don’t feel any different than I did last year. The results definitely aren’t there. I’ve got to do something to get better results than I’m getting right now.
Wolf is now 4-6 with a 5.31 ERA and 49/39 K/BB ratio in 78 innings overall this season, which can’t make the Brewers feel good about owing him another $9.5 million in both 2011 and 2012 with a $10 million option or $1.5 million buyout for his age 36 season in 2013. Not quite Jeff Suppan territory yet, but he’s going in that direction and the Brewers may want to take a little break from signing non-elite, over-30 free agent starters.
Nick Cafardo provides this interesting nugget in his Sunday notes column at the Boston Globe …
Hanley Ramirez, 1B-DH, Red Sox — There’s now talk in the front office that Dave Dombrowski is trying to move Ramirez in a deal. The Mariners, Orioles, and Angels seem to be the targets, and all three make sense.
Cafardo notes that “there are huge hurdles to cross” before a trade could happen — like how much of Hanley’s remaining salary the Red Sox would have to eat and what positions the soon-to-be 32-year-old is able to play defensively at this point in his career.
Boston’s higher-ups have asked Ramirez to learn first base and drop 20 pounds this winter. Whatever team is looking to acquire him would probably have to be comfortable with him serving primarily as a designated hitter.
Hanley is owed $68.2 million over the next three seasons and he carries a $22 million vesting option for 2019. He batted just .249/.291/.426 in 105 games this past year.
Ben Zobrist posted a cool .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 126 games this summer between Oakland and Kansas City while appearing defensively at second base, third base, and both corner outfield positions.
His steady bat and defensive versatility make him a fit for just about every club in Major League Baseball, and the defending National League champions are among the teams in hot pursuit …
It’s a little odd to see the rebuilding Braves listed there given that Zobrist is 34 years old, but Rosenthal says the interest stems from a “desire for him to serve as [a] model for younger players” as the club prepares to open a new ballpark in 2017. Wasn’t that supposed to be Nick Markakis‘ job?
Zobrist and his agent Alan Nero are believed to be seeking a four-year deal.
Hey, the hot stove is finally generating some real fire …
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Tigers have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. It’s a five-year deal worth around $110 million, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
This should have a domino effect on a loaded starting pitching market. David Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and Jeff Samardzija are just a few of the names still out there.
Zimmermann, 29, posted a 3.66 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 164/39 K/BB ratio in 201 2/3 innings this past season for the Nationals. He had a 2.66 ERA in 2014 and threw a no-hitter on the final day of the regular season.
Zimmermann’s free agency is tied to draft pick compensation because he rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Washington, but the Tigers finished with one of the 10-worst win-loss records in 2015 so their first-round pick in 2016 is protected. Detroit will give up its second-round pick instead.
Here’s a pretty good way to finally break out of that turkey-induced Thanksgiving tryptophan coma.
It’s a compilation of the 10 longest home runs from the 2015 season, with MLB.com’s Statcast technology providing data along the path of each blast …