Buried in Nick Cafardo’s notes column from yesterday is this small nugget: “Prediction: Jacoby Ellsbury will be dealt in the offseason.” Which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me because Mike Cameron is not going to live forever and the Sox need someone to play in the outfield, but there you are.
He could simply be guessing, but seeing the prediction just laid out like that with little explanation around it makes me think that Cafardo is passing along something he heard from team management. I wonder if it’s the same team sources that seem to be telling all the Boston writers to push the “Ellsbury is soft line.” Because we’ve seen a bit of that recently as well.
The Sox used to have a reputation for burying a guy in the media and then shipping him out. They don’t seem to do that much anymore because they’re all respectable and professional now and everything, but one wonders if this isn’t happening with Ellsbury.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.
On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.