We’ve seen people get excited about Yankees scouts watching Cliff Lee pitch (never mind that he was pitching against the Yankees in one of those games! It’s significant, I tells ya!), but really there hasn’t been any strong reason to believe that New York is all that interested. And now we hear more on the total “meh” that is the Yankees’ non-pursuit of Cliff Lee.
I’m paraphrasing, but Buster Olney basically says that the Yankees think they could get Cliff Lee if they wanted to, but like, they’re not totally into him. Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal reports that some insider tells him that the Yankees are “kicking the tires” on Lee, like he’s a used Oldsmobile or something. Rosenthal’s source says that the Yankees have less than a 50% chance of getting Lee.
Know what I think? I think that the Yankees just want to be troublemakers here. They want to see if they can’t make the Twins and Mets — rivals in one vague form or another — overpay and, hey, if they give the New York writers something to do besides figure out what LeBron James’ latest breakfast Really Means, all the more fun.
The Yankees don’t need Lee now. They can easily outbid anyone for him in December. This is all fun and games for them.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.
The Blue Jays completed a four-game series sweep against the Athletics on Thursday afternoon and won their second consecutive game in walk-off fashion. Last night, the Jays went into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 2-0, but a two-run home run by Justin Smoak followed by a solo home run from Kendrys Morales led to a 3-2 walk-off victory.
Thursday’s game was already interesting enough as starter Marcus Stroman, catcher Russell Martin, and manager John Gibbons were all ejected by home plate umpire Will Little. Despite the adversity, the Jays battled the A’s, tying the game at four apiece when Morales blasted a solo home run — his second of the game — in the bottom of the ninth inning. In the 10th inning, A’s reliever Liam Hendriks walked the bases loaded with two outs to bring up Steve Pearce. Pearce worked the count full before pulling a fastball down the left field line for a walk-off grand slam, giving the Jays an 8-4 victory to complete the sweep.
Before Pearce, the last Jays hitter to hit a walk-off grand slam was Gregg Zaun on September 6, 2008 against the Rays, per SportsNet Stats.