The White Sox have a bat bonfire

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Bats, they are sick. Bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him bonfire, rum. He will come:

[Mark]Kotsay, who is batting .221 and has hit into
several line-drive outs, had two of his bats burned in a small fire pit
in an effort to change his fortunes.

“That was (Mark) Teahen’s deal,” Kotsay said after Tuesday night’s game. “I walked out and saw what was
going on and obviously I wanted to find out what was going on, but I had
nothing to do with it.”

Kotsay, a 13-year veteran, never recalled a bat burning to change a player’s luck.

“There are quirky things like changing your uniform or your undershirt
or your shoes, but never burning bats,” said Kotsay, adding he has
changed his routines in the past.

Every time I write about how HGH doesn’t help anyone play baseball, people come back with “if it doesn’t work then why do ballplayers do it?!”  The answer is evident: ballplayers will do absolutely anything if they think it will help them. Sometimes that leads to bad choices. Most of the time, though, it leads to fun stuff like this. I wouldn’t want it any other way.  

Red Sox could go to arbitration hearing with Fernando Abad

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Fernando Abad #58 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning at Fenway Park on September 16, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.

Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.

While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.

Report: Braves sign Kurt Suzuki

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 20: Kurt Suzuki #8 of the Minnesota Twins hits against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.

Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.

The team has yet to confirm the deal.