The Cardinals have Jake Westbrook at the top of their wish list, reports Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
Spurned in their efforts to land Dan Haren or Roy Oswalt, the Cards were also talking to the Nationals about Livan Hernandez and the Rockies about Aaron Cook in recent days. No longer, according to Stark. Teams that have spoken with the Rockies and Nationals say the Cardinals are now “going in a different direction,” namely the aforementioned Westbrook.
The 32-year-old right-hander missed the entire 2009 season following Tommy John elbow surgery, but has a 4.65 ERA over 21 starts this season. Westbrook seems like a pretty good fit for the Cardinals, but sources tell Stark that the chances of him being dealt are “50-50.”
You see, Westbrook is owed roughly $4 million for the rest of this season, but would receive a $2 million bonus if he gets traded. According to Stark, the Indians “haven’t expressed much interest” in covering a significant portion of that bonus. Should they hold firm on that, it may ultimately prevent a deal from being consummated.
Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz was childhood friends with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, so it was expected when Diaz took time away from the team on Monday to visit Fernandez’s family in Miami. They grew up on the same street in Cuba and played for the same youth baseball team and both would ultimately wind up playing Major League Baseball in the United States.
In the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Reds, Diaz hit a 2-1 Robert Stephenson fastball out to left-center field for a no-doubt grand slam. Teammate Yadier Molina gave Diaz a tight hug as he crossed home plate.
Before Tuesday’s game, Diaz said that the best way to honor Fernandez was to play with his passion, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Diaz said, “I only play for [Fernandez’s] family right now.”
Here’s the video.
The Red Sox would have clinched the AL East if one of two things happened on Tuesday night: the Red Sox themselves beat the Yankees, or the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays. Neither happened.
The Jays soundly took down the Orioles 5-1 behind six strong innings from Aaron Sanchez. Josh Donaldson went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run and a pair of walks and leadoff batter Ezequiel Carrera went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, an RBI single, a walk, and three runs scored.
Meanwhile, at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees outlasted the Red Sox for a 6-4 win, responding to both two-run innings the Sox had in the sixth and seventh with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. Gary Sanchez hit his 20th homer of the season. Didi Gregorius and Tyler Austin also contributed dingers. Starter Luis Cessa pitched well, limiting the Sox to two runs over six innings on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Red Sox starter David Price struggled, yielding six runs in 6 1/3 innings. Yankees reliever Tyler Clippard got into trouble in the ninth inning but was able to wiggle out of trouble to finish out the game.
Once again, the Red Sox will be able to clinch the AL East on Wednesday with a win over the Yankees or a Blue Jays loss to the Orioles.