Done Deal: Jake Westbrook to the Cardinals, Ryan Ludwick to the Padres

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A three-way deal has gone down between the Indians, the Cardinals and the Padres.  The breakdown:

  • The Indians send starter Jake Westbrook to the Cardinals;
  • The Cardinals send outfielder Ryan Ludwick to the Padres;
  • The Padres send prospects to the Cardinals and the Indians.  We’re not yet sure if this is all of them, but the Indians are getting AA pitcher Corey Kluber and the Cardinals are getting A-ball pitcher Nick Greenwood.

This
deal makes total sense for the Indians and Padres.  Cleveland unloads an expensive pitcher in exchange for young talent and the Padres get a much-needed bat (Ludwick is hitting .281/.343.484).  This addresses needs both clubs have.

It remains a bit of a head-scratcher for St. Louis. Yes, Westbrook — 6-7, 4.65 ERA, 1.154 WHIP — gives them a far more solid number four starter than they’ve had, so that’s good.  But still: this is a Cardinals offense that has been inconsistent all year and likely can’t afford to lose much pop.  I suppose it gives John Jay and everyday job, but the Cardinals are taking a bit of a roll of the dice on him.

The prospect heading to Cleveland — Corey Kluber — is a 24 year-old right-handed starter in AA. He strikes out more than a man per inning and seems to have pretty decent control.  He may be a find.  The fellow going to St. Louis — Nick Greenwood — is a 23 year-old lefty swingman, currently in his second go-around in high-A ball. Nice control, but nothing pops out at you.

Good deal for San Diego and Cleveland. The Cardinals? Well, they needed one bat and a starter before today. Now they need two bats.  Your mileage may vary as to whether that’s an improvement.

David Ortiz had the Rays cancel his pregame ceremony out of respect for Jose Fernandez

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 23:  David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox salutes a fan before his turn at bat during the first inning of their game with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 23, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images)
Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images
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The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.

Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:

Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.

Curtis Granderson is close to making history

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22:  Curtis Granderson #3 of the New York Mets connects on a three-run home run in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 22, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
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With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.

There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.

Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.

Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.