Multiple sources are reporting that the Mariners have traded Mike Sweeney to the Phillies for cash considerations and a player to be named later.
Um, OK. Sweeney is hitting .263/.327/.475 this year. Although the present tense is a bit misleading, in that he hasn’t played since June 25th. He’s only played in 30 games total, 21 of which were as a DH, six as a pinch hitter and only three games at first base. His most intense action this year, however, has come challenging his teammates to fights and browbeating and intimidating reporters who say negative things about his team.
With no real openings for “designated hardass” on this team, my guess is that the Phillies will platoon Sweeney at first base with Ross Gload. The more he plays, the better I like the Braves chances.
UPDATE: Holy moley! Charlie Manuel just said that the starting job is Sweeney’s! Mike Sweeney hasn’t been a regular first baseman for a good five years, so this should be . . . interesting.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.