Jose Guillen is one of the many, many guys who wouldn’t be nearly as maligned as he is if it weren’t for his contract. I mean, no, he’s no great shakes, but if he was doing one year deals for reasonable money every winter no one would be saying bad things about him. Well, not many bad things about him. He’s been useful at times, and I kinda feel bad when people go after guys like him simply because Dayton Moore decided to overpay him. Even when I do it, which I’m sure I have before.
Anyway, the point of all of this is that, assuming no one makes a deal for him in the next nine days, some team is going to be able to sign him for peanuts after the Royals release him. I had half a thought yesterday that Atlanta might be one of those teams because they could still use an outfield bat. I think Frank Wren knows, however, that he’ll lose the entire fan base if he trots out 2/3 of the 2010 Kansas City Royals’ outfield in the middle of a pennant race. The messaging is just wrong, ya know?
But the Yankees and Giants don’t seem to mind: each of them is reported to be at least somewhat interested in the guy. Which is a bit funny because (a) the Yankees have brought in something like 248 extra position players in the past week, so I’m not sure whose place Guillen would take; and (b) the Giants are already running Pat Burrell out to left field, so why would they want to add another frequently-gimpy and none-too-fabulous outfielder?
But the point is made: without the $12 million albatross hanging around his neck, Guillen is at least moderately desirable and could very well wind up with his 10th team sometime this month.
The Yankees are facing a convoluted path to the postseason, and they didn’t do themselves any favors after Todd Frazier fell for Ryan Goins‘ hidden ball trick in the third inning of Friday’s series opener. With one out and Frazier on second base, Jacoby Ellsbury skied a deep fly ball to right field, where it was caught by Jose Bautista just shy of the warning track and tossed back to Goins at second. Goins faked the throw to Marco Estrada, then sneakily (or not so sneakily, depending on your vantage point) gloved the ball and caught Frazier off the bag for the third out.
Of course, it helped that Frazier’s back was turned during the throw, so Goins’ fake-out may not have been as obvious as it was when the Yankees reviewed the tape several minutes later.
Goins earned another spot on the highlight reel in the sixth inning, mashing his second grand slam of the season while Frazier — and the rest of the Yankees’ offense, sans one home-run-record-slaying Aaron Judge — scrambled to catch up. The Yankees currently trail the Blue Jays 8-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, and will need to pull off a comeback (and hope the Astros and Athletics clinch their respective games) before they can lay claim to a playoff spot.
The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.
Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.
With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.