Quite an ending in the Bronx this afternoon, as the Orioles were two outs away from sweeping the Yankees, leading 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth. But then Alex Rodriguez reached on a single and two batters later Nick Swisher homered off of Koji Uehara to win it 3-2.
Yankees fans were not so ecstatic two innings earlier when the Bombers managed to get runners on first and third with two out. That brought Frankie Cervelli and his anemic bat to the plate. Rather than pinch hit for Cervelli — which every Yankees fan on Twitter was screaming for Joe Girardi to do — Cervelli hit for himself, grounding out and ending the rally.
We learned immediately after the game that Girardi — shockingly — had better information than those of us sitting at home: Jorge Posada has concussion symptoms after taking a foul tip to the noggin last night. That rendered him unavailable, and rendered it far more difficult a call for Girardi to take Cervelli out with two innings still to play. I probably could look this up to be sure, but I think Butch Wynegar is the third option behind the plate there.
But all’s well that ends well, as they say. The Yankees salvage one, Nick Swisher gets one of those silly pies to the face and Joe Girardi is revealed to not be as dumb as every single Yankees fan likes to think he is when the team is behind late in a game.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.