A couple of AL West transactiony things that, upon reading them, made me say “well, duh”:
- The Angels are not likely to bring Hideki Matsui back next year. Godzilla has hit pretty darn well over the past month. But it’s still been a down season for him overall, he’s a free agent after the season is over, he’s 36, he can’t play defense anymore and the Angels have given off approximately 136 signals this year that they intend to use Bobby Abreu as their DH next season. But other than that . . .
- The Rangers are going to bring back Ron Washington as their manager next year. Texas may be struggling right now, but this has been a fine season for them and there have been umpteen stories about how great the atmosphere is in the Rangers’ clubhouse, thanks in large part to Washington. With all of the distractions surrounding the sale of the club — distractions which filtered down through the front office and caused at least some job security anxiety among Rangers’ employees — it would have been easy for gloominess to seep into the clubhouse too. It didn’t, and Washington deserves a lot of the credit for that.
Next reports I expect to see: the Mariners may make a change or two this winter and Jerry Manuel could be on the hot seat in New York.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.