Gordon Beckham was out of the White Sox’s lineup yesterday and Ozzie Guillen indicated that he may opt to shut him down for the season rather than let him try to continue playing through a hand injury:
Obviously he wants to play, but I’ve seen this kid swing the bat for a year and a half and I know his hand is not even 80 percent. He’s wasting at-bats. He’s not 100 percent out there to try to help us, and that’s why I shut it down for a couple of days to see how the treatment gets him back. The problem with that is you feel good one day then one swing it comes back again.
Unfortunately for Beckham the hand injury has ruined what was shaping up to be a very nice turnaround following a slow start to the season. He hit just .209 with a measly .561 OPS through the end of June, but then batted .331 with a .941 OPS in July and August before struggling through the hand problems this month.
Beckham’s overall numbers are ugly, with a .252/.317/.378 line representing a drop in production of about 20 percent from his strong rookie campaign, but he showed enough to think that a bounceback season is on tap for 2011 if healthy.
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.