The Braves have dug themselves a big enough hole already, so they certainly didn’t need to add to the difficulty. But they did anyway. Inadvertently, of course, but possibly disastrously: Martin Prado hurt his hip while swinging at a pitch in the fifth. It’s been diagnosed as a hip pointer, and he “may be out awhile,” according to Bobby Cox.
Of course, the Braves don’t have “awhile.” They have five games left and they’re tied in the loss column with the Padres for the wild card. Their replacement for Prado will be Brooks Conrad. You might remember Conrad hitting big, late-inning pinch-hit home runs against the Reds and Astros earlier this season. Which were great. But a team that was already depending on guys like Omar Infante (i.e. nice players who are being stretched beyond their capabilities), they don’t need to be depending on even more of them.
If the Braves do make the playoffs, it will be after spending a big portion of the season with a lineup consisting of a ton of guys who would be bench players on most playoff teams and with a rotation with at least two pitchers who likely would have ended on AAA rosters for most clubs.
Per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Jake Arrieta‘s agent Scott Boras says they’ll discuss a potential contract extension with the Cubs when they meet in January to hammer out arbitration figures.
Arrieta, 30, is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility after earning $10.7 million in 2016. The right-hander followed up his Cy Young Award-winning 2015 campaign by going 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA and a 190/76 K/BB ratio in 197 1/3 innings during the regular season. Arrieta pitched well in the postseason, helping the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908.
While Boras clients tend to go to free agency, it’s not always the case. Stephen Strasburg inked a seven-year, $175 million extension with the Nationals earlier this year.
Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports, citing a source as well as Nikkan Sports, that reliever Koji Uehara is close to signing a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Cubs.
Uehara, 41, finished the 2016 season with a 3.45 ERA and a 63/11 K/BB ratio over 47 innings. He missed some time in the second half with a strained right pectoral muscle. When Uehara returned from the disabled list on September 7, he tossed 11 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts and two walks through the end of the regular season. So there’s at least some evidence, albeit in a very small sample size, that Uehara has stuff left in the tank.
The Cubs recently acquired closer Wade Davis from the Royals. Uehara would join Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards, Jr., Justin Grimm, and Mike Montgomery in what is once again a very deep bullpen.