It is officially hot stove season and, courtesy of MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, we officially have one of our first ridiculous hot stove items.
In September, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo expressed a desire to pick up a front-end starter this offseason. Then on Thursday ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer wrote that the Nats are “a potential sleeper in the competition to land” free agent left-hander Cliff Lee.
Now comes the good part. Or the juicy part. Or whatever you want to call it. Ladson heard from a baseball source this weekend that Lee is open to offers from the Nationals and “will listen to what Washington has to say.” Shocking, right?
It should come as no surprise that Lee, this offseason’s marquee free agent, is going to listen to what any and every MLB team “has to say.” Of course he’s going to leave himself “open” to their offers. He’s a free agent — free to sign with any club — and he is going to be seeking out the richest contract possible.
The Rangers and Yankees are believed to be the front-runners for his services and both clubs have the resources to get the job done. Most national media members believe that the southpaw will wind up in pinstripes, but if the Nationals want to drive up his price, more power to ’em. The Pirates might as well throw in a bid too. And is that the Royals on Line 2?
Angels’ right-hander Garrett Richards has been moved to the 60-day disabled list, according to a team announcement on Saturday. Richards was originally placed on the 10-day disabled list in early April after sustaining a right biceps cramp during his first start of the season. No timetable has been given for his return to the mound, though Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times speculates that his return date could be pushed back to June.
While the Angels report that Richards is making some progress in his recovery, he’s still experiencing some “irritation of the cutaneous nerve,” which could be preventing him from working back up to full strength. The veteran righty already missed 154 days of the 2016 season after suffering a UCL injury, and opted for biometrics surgery to repair the ligament rather than undergoing a more intensive Tommy John procedure.
This is Richards’ seventh season with the Angels. He last pitched a full, healthy season in 2015, delivering a 3.65 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 207 1/3 innings. He’s currently one of eight Angels pitchers serving time on the disabled list, including left-hander Andrew Heaney and right-handers Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Vicente Campos, Huston Street, Mike Morin and Nick Tropeano.
When it comes to home run trots, Adam Rosales is still the guy to beat. The Athletics’ shortstop led off the first inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Mariners with a solo shot to center field, and made it all the way around the bases in record time — 15.9 seconds, to be precise. That’s 0.06 seconds faster than the previous record, which Rosales set himself last September on a 15.96-second run.
In fact, as MLB.com’s Michael Clair points out, Rosales holds eight of the 10 fastest home run trots recorded by Statcast. (The other two, naturally, belong to the Reds’ speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton.) Eight of those 10 trots were recorded in 2016, with Rosales gradually inching his way toward the 15-second mark.
The blast was the first of two home runs for the A’s, who tacked on a couple of runs with Ryon Healy‘s two-RBI homer and capped their 4-3 win over the Mariners with a productive out from Khris Davis in the third inning. It’s the fifth straight victory for the A’s this week.