Jon Heyman tweets that Trevor Hoffman wants to pitch in 2011 if someone will give him a chance to close.
My first thought: what’s with him and Edgar Renteria? One ended 2011 on top, and the other ended 2011 well enough — 600th save! — to make everyone forget how much of a train wreck his year was, so why not just ride off into the sunset? The future is way more likely to hold an Apollo Creed/Ivan Drago beatdown for those guys than it is to hold a return to All-Star form.
My second thought — and it wasn’t my thought: Gleeman told me I was being too hard on Hoffman based on his second half numbers — is that things could theoretically work out for Hoffman. While all of those early-season blown saves caught our attention, his second half — a 2.66 ERA in 20.1 innings with 13 strikeouts, six walks and 15 hits — was decent work. Decent enough to be worth a middle relief job, I’d say. If we wants one and would be willing to take middle relief money, that is.
But as a closer? If Heyman is right and that’s Hoffman’s prerequisite for returning, we’ve likely seen the last of him, because I can’t think of a team that would take that chance.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.