Well, lookie here: Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that the Phillies are making a “big push” to keep free agent outfielder Jayson Werth.
No, Werth isn’t going to sign tomorrow or anything, but Heyman also refers to Ruben Amaro’s comments from earlier this afternoon, when the Phils’ GM indicated that he would like to know relatively soon whether they have a realistic shot at re-signing the outfielder. But do those comments mean that the Phillies are making a “big push” to keep him? I must have missed that.
I realize that Amaro has other priorities, mainly adding a couple pieces to his bullpen and possibly finding a right-handed hitting outfielder, but would it really hurt to hang around in the background just in case Werth can’t get his “Matt Holliday money” this winter? Honestly, I don’t see why the Phillies have to go after a right-handed platoon partner for rookie Domonic Brown or Raul Ibanez when they already have a pretty competent (and cheap) one in Ben Francisco. They can afford to wait there.
Just in case you forgot that Werth’s agent is Scott Boras, Heyman reminds us that a quick deal is “not likely.” You think? Why do I have the funny feeling that we’ll still be talking about this guy until early January?
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.