During an appearance on “Marlins Insider,” a weekly radio show on 790 The Ticket in Miami, Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said that he met with free agent right-hander Javier Vazquez today.
Courtesy of Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post:
“He’s from my hometown in Ponce. I’ve know him well since he was 14, 15 years old. He’s very confident about the whole situation. He told me where’s hes at right now. Hopefully we can get him and put him in that rotation. If we have a chance to sign him he’s gonna be a great acquisition.”
Vazquez has reportedly told associates that he would love to return to the National League and sees a good fit with Florida, which is in close proximity to his home in Puerto Rico. The only problem? Capozzi writes that Vazquez is seeking a three-year contract worth $33 million. Seriously. Good luck with that one.
On a related note, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported earlier this week that the Marlins only have $4-5 million left in their offseason budget after signing John Buck. Vazquez’s past with Rodriguez shouldn’t be overlooked, but if money is truly his first priority, he’ll be pitching elsewhere next season.
Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.
ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.
Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.
Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.
It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.
On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.