Last week was the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their free agents. Today is the deadline for those so offered to accept or decline. Some already have done so (guys like Trevor Hoffman) and others have already signed free agent deals, mooting the issue (Victor Martinez). That leaves 12 type-A free agents and 11 type-B free agents who need to make up their minds before midnight.
The type As: Grant Balfour, Adrian Beltre, Carl Crawford, Scott Downs, Adam Dunn, Frank Francisco, Jason Frasor, Paul Konerko, Cliff Lee, Carl Pavano, Rafael Soriano and Jayson Werth.
The type-Bs: Randy Choate, Jesse Crain, Pedro Feliciano, Brad Hawpe, Aaron Heilman, Orlando Hudson, Adam LaRoche, Felipe Lopez, Miguel Olivo, J.J. Putz and Chad Qualls.
There is always a surprise or two — Rafael Soriano unexpectedly accepted the Braves’ offer of arbitration last year — but I can’t really see any of the type-As other than Frank Francisco, who has already indicated that he’ll accept, taking arbitration. Maybe some type-Bs do, but their doing so won’t fundamentally alter the market or anything.
If anything strange does happen, however — like, say, Adam Dunn accepting — it will likely lead to fun trade speculation over the coming days, so let’s hope for the unexpected.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.