Yesterday the Orioles were said to be close to sending Nolan Reimold to the Rays for Jason Bartlett, but that deal fell through and Baltimore’s shortstop search has moved on to J.J. Hardy.
According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun the Orioles “are in serious negotiations” to acquire the Twins shortstop and are offering up a pair of minor-league pitchers, one of whom is believed to be 24-year-old reliever Brett Jacobson.
Minnesota has been shopping Hardy since winning the exclusive negotiating rights to Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Baltimore has been linked to nearly every available shortstop for the past month, so the deal would certainly make sense.
By trading Hardy the Twins would be placing a lot of trust in both Nishioka and Alexi Casilla as their new middle infield duo, but Ron Gardenhire and company apparently soured on Hardy despite his excellent defense and above-average offense for the position.
The story of the Indians postseason cannot be told without talking about injuries to starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. They have forced Terry Francona to lean even harder on his bullpen than he otherwise may have and have cause the Indians to press rookie Ryan Merritt into service.
But Cleveland will be getting at least one of their starters back: Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway that Danny Salazar will be part of the World Series roster.
Salazar has not pitched since early September due to a strained right flexor muscle, but according to Callaway, Salazar is ready to throw 65-70 pitches in a game. That could mean a start, probably in Game 4 after Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. Merritt was a possible Game 4 starter, but he could either pair up with Salazar in a tandem start or serve in long relief.
Cubs’ left fielder Kyle Schwarber missed virtually the entire 2016 season due to torn knee ligaments, but he has been working his way back to health more quickly than initially expected. Indeed, he has been playing for the Cubs in the Arizona Fall League, serving as a DH. Many have speculated that the Cubs will activate him for the World Series.
Today, at his World Series media session, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said that reports from Arizona are good on Schwarber and that the he will fly to Cleveland to join the team after tonight’s game in Arizona. Maddon says the team will make a decision on activating him once he arrives. The Cubs have until tomorrow morning to set their World Series roster.
Our guess is that Schwarber will get the call and will serve as the DH for the Cubs in Games 1, 2 and, if necessary, 6 and 7 in Cleveland. If so, a lost season could very quickly turn into a storybook season for the Cubs’ young slugger.