UPDATE: Now ESPN Boston and the Boston Globe are hearing that a Joe Blanton deal is not close and may not, in fact, happen.
For the next 24 hours, I think baseball is going to be like the people of Los Angeles in the movie “1941.” Panicking. Seeing things behind every corner. Americans fighting Americans. And if there’s one thing I can’t stand seeing, it’s Americans fighting Americans.
Or does no one besides me remember that flick?
8:47 AM: Joe Blanton probably feels a bit unwanted right now. That may change soon as multiple sources are reporting that the Red Sox and Phillies are deep in discussions to get Blanton.
This move is probably essential for the Phillies, in that they’ll certainly want to unload some of the $17 million Blanton is still owed. Far too much for a [gulp] number five starter.
I joked last night that the Red Sox should snag Blanton simply to make it more likely that the Yankees wouldn’t get Lee, and that seems to actually be happening. I worry about Blanton’s performance in the AL East — he allows way too many base runners to hold his own against much, much stronger competition — but the Sox have had Dice-K for several years now and they have somehow survived. Having both Blanton and Dice-K is gonna make them really, really hard to watch, however.
How about this: the Yankees need pitching! The Sox should make a very public offer of Dice-K to New York. It would never ever happen, but the screw-you value of such a move — to both the Yankees and Dice-K — would be unrivaled in baseball history.
Matt Holliday might not have a landing spot with the Cardinals in 2017, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to hang his cleats up just yet. Prior to the Cardinals’ afternoon set against the Pirates on Saturday, the 36-year-old expressed his desire to further his career elsewhere, even if staying in St. Louis is not a possibility.
It’s been a down year for the outfielder, who batted .242/.318/.450 through 107 games before landing on the disabled list with a fractured right thumb. His 0.6 fWAR is the lowest mark of his career to date. Notwithstanding two injury-riddled seasons (he was sidelined through most of 2015 with a right quadriceps strain), he’s performed admirably for the Cardinals over the past eight years, putting up a .292/.379/.494 batting line, 156 home runs, and 26.8 fWAR with the club. With a return to full health, he might not be on the market for long.
It’s the last Clayton Kershaw start of the regular season. Prepare yourselves accordingly.
The Dodgers already have the NL West in the bag, but they’re still fighting for home-field advantage against the Nationals. Should the two teams end up with the same regular season record by Monday morning, the edge will go to the Dodgers, who have a better head-to-head record this year. Kershaw has already been announced as the starter for Game 1 of the NLDS, while the Nationals have kept their lineup close to the vest for the time being.
Facing the Dodgers is Giants’ left-hander Ty Blach, who is poised to make the second major league start of his career this afternoon. The Giants are in a precarious position heading into the last two games of the year and have the potential to force a three-way tie among NL wild card contenders. A thorough breakdown of the wild card and home-field advantage possibilities has been outlined here.
You can find more from Saturday’s action below.
New York Mets (Bartolo Colon) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Phil Klein), 1:05 PM EDT
Pittsburgh Pirates (Chad Kuhl) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha), 1:05 PM EDT
Baltimore Orioles (Wade Miley) @ New York Yankees (Luis Severino), 4:05 PM EDT
Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw) @ San Francisco Giants (Ty Blach), 4:05 PM EDT
Miami Marlins (Wei-Yin Chen) @ Washington Nationals (Tanner Roark), 4:05 PM EDT
Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester) @ Cincinnati Reds (Tim Adleman), 4:10 PM EDT
Cleveland Indians (Trevor Bauer) @ Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez), 4:15 PM EDT
Detroit Tigers (Jordan Zimmerman) @ Atlanta Braves (Aaron Blair), 7:10 PM EDT
Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ) @ Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez), 7:10 PM EDT
Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi) @ Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis), 8:05 PM EDT
Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta) @ Colorado Rockies (Jeff Hoffman), 8:10 PM EDT
Houston Astros (Collin McHugh) @ Los Angeles Angels (Tyler Skaggs), 9:05 PM EDT
Oakland Athletics (Jharel Cotton) @ Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma), 9:10 PM EDT