Now that the Cliff Lee shoe has dropped, everyone is looking at cheaper, less-already-signed-by-other-teams-this-winter pitchers. Jon Paul Morosi reports that one of the more sought-after of that breed is the Indians’ Fausto Carmona:
One major-league source with close knowledge of Carmona’s market said the Indians aren’t eager to move him but are in a “listen and explore” mode because of the heavy interest following the Cliff Lee signing.
Carmona had that monster 2007 and then spent two years in the woods. It was a nice quiet bounce back season last year, however, in that he reduced his walks and allowed fewer homers than he had in previous seasons.
Still, I have a hard time seeing Cleveland giving up Carmona given that he has a pretty team-friendly contract (he’s owed $6.1 million next year and has team options for $7 million, $9 million and $12 million in 2012-14). It’s probably too much to expect that he’ll return to 2007 form, but even if he just builds on what he did last season in a modest fashion, he’s pretty valuable and is worth having around for at least the next three years, and maybe even that third option year.
But yeah: I totally see why he would be sought-after by someone looking for starting pitching.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.