John Clark of NBC Philadelphia was the first guy to track down Cliff Lee since the deal was announced, talking to him in what is either the Philly airport or a Barnes and Noble or something. I can’t tell. The video is below.
Lee doesn’t say anything terribly groundbreaking — I wish he would have made some Voltron references or something — but he does mention that his family enjoyed their time in Philly, that he liked his teammates and all of that.
That’s an angle that has been fun to think about. Everyone — myself included — made light of Cliff Lee’s wife saying that she hated New York, but there are some indications that family considerations had a lot to do with Lee’s choice. His own statements about them liking Philly, sure, but some people are suggesting that Kristen Lee wasn’t as big a fan of Texas as many people assumed. Kyle Scott over at Crossing Broad has a source who claims that while proximity to Arkansas was nice, it may have been too close, actually. Family visiting all the time, don’t you know. As a hermit who doesn’t always play nice with extended family, I can certainly understand that.
Anyway, here’s Lee:
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Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.