After the back-and-forth on the Adrian Beltre deal I’m not 100% inclined to believe those who naysay a potential transaction, but this is worth noting: contrary to reports last night, Buster Olney says that the Rays are not close to trading Matt Garza and would rather trade him next summer at the deadline instead.
We’ve known the Rays and Cubs have been talking, but I’m a little dubious about those teams matching up well in a trade. The Cubs’ system is not fat with prospects, and it seems like the Rays could do better elsewhere. If Olney is right, they’ll try to do so next year.
It may be the smart play from a competitive standpoint too. I mean, I think the Rays are going to finish third in the division as we sit here today, but it’s possible that the Yankees will stumble out of the gate and the Rays could outperform expectations. If so, they’d probably prefer to have the pitching depth for a run at the playoffs, wouldn’t they?
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.
The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.
He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.