The Dodgers, who are already without both Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo, put another reliever on the DL Thursday after replacement closer Vicente Padilla came down with a sore forearm.
Padilla opened the season on the DL after elbow surgery, but he quickly claimed the closer’s after returning last month. That was because both original the Dodgers’ original closer, Broxton, and his presumed heir, Kuo, were struggling with injuries of their own.
With Padilla down, the Dodgers are left with Kenley Jansen, Matt Guerrier and Mike MacDougal as closing options.
Jansen, the converted catcher who was a sensation after debuting last year, was briefly sent down to Double-A last month, but he’s struck out seven in four scoreless innings since returning. He closed out a game last Friday after Padilla failed to get the job done in the ninth.
Guerrier would be manager Don Mattingly’s safest option, even though he’s a 32-year-old with six career saves to his credit. He picked up the save Tuesday in the Dodgers’ 3-0 win over the Brewers.
MacDougal is the man in the pen with all of the closing experience; he’s saved 70 games, including 20 with the Nationals in 2009. Still, he’s even wilder than Jansen, having walked nine batters in 14 2/3 innings this season.
Jansen is the one candidate of the three to run away with the job while Padilla is out. It’d certainly be best for Mattingly and the Dodgers if he could do so. Guerrier is at his most valuable working in tight games in the seventh and eighth innings.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of his contract shortly after the World Series concludes. Cespedes, who earned $17.5 million for the 2016 season, has two years and $47.5 million remaining on his deal which includes an opt-out clause.
That Cespedes plans to opt out isn’t surprising as he’s almost certain to get a better contract entering a weak free agent market. He hit a terrific .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 543 plate appearances for the Mets this past season.
It remains to be seen how the Mets will deal with potentially losing Cespedes. They can pick up a $13 million club option for Jay Bruce, but he performed terribly after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. The Mets could also go after free agents Jose Bautista or Mark Trumbo. Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto will handle the other two outfield positions.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.