Because, my little weekend getaway notwithstanding, baseball stuff actually happened this weekend too …
- Hanley Ramirez was dropped in the order for Saturday’s game. Hmm, what was the Marlins manager thinking that night?!
- Oh, yeah, he was thinking about his exit strategy. Which is a shame, because he was actually a pretty decent manager.
- And now we’re all thinking about how awesome it would be for an 80-year-old to manage the Marlins.
- Albert Pujols got hurt. Looks bad, but we’ll know more today.
- Scott Boras and Jose Reyes? Nah, not really.
- Matt Holliday got into Red Schoendienst’s pants. And the results were far more pleasant than you’d think.
- Fine, John Wall’s first pitch wasn’t too great. But let’s see Todd Coffey try to run the fast break.
- Gary Carter is ailing.
- Brandon Lyon has had an unfun year. It’s about to get unfunner.
- Colby Lewis played some jai alai.
- Carl Crawford is on the DL. Clay Buchholz too.
- Brandon Phillips would like a contract extension. Hey, who wouldn’t?
- Some ballplayers were inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame. All of my “Canadians are mild mannered and humble and thus the concept of a Hall of Fame in Canada is silly” jokes have been mooted by those riots.
- The Indians fired their hitting coach, which always works.
- Yunel Escobar gets a two-year, $10 million contract extension. I guess Bobby Cox’s character reference was ignored.
- Ozzie Guillen passed a kidney stone. Which is information I’m sure you needed this morning; and
- Phil Hughes looked good in his first rehab start.
And into the work week we go.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.