Jason Bay

Mets come back off Mariano Rivera, beat Yankees in 10

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The Mets scored single runs in the ninth and 10th innings to beat the Yankees 3-2 and avoid a home sweep Sunday.

Already down Jose Reyes because of a hamstring strain, the Mets’ chances appeared to take another hit today when R.A. Dickey was forced from a 1-1 game after five innings due to tightness in his glute.  The Mets got two scoreless innings from rookie Pedro Beato, but they fell behind in the eighth after Jason Isringhausen gave up a run on a Curtis Granderson sac fly.

To come back from there, the Mets relied on what’s been their biggest offensive weapon this season: the base on balls.  The NL leaders in walks and OBP couldn’t push across a run after two David Robertson walks in the eighth, but they did capitalize on Mariano Rivera’s two-out walk of Jason Bay in the ninth.  Lucas Duda and Ronny Paulino both singled from there to tie up the game.

With the winning run on second, Ruben Tejada then hit a ball that went through shortstop Ramiro Pena for an error.  Fortunately, left fielder Brett Gardner was charging the entire time, and though his throw home was a bit wide of home plate, Russell Martin was able to haul it in and dive back across the plate in time to tag Duda and send the game into extras.

The Mets went on to win it in 10.  Scott Hairston walked to lead off the inning against Luis Ayala and was sacrificed to second.  After a HBP and a strikeout, Daniel Murphy hit a pretty routine grounder to short that Pena bobbled for his second error in two innings.  With the bases loaded, Bay drove a pitch into the gap in right-center to end the game.

Bay has now hit in six straight games.  He’s also driven in seven runs and walked six times during that span.

Francisco Rodriguez, pitching two innings for the first time this season, earned the win today.  The blown save was Rivera’s fourth of the year and first against the Mets since 1999.

The Yankees lost their seven-game winning streak, but they did end up 4-2 against the Mets this season.

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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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.