A top-notch pitching duel brought the first half to a close in the Bronx on Sunday, as the Yankees beat the Rays 1-0, with both CC Sabathia and James Shields going the distance.
It was Sabathia’s first shutout since 2009 and second as a Yankee, and he became the first pitcher to 13 victories this season.
Shields, who has three shutouts this season, had to settle for his seventh complete game in 19 starts. He fell to 8-7 despite the strong effort.
Both pitchers allowed four hits.
Earlier in the day, Shields was removed from the All-Star roster, a consequence of him pitching today, and replaced by Sabathia, who was automatically scratched as well.
The game’s one run was unearned, and it took two pretty crazy errors to score it. Robinson Cano singled to open the bottom of the seventh. After a Jorge Posada fly to shallow center, B.J. Upton tried to double Cano off first, only to throw wildly and allow Cano to advance to third. Cano then scored on a wild pickoff attempt from Shields.
(It was actually a great move from Shields; Cano had no idea it was coming and would have been out easy if the throw hadn’t sailed over Evan Longoria’s head).
The Rays’ were denied their 50th victory for the second straight day, so they’ll enter the break 49-41. The Yankees are 53-35.
Rian Watt of Baseball Prospectus is hearing that a trade that would send Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs involves prospect Gleyber Torres and more going to the Yankees. He adds that the holdup in the trade talks is centered around a contract extension for Chapman, believed to be around four years in length and $60 million total. The deal may not be finalized if the Cubs don’t get him signed to an extension they like. In Watt’s words, “Package is set. Extension is not.”
We learned earlier on Sunday that the Yankees were working hard to trade Chapman, reportedly in contact with at least four teams. The Cubs were not believed to be the front runners but certainly upped the ante by offering Torres.
Torres, 19, is rated the Cubs’ #1 prospect and #24 overall in baseball by MLB Pipeline. The shortstop has spent the season with Single-A Myrtle Beach, batting .275/.359/.433 with nine home runs, 47 RBI, 62 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 409 plate appearances.
Torres is currently roadblocked at shortstop by Addison Russell, and 21-year-old Ian Happ is rated #3 in the Cubs’ system, so the club would be dealing from surplus.
Prior to Sunday afternoon’s game against the Mariners, the Blue Jays designated reliever Drew Storen for assignment and recalled reliever Ryan Tepera from Triple-A Buffalo.
Storen, 28, had a nightmare of a time with the Jays, leaving with a 6.21 ERA and a 32/10 K/BB ratio over 33 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him in January from the Nationals in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere and a player to be named later.
Storen is owed the remainder of his $8.375 million salary, which makes it likelier that the right-hander will pass through waivers unclaimed. He’ll be eligible for free agency after the season.