Matthew Pouliot wrote last week that Detroit’s primary focus heading into the trade deadline should be rotation help, so not surprisingly Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Tigers are interested in Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie.
Guthrie has a hideous 3-13 record, but his 4.45 ERA and 80/36 K/BB ratio in 123 innings are pretty close to his career norms and he’s typically been a solid mid-rotation starter.
He’s also 32 years old and earning $5.75 million, so while Guthrie has been the Orioles’ Opening Day starter in three of the past four seasons and is under team control via arbitration in 2012 it would certainly make sense to shop him for long-term help.
Morosi says the Orioles “will want pitching in return” if they deal Guthrie, but ultimately the market for him will be determined largely by whether superior starters like Ubaldo Jimenez and Hiroki Kuroda are also being shopped. Guthrie isn’t going to be any contender’s No. 1 target, but if the price is right he’s a reasonable fallback option.
Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.
While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.
Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.
Cooperstown, here he comes.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.
Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.