Jon Lester is the Red Sox’ starter tonight, but given that this is basically a must-win game, it could be one of those games where the starter has a short (read: non-existent) leash. If Lester doesn’t have his mojo, where does Terry Francona turn? How about to Clay Buchholz?
That’s the possibility raised by WEEI.com, who reports that Buchholz, who was originally supposed to pitch an Instructional League game Florida, is going to stay with the team for tonight’s game with the Orioles and could in fact be activated. If he’s activated, you have to figure that he’s the top option for Francona in the event that Lester stumbles.
Buchholz hasn’t pitched in the majors since June. If he’s pitching tonight it could mean that the Red Sox’ season is effectively over. Or it could be the stuff that legends are made of.
Update (5:04 PM EST): The White Sox will receive pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning from the Nationals, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. MLB Pipeline rated them No. 1, 3, and 6 in the Nationals’ minor league system.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals are close to acquiring outfielder Adam Eaton from the White Sox. He notes that outfielder Victor Robles, the Nationals’ No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is not included in the deal.
Eaton, 28, is signed to a very team-friendly contract. He’ll earn $4 million in 2017, $6 million in ’18, and $8.4 million in ’19. His controlling team then has a club option worth $9.5 million in 2020 with a $1.5 million buyout and a $10.5 million club option in ’21 with a $1.5 million buyout.
This past season, Eaton was worth 3.9 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference after playing significantly above-average defense while batting .284/.362/.428 with 14 home runs, 59 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 706 plate appearances.
If the deal goes through, the Nationals would move Trea Turner from center field to shortstop. Meanwhile, the White Sox continue their teardown after trading Chris Sale to the Red Sox on Tuesday.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Marlins have signed veteran catcher A.J. Ellis to a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
Ellis, 35, began the 2016 season with the Dodgers but went to the Phillies in the Carlos Ruiz trade near the end of August. Overall, he hit .216/.301/.298 in 196 plate appearances.
Ellis will back up J.T. Realmuto behind the dish.