Remember back in August when Joe Girardi benching Jorge Posada as the Yankees’ starting designated hitter was a big story?
Posada ended up starting just 12 of the Yankees’ final 45 games at DH (plus a couple starts at first base), but Girardi announced that he’ll turn back to Posada as the starting DH for the ALDS against the Tigers.
Girardi technically announced that Posada would be the DH versus right-handed pitchers, but the Tigers’ playoff rotation won’t feature any left-handers. All of which means Jesus Montero will begin his postseason career as a bench bat despite hitting .328 with a .996 OPS in his 18-game debut.
Posada was a mess against lefties this season, going 6-for-65 (.092) with zero homers, but he can still get the job done against righties, batting .269 with 14 homers and an .814 OPS in 316 plate appearances.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.