Philadelphia Phillies v  New York Mets

Jimmy Rollins takes some shots at Jose Reyes


While preparing for Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cardinals yesterday at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Jimmy Rollins still managed to keep up with one of his favorite hobbies: Tweaking Mets fans.

The big topic of the day? Jose Reyes’ decision to take himself out of Wednesday’s season finale following a bunt single in order to preserve his lead for the National League batting crown. Rollins told Mike Puma of the New York Post that he would have done things differently.

“I would have played the whole game,” Rollins said. “I’m like, ‘Hey, I fought this hard to be in this position and I’m going to see it through to the end.’ My personality, I’m going to ride it out. I worked this hard to be this good and put up these numbers, I would like to see it all the way to the end.”

Keep in mind, Rollins is a .272 career hitter and has never batted higher than .296 in a full season in the big leagues, so he will probably never have to worry about being in the the same situation. Sorry, most of you guys know I’m a Mets fan, so I at least had to get that one out of my system.

Anyway, that’s not all. Rollins also questioned Reyes’ motivation in the past, hinting that he wasn’t a team player in previous seasons.

“He did everything he needed to do, and when you see that coming from another player, you see them putting the team first,” Rollins said. ” ‘It’s not about me. I’ve got to push the issue for the team. I put myself in position that puts us in position.’ In previous years you just didn’t get quite that feeling from [Reyes] being in the other dugout. This year you really did. It was like, ‘This man is doing everything he can.’ “

If Reyes wasn’t doing “everything” he could from 2006-2008, when he was one of the best players in baseball, well, I feel pretty cheated. More realistically, though, whatever drop in production we saw from 2009-2010 was because of injury, not because he wasn’t a team player. It’s important to understand that Rollins is also looking out for himself here, as he will also be a free agent this winter. Rollins, who turns 33 in November, can’t touch Reyes in terms of production at this point, but will clearly try to argue that his leadership and intangibles are worth a similarly significant investment. And hey, can’t blame the guy for trying.

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.