Remember that talk about the Rangers throwing a “boatload of money” at left-hander CC Sabathia if (or when, really) he opts out of his contract with the Yankees? It apparently has no legs.
Sources within the Texas organization told CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler that there’s “no way” a substantial offer will be made this winter.
The Rangers are known to be interested in Japanese ace Yu Darvish, and if they don’t go that route Neftali Feliz could always make his transition — finally — to the starting rotation. Texas doesn’t need to spend wildly on a No. 1, even if C.J. Wilson heads elsewhere.
The American League West champions have a number of promising arms in the upper tiers of their minor league system, including 20-year-old left-hander Martin Perez, who made the jump (however shaky) to the Triple-A level this year. Investing major money into a 31-year-old free agent pitcher with five straight seasons of 230 or more innings is not a move that fits into the Rangers’ blueprint for long-term success. Those kind of deals can sink well-balanced clubs. Remember those years with A-Rod?
Given that the pieces never quite fit, and that the denial came straight from the Rangers, you have to wonder if that ESPN New York report professing Texas’ interest was planted by someone in Sabathia’s camp. The Yankees won’t want to bid against themselves this winter. CC might need another suitor to get his raise.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Dodgers have acquired catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash from the Phillies in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans, and a player to be named later. It was reported on Wednesday that Ruiz and first baseman Ryan Howard both cleared waivers and that Ruiz was drawing interest from a couple of teams.
Ruiz, 37, has served as the backup catcher behind Cameron Rupp. Over 193 plate appearances, he hit .261/.368/.352. He continued to play solid defense and has always had a reputation for handling his pitchers very well. In fact, in a commercial for the video game MLB 2k11, former Phillie Roy Halladay essentially professed his love for Ruiz:
Ellis, 35, is a free agent after the season while Ruiz has a club option for the 2017 season worth $4.5 million. It seems likely that the Dodgers pick up that option and make Ruiz Grandal’s backup next year. Ellis hit a lousy .194/.285/.252 in 161 plate appearances, but the Phillies aren’t particularly concerned with his production since they’re still facilitating their rebuilding process.
Bergjans, 23, has spent the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s posted a 4.98 ERA with a 133/29 K/BB ratio in 130 innings spanning 21 starts and three relief appearances. He went to school in Haverford, PA so the Phillies are bringing in a local guy.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day disabled list ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Angels, the club announced. Utilityman Ryan Goins has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to create room on the roster.
Bautista missed the minimum 15 days due to a sprained left knee. He’s battled injuries throughout the season, limiting him to just 355 plate appearances over 80 games. He’ll resume play with a .222/.349/.444 triple-slash line, 15 home runs, and 48 RBI.
Bautista is in Thursday night’s starting lineup, batting first and serving as the DH.