As expected, the Cardinals are making some changes to their lineup for Game 6 of the World Series against the Rangers.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa confirmed that Lance Berkman will bat cleanup against the right-hander Colby Lewis tomorrow night (weather permitting, of course) while Matt Holliday will be dropped down to the fifth spot. This was the same arrangement the Cards used against Lewis back in Game 2.
Holliday is batting just .167 (3-for-18) during the World Series and for what it’s worth, SI’s Jon Heyman hears that his right middle finger injury “is a lot worse” than he’s letting on. Rangers manager Ron Washington will likely continue to pitch around Albert Pujols in crucial situations, but Berkman at least offers a bit more protection at the moment.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.
The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.
He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.