Impending free agent David Ortiz told ESPN’s Collen Dominguez earlier this month that he would be open to signing with the Yankees this offseason. While the Bombers aren’t likely to have interest, another American League East foe just might.
According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, the Blue Jays “will not rule out” making a push for Ortiz on the open market because they feel he’d add some needed power to the middle of their lineup, and some needed protection for slugger Jose Bautista.
Ortiz boasts an impressive .954 career OPS at Toronto’s power-friendly Rogers Centre and has mashed 29 home runs at the park in only 91 total games. The Jays aren’t known for bidding on high-priced free agents, preferring to acquire talent in other ways, but Big Papi isn’t likely to command much more than $12 million per season on a two- or three-year deal. And he may even fall short of that.
The 35-year-old designated hitter batted .309/.398/.554 in 605 plate appearances this season for Boston, but he turns 36 in mid-November and his lack of defensive ability will limit his number of potential suitors.
The entire Marlins roster will wear the number 16 on the backs of their uniforms in remembrance of pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. After that? “No one will wear No. 16 for the Marlins again,” team owner Jeffrey Loria said on Monday evening, as Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports.
Though Fernandez only pitched parts of four seasons for the Marlins, he already ranks fifth in career WAR in club history, according to Baseball Reference. He also owns the best career winning percentage as well as the second-lowest single-season ERA (2.19 in 2013) and the second-lowest single-season WHIP (0.979 in 2013). Fernandez was already one of the best pitchers in Marlins history and was on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star, if not a Hall of Famer.
Then add to that his outstanding personality and what he meant both to the Marlins organization and to the city of Miami. Loria has gotten a lot of criticism over the years, but he nailed it with this decision.
As Craig mentioned earlier, the Marlins will all wear No. 16 jerseys to honor pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. It’s a fitting tribute as the Marlins return to the playing field after Sunday’s game was cancelled.
We don’t often hear about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on during these special circumstances. As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports, workers at the Majestic manufacturing facility in Easton, PA — about two hours north of Philadelphia — stayed up all night Sunday night into Monday morning in order to make those custom No. 16 jerseys for the Marlins. They were shipped via air so they would arrive in time for the game tonight.
FanGraphs writer Eric Longenhagen notes how hard those Majestic employees work — often for low pay :
Kudos to Majestic for making a concerted effort to help the Marlins out in their time of need.