Yankees, Nationals, Marlins, Phillies in on Yoenis Cespedes

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Now that you have had a chance to recover from the Yoenis Cespedes video, let’s talk about where this too weird to live and too rare to die talent may actually play baseball.

He had a tryout in the Dominican Republic on Friday and, as Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports, it drew the interest of several teams. In addition to the usual suspects — like the Yankees, who have expressed interest — the Nationals, Marlins and Phillies are all keenly interested too. And it doesn’t seem hard to see why.

Friend-of-the-blog and sometimes commenter @Leokitty made a great point: The Marlins are too perfect a fit. They’ve made noise about wanting to make a big splash, this is a very-Marlins kind of splash in that, while it would take money, it’s not crazy money because the guy would be controlled for years. He’s Cuban, and that is a pretty awesome thing to be in Miami. In a lot of ways it might mirror the Aroldis Chapman thing in that no one saw the Reds coming until just before they signed the guy.

In any event. it sounds like we have another top-end free agent on our hands this winter. And that’s wonderful.

Sean Manaea pitches first no-hitter of 2018

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Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea delivered his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox in a decisive 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Any thought of a perfect game was banished in the first at-bat, when Mookie Betts drew a leadoff six-pitch walk to open the first inning. From there, Manaea was nearly flawless, holding the Sox to four total baserunners and striking out 10 of 30 batters faced — a career record.

Manaea was gifted a three-run lead thanks to RBI doubles from Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien‘s solo shot off of Chris Sale in the fifth inning. While the Red Sox managed to draw two walks off of Manaea, they didn’t come anywhere close to plating a run. Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning with an infield hit down the first base line, but strayed out of bounds and later saw his hit reversed on a call of batter interference.

Entering the ninth inning, the 26-year-old lefty was sitting at just 95 pitches through eight frames of no-hit ball. He quickly deposed Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts with a groundout and fly out, then walked Benintendi on seven pitches. Any threat the Red Sox might have posed was soon eliminated, however, as Hanley Ramirez ground into a force out to complete the no-hitter.

Manaea is the first A’s pitcher to toss a no-no since Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays eight years ago. The last time the Red Sox were on the losing end of a no-hitter was also against an AL West rival, when the Mariners’ Chris Bosio clinched a 2-0 no-no on April 22, 1993. Manaea’s feat is even more outstanding given how dominant the Red Sox have looked this season: prior to Saturday’s defeat, they boasted a 17-2 record and had yet to be shut out during the regular season.