The Athletics are widely expected to move closer Andrew Bailey this offseason and now that Heath Bell has signed with the Marlins, Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Padres are just the latest team to join the mix.
The Padres have Luke Gregerson and Ernesto Frieri at the ready as two potential in-house replacements for the ninth inning, but it appears they are at least evaluating alternatives in the free agent and trade markets. It’s not clear who they would offer in a deal for Bailey, though Chase Headley or Kyle Blanks could pique the A’s interest.
While Bailey has dealt with some injuries over the past two years, he’s the owner of an impressive 2.07 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over his first three seasons in the big leagues. The 27-year-old right-hander is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and remains under team control through 2014. The Blue Jays, Reds, Mariners, Mets and Rangers are among the other clubs who have reportedly expressed interest.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.