UPDATE II: So much for that. Giants general manager Brian Sabean confirmed to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that they did not submit a bid for Nakajima.
UPDATE: John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that the report of the Giants submitting a bid on Nakajima is inaccurate.
10:37 AM: According to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Giants “appear to have submitted” a bid on Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima.
We learned over the weekend that Nakajima drew a bid from at least one MLB team and that the Seibu Lions intend to accept the highest bid regardless of the amount. If the bid is indeed accepted, the winning team will be granted a 30-day exclusive negotiating window to agree on a contract.
Nakajima, 29, is a .302 career hitter in Japan and has surpassed at least 16 home runs and 15 stolen bases in each of the last four seasons. He batted .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs, 100 RBI and 21 stolen bases this past season.
Brandon Crawford currently projects as the Giants’ starting shortstop next season, though they have been connected to free agents Alex Gonzalez and Jerry Hairston, Jr. in recent days. They were not involved in talks for Jose Reyes and landing Jimmy Rollins is considered a longshot.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.
The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.
Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.
Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.
Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.