Koji Uehara said last month that he would like to return to Baltimore and it appears the Orioles are trying to make that happen.
According to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com, the Orioles and Rangers met earlier today and one of the topics discussed was a possible trade involving Uehara.
Uehara posted an outstanding 3.03 ERA and 165/25 K/BB ratio over 157 2/3 innings during his time with Baltimore, but wasn’t nearly as effective during a small sample after being traded to the Rangers at the deadline. He gave up eight home runs over just 19 1/3 innings (including the ALDS and ALCS) and found himself left off the World Series roster.
It should be said that Uehara compiled an excellent 24/3 K/BB ratio during the same timespan, so he isn’t exactly a lost cause here. The Rangers aren’t completely finished with their bullpen, so it might not be so easy to pry him away. The 36-year-old right-hander is under contract for $4 million next season.
Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.
“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”
Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.
The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.