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.
With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.
95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.
In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.
Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.
The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.
The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.
The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.