UPDATE: Steve Popper of the Bergen Record confirms that the deal is done, pending physicals.
9:49 PM: According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, the Mets are discussing a deal that would send Angel Pagan to the Giants for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez.
Baggarly writes that it’s not definite yet, but appears promising. It certainly fits the criteria mentioned by Ken Rosenthal a little earlier when he called it a “change of scenery” deal.
Pagan, 30, is coming off a down year in which he batted .262/.322/.372 with seven home runs, 56 RBI and a .694 OPS over 532 plate appearances. He also led major league center fielder with 10 errors. The Mets have said that they plan to tender him a contract, but he figures to make around $5 million in arbitration.
Torres, 33, had an even worse year in 2011, batting .221/.312/.330 with four home runs, 19 RBI and a .643 OPS over 398 plate appearances. He is due between $2-3 million in arbitration and was a clear non-tender candidate following the recent acquisition of Melky Cabrera.
As for Ramirez, Ken Rosenthal reported late last month that the Giants planned to shop him so that they could upgrade in other areas. He’s due about $2 million through the arbitration process. The 30-year-old right-hander posted a 2.62 ERA and 66/26 K/BB ratio over 68 2/3 innings this season.
While Torres is the superior defender in center field, Pagan is three years younger and is probably the better bet for a bounceback year offensively. Mets GM Sandy Alderson is working with a limited budget this offseason, so he will pay Torres and Ramirez combined what he would have paid Pagan. From a pure salary standpoint, this works perfectly. But the Giants could come out on top here.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.