During today’s press conference for Michael Cuddyer the Rockies also announced that they’ve agreed to terms with Casey Blake on a one-year contract.
Blake missed most of the season with a pinched nerve in his neck that required surgery and talked about possibly being forced to retire, but he’ll give it another go at age 38 while earning $2 million upfront and another $1 million in potential incentives.
If healthy Blake will get a chance to win the starting job at third base and basically keep the position warm while top prospect Nolan Arenado gets more seasoning in the minors. Colorado traded former starting third baseman Ian Stewart to the Cubs last week.
Blake was only healthy enough to play 63 games for the Dodgers, hitting .252 with four homers and a .712 OPS. He had similarly modest numbers in 2010, hitting .248 with 17 homers and a .727 OPS in 146 games.
Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.
ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.
Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.
Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.
It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.
On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.