UPDATE: It’s a done deal.
TUESDAY, 11:56 PM: Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times hears that while a deal is not done yet, something is definitely in the works. It could be made official in the next day or two.
TUESDAY, 11:30 PM: Not sure how everyone missed this given how we’ve been dying for any baseball news lately, but Fernando Rodney told the Associated Press last week (link in Spanish) that he has agreed to a one-year contract with the Rays.
Rodney said that the deal is worth around $2 million and that he’ll get a chance to compete for the closer role. Given that he posted a 4.50 ERA and a 26/28 K/BB ratio (!) over 32 innings with the Angels last season, it’s pretty hard to believe the Rays would guarantee him that salary. No official confirmation from the club yet, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Rodney, who turns 35 in March, has a 4.29 ERA and 87 career saves over parts of nine seasons in the majors. His career walk rate of 4.9 BB/9 is ninth-highest among all pitchers (with at least 400 innings pitched) since he made his major-league debut with the Tigers in 2002.
The Yankees’ offense finally woke up, scoring eight runs in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night while the pitching kept the Astros’ offense at bay. That came after scoring a total of two runs against Astros pitching in the first two games. For a recap of the Yankees’ scoring in Game 3, click here.
CC Sabathia wasn’t dominant, but he executed pitches when he needed to most, preventing the Astros from capitalizing on their opportunities. Overall, he gave up three hits and four walks while striking out five on 99 pitches. He’s the first pitcher, age 37 or older, to throw six shutout innings in the postseason since Pedro Martinez for the Phillies against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 2009 NLCS. Monday’s start also marked Sabathia’s first career scoreless outing in the postseason — it was his 22nd postseason appearance.
Astros starter Charlie Morton couldn’t escape the fourth inning, when he allowed a run and loaded the bases before departing. Will Harris allowed all three inherited runners to score on Aaron Judge‘s three-run home run to left field. Morton was ultimately charged with seven runs on six hits, two walks, and a hit batsman with three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
The Yankees’ bullpen held the fort after the sixth. Adam Warren worked a scoreless seventh. Warren returned in the eighth and retired the side in order, despite yielding a pair of well-struck balls to deep center field.
In the ninth, Dellin Betances walked both hitters he faced to start the frame. Unsurprisingly, manager Joe Girardi had a short leash and brought in Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle gave up a single to Cameron Maybin then struck out George Springer, but walked Alex Bregman to force in a run. Kahnle got Jose Altuve to ground into a 4-3 double play to end the game in an 8-1 victory, giving the Yankees their first win of the series.
The ALCS continues on Tuesday at 5 PM ET. The Astros will start Lance McCullers and the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the hill.