UPDATE: According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels, Orioles, Phillies and Blue Jays are pursuing Cordero. Those are likely our four finalists.
6:40 PM ET: MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports that free agent Francisco Cordero is down to four teams and expects to make a decision by the end of the week.
Gonzalez confirms that the Angels are one of the clubs and suspects that the Phillies and Orioles are also involved. The Rays haven’t entered the bidding and don’t figure to after spending $7.25 million on Carlos Pena.
If the Angels sign Cordero, he’d replace Jordan Walden as the team’s closer. Walden was handed a spot on the AL All-Star team as a rookie, but he ended up blowing 10 save chances on the season. The Orioles would also use Cordero as a closer, while the Phillies would want him as a setup man for Jonathan Papelbon.
Cordero, 36, had a 2.45 ERA and 37 saves in 43 chances for the Reds last season. Cincinnati had some interest in re-signing him, but that was before it upgraded to Ryan Madson.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.
The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.
Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.
Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.
Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.