Brad Lidge said in a video interview with MLB.com that the Nationals are “probably the most talented team I’ve ever been on and I’ve been on some great teams.”
Including, of course, the 2008 Phillies that won the World Series thanks in large part to Lidge’s dominance in the ninth inning.
And also the 2009 Phillies that won the NL pennant. Or the 2010 Phillies that won 97 games. Or the 2011 Phillies that won 102 games.
Going back further, he was on the 2005 Astros that won the NL pennant and … well, you get the idea.
Obviously the Nationals have improved a ton and look, on paper at least, like very legitimate contenders this season. But c’mon. Washington went 80-81 last season, so they’d need to improve by a dozen games just to match the record of the worst team Lidge has been on during the previous four years (and that team won the World Series).
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.
The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.
He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.