David Wright appeared bound for the disabled list after saying last night that he couldn’t “functionally” grip a bat or grip a baseball because of the small fracture in his right pinkie finger, but he has apparently made a lot of progress over the past 16 hours or so.
The Mets just announced that Wright will be in the starting lineup for this afternoon’s game against the Phillies. The surprise decision was made after he tested his finger while taking some swings in an indoor batting cage this morning.
Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Jason Bay have scuffled thus far, so getting Wright back at even 80 percent should provide a big boost for the middle of the order. The 29-year-old third baseman was off to an excellent start before the injury, collecting seven hits (including a homer) and four walks over his first 17 plate appearances.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
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.