Paul Konerko is on a ridiculous tear right now, hitting .466 with six homers and a 1.303 OPS in his last 20 games dating back to May 4.
Even more amazing is that sitting out three days in the middle of that stretch after taking a Jeff Samardzija pitch to the face didn’t slow him down, as Konerko returned to the lineup with a nice shiner on his eye and has gone 14-for-24 (.583) with three homers since.
Yes, seriously: .583.
Overall this season Konerko is hitting .399 with 11 homers and a 1.157 OPS in 45 games, leading the league in batting average and on-base percentage while ranking second to only Josh Hamilton in slugging percentage and OPS. And he’s doing it at age 36.
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.