R.A. Dickey couldn’t match Johan Santana’s feat on Saturday, but he did give the Mets back-to-back shutouts for the second time in eight days.
Dickey pitched a seven-hitter for his third career shutout as the Mets topped the Cardinals 5-0 on Saturday. He’s won six straight and is now tied for the major league lead in victories at 8-1 with a 2.69 ERA for the season.
Thanks to Santana and Dickey, the Mets have recorded four shutouts in seven games. Santana notched two of them by himself. The Mets also won 2-0 behind Dickey against the Padres last Sunday, though the bullpen got the final five outs that day.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.