Jeremy Guthrie has been a mess for the Rockies with a 7.02 ERA and league-high 15 homers allowed in 13 starts after they acquired him from the Orioles in February, and Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that they’re “aggressively trying to trade” the veteran right-hander.
According to Renck the Blue Jays are among the teams interested and are willing to take on most of Guthrie’s bloated $8.2 million salary while giving up an undisclosed prospect. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com names Double-A first baseman Mike McDade as a possibility.
Guthrie was a decent enough mid-rotation starter in Baltimore, throwing 983 innings with a 4.12 ERA in five seasons, but between his $8.2 million salary and tendency to serve up tons of homers he was an odd fit for the Rockies and Coors Field.
To make matters worse the Rockies traded Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom to get Guthrie. Lindstrom has been on the disabled list for a month, but Hammel has come out of nowhere to rank among the top starters in the league with a 2.87 ERA and 77/29 K/BB ratio in 82 innings.
Toronto has lost Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, and Drew Hutchison to injuries this month, so the Blue Jays’ interest in Guthrie as an innings-eating rotation reinforcement makes some sense even if their reported willingness to pay $5 million and a decent prospect for a guy with a 7.02 ERA doesn’t.
The Yankees and Astros are set for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and neither team will hold back as they seek a World Series berth. The Astros are prepared to back starter Charlie Morton with any able-bodied pitcher in their ranks — including Justin Verlander, though A.J. Hinch said it would be a “dream scenario” to get anything more from his ace — while the Yankees are prepared to utilize all but a few of their arms. One pitcher you won’t see? Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who last took the hill for the Yankees during their Game 5 shutout on Wednesday.
Tanaka expended 103 pitches over seven scoreless innings in his last start, fending off the Astros with three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched on fewer than three days of rest all year, and even with a do-or-die scenario facing the Yankees on Saturday night, manager Joe Girardi doesn’t want to compromise his starter’s ability to stay rested and ready for the World Series.
Girardi will also play it safe with fellow right-hander Sonny Gray, who dominated in a five-inning performance in Game 4. All other pitchers should be available and ready to go, though the club is hoping for a lengthy outing from veteran starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia is no stranger to the postseason: over eight separate playoff runs, he touts one championship title and a collective 4.24 ERA in 123 innings. He held the Astros scoreless in his Game 3 start, blanking them over six innings on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts for an eventual 8-1 win.
Even without Tanaka or Gray likely to take the mound for Game 7, the Yankees will enter the series finale with history on their side. Per MLB.com, they have a 4-3 road record in Game 7s and are 6-7 in all 13 Game 7 finales to date. The Astros, on the other hand, dropped their first and only Game 7 clincher back in 2004, when the Cardinals capped the NLCS with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. The teams are scheduled to face off for the first-ever Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.