Colorado is on pace for the worst season in franchise history, so it makes sense that the Rockies would be trying to deal veterans for prospects and Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that closer Rafael Betancourt could be on the move.
According to Renck the A’s, Braves, Blue Jays, Rangers, and Angels have shown interest in Betancourt, adding that “Oakland has been aggressive.”
Betancourt has been fantastic for the Rockies since coming over in a mid-2009 trade from the Indians, throwing 187 innings with a 2.98 ERA and spectacular 229/31 K/BB ratio despite calling Coors Field home. However, he’s also 37 years old and owed $4.25 million next season, with a $4.25 million option or $250,000 buyout for 2014.
That’s certainly a reasonable enough salary to make Betancourt attractive to contenders as a closer or even a setup man, and if the Rockies are committed to a full-scale rebuilding effort trading a 37-year-old reliever definitely makes sense.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.
Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.
The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.
Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.
Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.
Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.