From beat writer Mark D. Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune comes word that White Sox center fielder Alejandro De Aza has been activated off the 15-day disabled list. MLB rosters expanded on September 1, so no corresponding move was necessary.
De Aza wound up missing a little more than two weeks with a bruised left ribcage. He will return on Sunday to a .281/.346/.398 batting line, six home runs and 44 RBI. He also boasts 21 stolen bases.
DeWayne Wise did a nice job filling in while De Aza was sidelined and should remain fairly active down the stretch as the Pale Hose attempt to win their first division title since the 2008 season.
Chicago is currently one game up over the Tigers in the American League Central standings. The two teams play this evening in the series finale of a three-game set that has so far gone Detroit’s way.
Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.
Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”
Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.
The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.