Veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie found new life when he was traded from the Rockies to the Royals on July 20, posting a 3.16 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in his final 14 starts. He’s set to hit the open market five days after the conclusion of the 2012 World Series, so the Kansas City front office is scrambling to put together a proposal in the hope that he’ll re-sign before even getting a whiff of free agency.
“There’s always a chance (of working out a deal before other teams get a shot at him),” Royals general manager Dayton Moore told reporters this weekend. “These negotiations seem to go much better and smoother for everybody when you keep it between the two parties.”
Guthrie earned $8.2 million this summer in his third and final year of arbitration. He seems likely to settle for a cut in pay given how poorly he pitched for the Rockies in the first half (6.35 ERA in 90 2/3 innings), but the Royals will risk losing him for good if their offer is too low in either length or salary.
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star suspects that the Royals won’t do anything longer than two years.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.