Uh oh, people. Justin Verlander has a lead.
Tigers designated hitter Delmon Young launched a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning off Yankees starter Phil Hughes, pushing Detroit ahead 1-0 in this ALCS Game 3. Hughes then walked Andy Dirks and departed with a trainer after appearing to tweak something in his back.
David Phelps entered the game in relief for New York and did not allow further damage in the frame.
Verlander has surrendered just one hit over his first four innings, fanning two batters and walking none. The Tigers are up 2-0 in this seven-game series. Oh, and Robinson Cano’s hitless streak is up to 28 at-bats.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.
Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.
If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.