Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that Cody Ross wants a three-year, $25 million deal, which perhaps explains why his contract talks with the Red Sox didn’t lead to a new deal before free agency.
Don’t get me wrong, Ross is a solid player coming off a solid season. However, last offseason his market was so underwhelming that he had to settle for a one-year, $3 million deal from the Red Sox.
He was coming off a weak season, so that obviously played a big factor, but consider that Ross’ career numbers include a .262 batting average and .783 OPS. This season he hit .267 with an .807 OPS. So he was more or less the same hitter he’s been for his entire career. Nine months ago he signed for $3 million. Now he wants (and may very well receive, who knows) $25 million.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.
The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.
Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.
The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.