Jacoby Ellsbury figures to make around $8 million in his final season of arbitration eligibility and will hit the open market as a free agent next offseason, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Red Sox are “currently disinclined to trade Ellsbury with value down.”
Ellsbury was runner-up in the 2011 MVP voting, but played just 73 games this year and hit .274 with a .682 OPS that was 246 points below his 2011 mark.
Certainly if Ellsbury has a strong, healthy first half his trade value, even for just a few months, should be higher than it is right now, but it’s also possible that a poor, unhealthy first half could cause whatever current trade value he has to diminish further.
Either way, it should be a very interesting next 12 months for Ellsbury. If he’d been a free agent after 2011 it’s tough to imagine him not getting well over $100 million, but now he’s a huge question mark at age 29.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.