It’s possible that Zack Greinke’s six-year, $147 million deal won’t be the biggest contract the deep-pocketed Dodgers give out this offseason.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said during the press conference for left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu earlier today that it’s possible the club could explore extension talks with staff ace Clayton Kershaw in the coming weeks. This actually isn’t much different than what Colletti said just about a month ago, but he wanted to put the issue on the backburner while he dealt with more pressing matters. He might be ready now, though.
Kershaw is owed $11 million in 2013 in the second year of a two-year, $19 million contract and is arbitration-eligible for the final time next offseason. Greinke’s deal will likely function as a benchmark in talks and it would be a surprise if he didn’t surpass CC Sabathia’s record $161 commitment from the Yankees. Heck, he could be the game’s first $200 million pitcher.
Kershaw, 24, has a 2.79 ERA over his first five seasons in the big leagues. After winning the NL Cy Young award in 2011, he was the runner-up to R.A. Dickey this past season.
As per tradition, towards the end of the regular season, veterans on baseball’s various clubs haze the rookies by making them dress up and do something a bit embarrassing. That used to include things like making rookies dress up like women and carry pink backpacks, but Major League Baseball banned that practice, so veterans had to get marginally more creative.
The Phillies had their rookies — including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams — dress up like characters in Grease and perform “Greased Lightning” at their hotel in Atlanta on Friday night. Not only did the Phils’ vets and other members of the crew get a free show, but so did employees of the hotel and nearby hotel patrons.
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As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki explains, Hoskins was the inspiration for the gag as he has earned the nickname “Rhys Lightning.” (Rhys, for the uninitiated, rhymes with “Grease.”) Hoskins said, “You always hear about team chemistry. I think stuff like that let’s you get to know guys on a different level, when you’re not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there’s a different level of playing for each other. And I think that’s usually a sign of a good team.”
The Twins also had some fun at the rookies’ expense:
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge went yard twice in Sunday afternoon’s 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays, bringing his season total up to 48. That leaves him just one home run shy of tying the single-season rookie record set by Mark McGwire with the Athletics in 1987.
After Sunday’s performance, Judge is hitting .281/.416/.610 with 48 home runs, 105 RBI, and 122 runs scored in 651 plate appearances. He has the AL Rookie of the Year Award on lock and is neck-and-neck with the Astros’ Jose Altuve, Chris Sale of the Red Sox, and the Indians’ Corey Kluber in the AL MVP Award race.