Yesterday afternoon reports had the Indians trying to sign either Mark Reynolds or Kevin Youkilis to be their new first baseman. Last night Reynolds accepted their one-year, $6 million offer, which is quite a bit less than Cleveland is said to have offered Youkilis and seemingly makes it much more likely that Youkilis will wind up in New York.
Jeff Bradley of the Newark Star Ledger writes that the Yankees have probably “inched closer” to signing Youkilis as a fill-in for Alex Rodriguez at third base. Previous reports had the Yankees offering him a one-year, $12 million deal and Youkilis’ agent said he was “strongly considering” the offer.
A few other teams have also been linked to Youkilis, so he certainly has some options beyond the Yankees, and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes that it’s possible the Indians may still be interested in him even after signing Reynolds.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.
The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.
Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.
Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.
Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.