In the last post I said that Sabathia looked good. Which, sure, in the first inning he did. In the second inning, though, it got ugly. Sabathia gave up four runs. What’s worse: he did so while sitting between 88-90 miles per hour for the most part, which is not good. Towards the end of the inning he cranked a couple of 93s, but yowza.
Best plate appearance of the inning came in Jackie Bradley Jr.’s major league debut, in which he worked an eight pitch walk after going down 0-2 to Sabathia. Very nice discipline to lay off a couple of close pitches. Only bad part is that he hits a homer the next time he’s up, people will always say that he hit a homer in his first major league at bat. Which, while technically true, will obscure the truth of the matter because people still don’t think of walks as counting as much as other things. Bradley’s walk was probably the key to that inning, though.
Anyway: it’s now 4-0 in the second and I’m thinking hard about switching to the Nats game.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.