From Nick Cafardo’s Sunday notebook in the Boston Globe:
It looks more and more like [Howie] Kendrick will be involved in a deal that would land the Angels some pitching or prospects. The Royals seem like a good fit as they attempt to solve their second base issue, and Kendrick would be a nice bat in that lineup. But what would the Royals give up? The Orioles are another possible fit with Brian Roberts’s tenure possibly ending soon. The Orioles haven’t decided to cut ties with the free agent, but they certainly wouldn’t re-sign Roberts for more than one season with his injury problems.
The Angels shopped Kendrick at this year’s July 31 trade deadline and received interest from multiple teams, but obviously no move was made.
Kendrick is owed $9.35 million next season and $9.5 million in 2015 — reasonable salaries for a consistently productive second baseman. Anaheim badly needs an influx of reliable starting pitching — young or old — and there aren’t going to be many good options for improvement on the free agent market this winter.
Kendrick, 30, batted .297/.335/.439 with 13 home runs, six stolen bases, 55 runs scored and 54 RBI in 122 games this year. He hit .287/.325/.400 with eight homers, 14 steals and 67 RBI in 147 games in 2012.
The Yankees probably have the best minor league system in baseball right now and the best player in that system is, without question, shortstop Gleyber Torres. Now that top prospect is a step closet to the Bronx: he has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees don’t rush their prospects anywhere nearly as fast as a lot of teams do, but Torres, who is only 20, proved himself to be ready for the promotion. In 32 games at Double-A Trenton this year he hit .273/.367/.496 in 139 plate appearances. That OPS is almost 100 points higher than that which he posted in high A-ball in 2016.
Torres came over to the Yankees from the Cubs organization in the Aroldis Chapman trade last summer. At this rate he’ll be playing shortstop behind Chapman in New York before too long.
Dodgers outfielder Brett Eibner came into yesterday’s game against the Marlins as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning. He hit a single scoring Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernandez and then advanced to second on the throw home. Overall on the year he’s 5-for-16 with a walk, two homers and six driven in eight games. Admirable work for a guy whose job is to be a bench bat and outfield depth.
As Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports, however, he could possible provide some bullpen depth too:
Eibner has thrown several bullpen sessions at Dodger Stadium and at Oklahoma City, working on building arm strength and developing secondary pitches to accompany a fastball he said hit 95 mph in college.
The idea, still in its theoretical stages, would be for Eibner to remain, primarily, a backup outfielder, but to possibly serve as an extra arm during periods when the Dodgers pen gets worked hard. Something less than an everyday reliever but something more than the gimmick of using a position player to save the real pitchers in a blowout.
In an age when teams have cut their position player depth down to the bone in the service of adding more relief pitchers, finding a guy who can do both could provide a nice little boost, no?