Carlos Beltran continues to be a cool customer in the postseason. The veteran outfielder played hero in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Dodgers last night by driving in all three runs, including the game-winner in the 13th inning. He also made a critical throw to nail Mark Ellis at home plate in the 10th.
Beltran’s teammates are at a loss to explain the guy’s remarkable postseason success, but Matt Carpenter attempted to give it a whirl while talking to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
“You know, we always joke about him,” Carpenter said with a laugh, “that we’ve got to put a monitor under his nose and check if he’s breathing. He’s so calm and relaxed in those situations, it’s like he’s got jazz music playing in his head.”
Any guesses on the song? I’d probably have to go with “Birdland.” Beltran digs that jazz-fusion.
By the way, Carpenter also suggested that perhaps Beltran’s nickname should be “Mr. Playoffs.” Not sure about that, but it’s certainly better than Señor Octubre.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.