The Royals don’t have much wiggle room with their payroll after signing left-hander Jason Vargas to a four-year, $32 million contract last week, so they are willing to deal some of their bullpen surplus in order to address other areas of need.
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star was told by rival club officials that Aaron Crow and Tim Collins are “very available” in possible trades. Both pitchers will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, so they’ll only get more expensive over time. The Royals would consider offers for any of their relievers, but they are naturally more reluctant to move All-Star closer Greg Holland than Crow or Collins.
Crow, who turned 27 earlier this month, owns a 3.19 ERA over 187 relief appearances in the majors while averaging 9.0 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9. Collins, a 24-year-old left-hander, has compiled a 3.51 ERA and 205 strikeouts over his first 190 innings in the majors.
Dutton currently projects the Royals to have a franchise-record payroll of $87 million in 2014.
Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.
Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.
Aaron Judge hit a monster home run in last night’s win over the Mets, but he also set a dubious record. Judge struck out for the 33rd consecutive game, setting a new mark for a position player in a single season.
Yes, that’s qualified. No pitchers, of course, as I assume many of them have struck out in more than 33 straight games. Also, Adam Dunn once struck out in 36 straight games, but that straddled two seasons: he struck out in the final four games of 2011 and the first 32 games of 2012. Still, Judge’s feat is impressive, and given the nature of his game and the state of baseball these days, it’s not hard to imagine him striking out in three or four more straight games anyway.
None of which, by the way, should be all that much of a slight on Judge. The guy is still hitting .291/.420/.614, even with his second half slump. If I was a manager I’d happily accept his whiffs in exchange for everything else he brings to the table. It’s not 1959 anymore, and strikeouts are not the worst thing that can happen.