I’m taking the rest of the week off to take my kids to Disney World. There are downsides to this. For example, it means I have to go to Disney World, which really isn’t how I envisioned using the longest bit of vacation I’ve taken all year. But as Bernie said in “Miller’s Crossing,” well, you stick by your family.
The other downside? I was convinced that I was going to miss out on the biggest free agent signing of the year before I return to cover the Winter Meetings: Robinson Cano. From what we’re hearing today, however, that’s one thing I won’t have to worry much about:
Even if Cano’s $300M+ demand was a fantasy and he chopped, say, $75 million off of it, it’s still in A-Rod territory, and the Yankees can’t really be thinking of doing another A-Rod contract.
At this point it seems like Cano has to try to drum up interest from other bidders. Because there’s nothing out there to suggest that the Yankees are all that inclined to make a big move in his direction.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Dodgers have acquired catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash from the Phillies in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans, and a player to be named later. It was reported on Wednesday that Ruiz and first baseman Ryan Howard both cleared waivers and that Ruiz was drawing interest from a couple of teams.
Ruiz, 37, has served as the backup catcher behind Cameron Rupp. Over 193 plate appearances, he hit .261/.368/.352. He continued to play solid defense and has always had a reputation for handling his pitchers very well. In fact, in a commercial for the video game MLB 2k11, former Phillie Roy Halladay essentially professed his love for Ruiz:
Ellis, 35, is a free agent after the season while Ruiz has a club option for the 2017 season worth $4.5 million. It seems likely that the Dodgers pick up that option and make Ruiz Grandal’s backup next year. Ellis hit a lousy .194/.285/.252 in 161 plate appearances, but the Phillies aren’t particularly concerned with his production since they’re still facilitating their rebuilding process.
Bergjans, 23, has spent the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s posted a 4.98 ERA with a 133/29 K/BB ratio in 130 innings spanning 21 starts and three relief appearances. He went to school in Haverford, PA so the Phillies are bringing in a local guy.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day disabled list ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Angels, the club announced. Utilityman Ryan Goins has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to create room on the roster.
Bautista missed the minimum 15 days due to a sprained left knee. He’s battled injuries throughout the season, limiting him to just 355 plate appearances over 80 games. He’ll resume play with a .222/.349/.444 triple-slash line, 15 home runs, and 48 RBI.
Bautista is in Thursday night’s starting lineup, batting first and serving as the DH.