There’s been surprisingly few teams linked to Ubaldo Jimenez and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer did some digging to figure out why.
He turned down a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer and any team signing him would be giving up a draft pick to do so. According to Hoynes the Indians “have remained in contact” with Jimenez, but “they could merely be playing a waiting game should Jimenez still be unsigned come spring training.”
It’s possible that Jimenez has been talking to a bunch of teams and the details simply haven’t leaked to reporters yet, but Hoynes believes most teams have been slow to start negotiating seriously with the 29-year-old right-hander because they’re focused on other rotation options first. We’ll see what happens once a few more dominoes fall, because Jimenez is certainly one of the best, highest-upside free agents available.
The Mets rode a bloop hit and a fortuitous slide by Yoenis Cespedes into a four-run fifth inning against the Cardinals during Thursday night’s game.
After Cespedes drew a one-out walk, James Loney hit a weak pop-up into shallow left field. Left fielder Brandon Moss and shortstop Greg Garcia both gave chase but it dropped in. Cespedes, running the bases aggressively, sprinted towards third base. Moss scooped up the ball and threw to Adam Wainwright covering third base.
Cespedes appeared to have been tagged out by Wainwright, but as luck would have it, Cespedes’ cleats stuck on Wainwright’s glove and yanked it off. Cespedes was ruled safe and the Cardinals challenged the call, but it was ultimately upheld.
After that play, Curtis Granderson struck out, Wilmer Flores reached on a fielding error by Garcia, and Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run home run to right field, pushing the Mets’ lead to 7-0.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.