About two weeks ago, we learned that infielder Michael Young is thinking about retiring after 13 full seasons in the Majors. Young, 37, split time between the Phillies and Dodgers last year, posting a .730 OPS. He has shown mediocre power in each of his last two seasons and his defense has been less and less reliable. If he were to retire now, he would have a career batting average right at .300, certainly a nice round number to take with him.
GM Jon Daniels wants Young to retire as a Ranger when the time comes, reports Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Young has been a Ranger since 2000, when the Blue Jays sent him to Texas with Darwin Cubillan for starter Esteban Loaiza. Since then, Young has taken over 8,000 plate appearances as a Ranger and played every position in the infield for them as well as DH. The Rangers came close to winning it all with him in 2010 and 2011, but the Giants and Cardinals had other things in mind. It would certainly be fitting for Young to retire as a Ranger.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.