In a Q&A with Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says that he would consider further extending veterans Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Jose Reyes. In doing so, Anthopoulos cited veterans Carlos Beltran and David Ortiz as examples of older players being very productive. He added, “I would not put it past [Bautista] at all to play 10 more years because of how well he takes care of himself.”
Bautista, 33, is under contract through 2015 at $14 million per year, with a $14 million club option for 2016 which includes a $1 million buyout. Encarnacion, 31, is under contract through 2015 with $19 million remaining, and he also has a club option for 2016 worth $10 million with a $2 million buyout. Reyes, 30, is under contract through 2017 with $82 million remaining, and he has a $22 million club option for 2018 with a $4 million buyout.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.
The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.
Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.
The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.