Carlos Beltran playing first base

Carlos Beltran’s thoughts while playing first base: “Please, God, hit it somewhere else”

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Quote of the day territory here. Last night, Francisco Cervelli was covering first base for the Yankees because of injuries to Mark Teixeira’s, Derek Jeter and Brian Roberts, giving Joe Girardi no other options. Then Cervelli — who himself only had two games experience at first base in his entire professional career — went down with a hamstring injury.

Left with the choice of putting either Ichiro or Carlos Beltran at first base, Girardi chose Beltran. Who did OK, actually. He didn’t have to field any balls hit his way and handled the handful of infield putout throw to first base without incident. But he was nervous about it. Here’s what he had to say after the game:

“In the outfield, I want them to hit it to me. But, today, I was like, please, God, hit it somewhere else.”

But, like I said, he did fine. And he took the position without complaint or hesitation.

Remember back when Beltran played for the Mets and anonymous Mets sources and their buddies in the Mets press corps liked to paint him as selfish? Yeah, that was pretty dumb. 

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.