Sunday’s series finale in Miami against the Marlins ended in ugly fashion for the Marlins. With the game tied 4-4 with Adeiny Hechavarria on first base and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Jeff Baker lined a Jamey Wright offering to right field. The ball carried well and caromed off of the wall ahead of a leaping Yasiel Puig. Hechavarria scored and the Marlins walked off 5-4 winners.
As the Marlins rushed the field to celebrate, Puig remained on the ground in right field. Trainer Stan Conte came out and eventually helped Puig leave the field.
Video of the attempted catch:
Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports that Puig was given a concussion test and the results were negative and the outfielder is listed as day-to-day. Manager Don Mattingly said Puig was “pointing to multiple areas” when asked where he was hurting.
Puig’s performance will obviously be something everyone will be closely monitoring in the coming days. He has been a top performer for the Dodgers, going into Monday’s road series against the Nationals with a .309/.397/.500 slash line.
The Dodgers have signed lefty Rich Hill to a three-year, $48 million contract.The deal was reported to be imminent over the weekend, but was finalized today following Hill’s physical.
Hill missed a good deal of time in 2016 with blister issues — and he’ll be 37-years-old on Opening Day — but when he was healthy he was fantastic, posting the best season in his 12-year career. He had a a 2.12 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 110.1 innings between the Athletics and Dodgers.
Along with a healthy Clayton Kershaw a maturing Julio Urias and Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers rotation looks to be a strength in 2017.
UPDATE: Buster Olney reports that a deal is in place pending a physical. The financial terms are not yet known. UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears it’s in the four-year, $62 million range. That will make him, temporarily at least, the highest-paid closer in baseball history.
12:15 PM: Ken Rosenthal reports that the San Francisco Giants are close to a deal with closer Mark Melancon.
Melancon had an outstanding 2016, posting a 1.64 ERA, 2.42 FIP and a 5.42 K/BB rate in 71.1 innings while saving 47 games for the Pirates and Nationals. You may recall that the Giants had a strong interest in Melancon last summer. It was a well-founded interest given the bullpen woes which waylaid San Francisco in the second half of last season and continued on into the playoffs.
The terms of the apparently impeding deal will be known soon enough, but Rosenthal reported yesterday that Melancon was fielding offers in the four-years, $60 million range. That’s a lot for a closer, but it’ll probably look like a bargain compared to the deals signed with the other two top closers on the market, Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. Some have speculated that Chapman could get a deal closer to $100 million than $50 million, though that seems optimistic.
What the past couple of seasons have shown, however, is that having a top bullpen will get you very, very far in Major League Baseball. Champan may have been gassed at the end of Game 7, but he was essential to the Cubs’ World Series title. Powerful bullpens gave the Royals a title in 2015 and the Indians an AL pennant this past year. A weak one was, obviously, the Giants’ achilles heel.
Their great need at the back end of the pen, according to Rosenthal’s report, is apparently about to be filled.