Dodgers right-hander Josh Beckett tossed 6.1 innings of one-run ball against the Marlins last night for his first win since September 30, 2012.
Beckett missed most of last season following surgery to remove a rib stemming from a nerve condition and made a total of 14 starts between victories, going 0-6 during that time.
But while it was his first win of this season Beckett has consistently pitched very well for the Dodgers in seven starts, tossing 42 innings with a 2.38 ERA and 40/15 K/BB ratio. He’s allowed two runs or fewer in five of his last six outings.
His raw stuff isn’t quite what it once was–Beckett is averaging 92.0 miles per hour with his fastball, compared to 94-95 mph at his peak–but he’s looked damn good for a guy who was basically totally out of the team’s plans not so long ago and at age 34 he’s suddenly a big part of the Dodgers’ rotation.
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.
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.