Pete Kozma was the Cardinals’ Opening Day shortstop last season and a not-insignificant number of people misguidedly believed that he had long-term upside based on paying more attention to his flukey 26-game stint in 2012 rather than his lengthy track record of mediocrity.
Kozma went on to hit .217 with one homer and a .548 OPS in 143 games last season, at which point the Cardinals demoted him to Triple-A and moved on to Jhonny Peralta at shortstop.
Earlier this week the Cardinals called up Kozma from Triple-A because they needed some short-term bench depth and now they’ve designated him for assignment to clear roster room for other moves.
There’s a decent chance that some other team claims Kozma off waivers, because he’d be a reasonably decent utility infielder, but any notion of him being a quality regular should have been squashed a long time ago.
Trust multi-year track records, y’all.
UPDATE: Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Kozma passed through waivers unclaimed and will be assigned to Triple-A by the Cardinals.
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.