According to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, Tigers’ infielder Ian Kinsler could be a “possible fallback option” for the Dodgers if talks with Twins’ second baseman Brian Dozier continue to stall. This isn’t the first time the two have been connected, as the Dodgers reportedly made inquiries on Kinsler as early as last November. The Twins are rumored to be on the fence about dealing Dozier, however, which could up the Dodgers’ interest in working out a trade with the Tigers.
Kinsler, 34, polished off another productive season in 2016, racking up 5.8 fWAR while slashing .288/.348/.484 with 28 home runs in 679 PA. Aside from his sizable contributions at the plate, part of his appeal lies in his contract, which guarantees him $11 million for the 2017 season with a $10 million option (and $5 million buyout) for 2018. Although his salary figure shouldn’t break the bank, the Dodgers have reason to be wary, as Kinsler previously stated that he is unwilling to waive his partial no-trade clause without a contract extension.
Despite the potential difficulty in making a deal with the Dodgers, who happen to be one of the 10 teams on Kinsler’s no-trade list, no other teams have been seriously linked to the second baseman this winter. The Tigers are still looking to shed a hefty portion of their payroll, and Cafardo notes that they might also consider moving shortstop Jose Iglesias this winter in order to get under the luxury tax threshold.
The Rays acquired right-handed reliever Sergio Romo from the Dodgers, the teams announced Saturday night. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash hinted that the team was in on Romo during the offseason, but couldn’t quite make a deal happen at the time. The righty reliever was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Thursday and will net the club cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Romo, 34, struggled to find his footing in his first season with the Dodgers. He left a closing role in San Francisco to play set-up man to established closer Kenley Jansen, and saw mixed results on the mound with a 6.12 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 through his first 25 innings of 2017. It’s a far cry from the sub-3.00 ERA he maintained in 2015 and 2016, but the Rays don’t seem to have ruled out a second-half surge just yet.
The veteran right-hander is expected to step into a bullpen that already boasts a solid core of right-handed relievers, including Alex Colome, Brad Boxberger, Erasmo Ramirez, Chase Whitley and Tommy Hunter. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rays were intrigued by Romo’s extensive postseason experience, affordability and hefty strikeout rate, but will likely continue to hunt for additional bullpen depth in the weeks to come.
Astros’ third baseman Colin Moran was carted off the field on Saturday night after a foul ball caught him in the left eye. He was forced to leave in the sixth inning when a pitch from Orioles’ right-handed reliever Darren O'Day ricocheted off the handle of his bat and struck him in the face, causing considerable bleeding and bruising around his eye. The full extent of his injury has yet to be reported by the team.
Prior to the injury, Moran was 1-for-2 with a base hit in the third inning. He was relieved by pinch-hitter/third baseman Marwin Gonzalez, who polished off the end of the at-bat by catapulting a three-run homer onto Eutaw Street.
Evan Gattis and Carlos Beltran combined for another two runs in the ninth inning, bringing the Astros to a four-run lead as they look toward their 65th win of the season. They currently lead the Orioles 7-4 in the bottom of the ninth.