According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays, Indians and Twins have reportedly emerged as frontrunners to sign free agent left-hander Craig Breslow. No offers are on the table yet, however, and Rosenthal speculates that fellow free agent left-handers Boone Logan and Jerry Blevins will likely be signed before that happens. The Mets and Dodgers are also presumed to have interest in the lefty after attending his pitching showcase last week.
Breslow, 36, last pitched for the Marlins in 2016. He recorded a 4.50 ERA, 2.6 BB/9 and 4.5 SO/9 over just 14 innings in Miami and was released midseason after tanking even further in Triple-A New Orleans. The veteran southpaw hasn’t pitched a full season since 2015, when he ended a four-year stint with the Red Sox after delivering a 4.15 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in 65 innings — a far cry from the 1.81 ERA he put up during his second season in Boston.
Despite some key adjustments Breslow made to his mechanics and delivery over the winter, much of his value appears to be tied to his affordability. That should help him net a contract with the Dodgers if Logan and Blevins don’t pan out, as Rosenthal points out that both relievers are supposedly set on two-year, $12 million contracts for the upcoming season. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are rumored to be in the market for two relievers, which could give Breslow an advantage if they can’t find the money to commit to more expensive names.
As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.
Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.
Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.
Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.
Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:
Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.
Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.