Outfielder Jay Bruce is a valued member of the Indians’ outfield, but he almost became a member of the Yankees back in August. Yankees ownership was too miserly to take on the entirety of his remaining contract — a few million dollars — to acquire him from the Mets. The much smaller-market Indians were willing to take on Bruce’s entire remaining salary, so they got him.
Instead, during Game 1 of the ALDS at Progressive Field on Thursday evening, the Yankees watched Bruce almost singlehandedly power the Indians’ offense to a victory. Bruce drilled a two-run home run against Sonny Gray in the bottom of the fourth inning. He knocked in another run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly against Jaime Garcia.
The Yankees’ outfield — Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, and Aaron Judge — combined to go 1-for-10 with six strikeouts in Game 1.
It wasn’t that the Yankees weren’t willing to pay at all. The club was reportedly willing to give the Mets “multiple prospects.” But adding in a few million dollars was a bit too much for the Yankees, who had an Opening Day payroll approaching $200 million and are valued as a franchise around $3.5 billion.
The Yankees will have to take on AL Cy Young Award candidate Corey Kluber on Friday with a 1-0 series deficit. And they will have to hope Bruce doesn’t punish them any more than he already has.
Tom Schuba of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Athletics outfielder Dustin Fowler has filed suit against the White Sox for negligence. Fowler sustained a season-ending injury during a collision at Guaranteed Rate Field last June and is also bringing the lawsuit against the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority agency, as neither party took measures to secure the ballpark’s unpadded electrical box that exacerbated his injuries.
The 22-year-old outfielder was just two outs into his major league debut with the Yankees when the incident occurred. Fowler tracked a Jose Abreu foul ball down the first base line and flipped over the short railing. He was noticeably limping after colliding with a knee-high electrical box at the wall and collapsed to the ground within seconds before being carted off the field.
The official diagnosis: a ruptured patellar tendon and season-ending surgery on his right knee. Per Schuba’s report, which can be read here in full, Fowler has claimed “‘severe and permanent’ external and internal injuries, as well as mental pain and anguish” following the collision.
No specific demands have been publicized yet. Fowler is said to be seeking money from both the White Sox and the Sports Facilities Authority, likely enough to cover the “large sums” he spent on medical care for the surgery and related treatments.