Fox’s Ken Rosenthal’s latest column has all kinds of tidbits to last you until kickoff this afternoon:
An unnamed exec can’t feature the Red Sox pulling off a trade for Adrian Gonzalez that makes it worth the Padres’ while. I agree with Rosenthal: the Padres shouldn’t be in any hurry to trade Gonzalez. Given that he’s locked up at a bargain basement price through 2011, they should wait at least until someone is desperate for offense next June, at which point the offers will only be better. Besides: why trade the only marquee player you have during season ticket renewal season? My guess: Gonzalez is with the Padres on Opening Day.
Josh Beckett is probably going to demand A.J. Burnett money in any extension. The Sox are on the hook for $12 million for him next year. If you’re Theo Epstein I can’t see how you talk extension now. If he goes out in 2010 and pitches like the 2008 Beckett, you’ll be sorry you blew any more money on him than you had to and you’ll be happy to let him go. If he’s a Cy Young contender again, well, you’re still better positioned to bid for his services after 2010 than anyone else. The Red Sox spend quite a bit, but they aren’t usually in the business of spending before they have to, and likely won’t with Beckett.
Jorge De La Rosa “wants to be paid like Oliver Perez.” Query: if you’re De La Rosa’s agent, why on Earth would you bring up a horrendous bust like Perez as you’re beginning to position your client for a pay day? Why don’t you just say “I’d like you to throw money in the toilet at my client like the Mets did with Perez!”
Rosenthal thinks that the Twins’ moves thus far — trading for Hardy; exercising Michael Cuddyer’s option — are all a part of the plan to get Mauer locked up long-term. They were probably the right moves independent of that, but I tend to agree that the Twins are doing what they can to make sure Mauer can’t play the only non-monetary get-out-of-Minnesota card at his disposal, and that’s claiming that the Twins aren’t committed to winning.
As usual, tons of other stuff from Rosenthal, so click on over.
Braves 21-year-old outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. nabbed his 30th stolen base of the season on Friday, becoming the second-youngest player in Major League history to produce at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. Per MLB Stats, the only other player under 22 years old to pull off the feat is Mike Trout, who did so with 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases during his age-20 season in 2012.
Acuña’s triumphant moment came in the eighth inning of Friday’s game against the Mets. He drew a six-pitch walk against righty reliever Seth Lugo, then waited for an opportune moment as Ozzie Albies stepped to the plate. Lugo fired a 93-m.p.h. fastball to Albies for ball no. 2, which was promptly returned to second base by catcher Wilson Ramos. The throw came in high, however; Amed Rosario had to jump to make the catch, allowing Acuña to slide safely into the bag and hit his career mark.
It’s been an eventful season for the All-Star outfielder, whose 36 home runs and 30 stolen bases helps pad a .294/.377/.536 batting line and 5.1 fWAR over 597 plate appearances. Through the first 11 innings of Friday’s contest, he went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks and a stolen base.