The Roy-Oswalt-to-the-Phillies talk came pretty fast and furious last night, as did the attendant Jasyon-Werth trade chatter as well. Lost in all of that was a series of tweets from Buster Olney who has heard that a possible landing spot for Werth could be Tampa Bay.
Olney’s thinking is that moving Werth makes sense for the Philly payroll if they’re going to bring Oswalt on, though he doesn’t say how Werth is at all affordable for the Rays. Still, they need a bat and Philly seems rather hysterical right now, so it may be a good time for Tampa Bay — or anyone — to pry Werth away from the Phillies on favorable terms.
Whether this is Buster merely speculating or based on some actual intelligence is unclear, but right now I wouldn’t put anything past the Phillies, because the Braves are starting to leave them in the dust, and they’re clearly freaked.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.