It’s not just the Yankees: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Angels — now free from the burden of having to pay Carl Crawford! — are bidding on Cliff Lee.
There’s not a ton of context to this and it’s hard to tell if it’s serious interest or, like Boston’s, merely head games, but the Angels do have some money to spend. You figure Adrian Beltre is now their biggest target — and their roughly $100M offer to Crawford suggests that Beltre is more doable for them — but Lee wouldn’t be impossible if they’re sufficiently desperate.
In other Lee news, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Rangers are sending a delegation to Little Rock today to meet with Cliff Lee and his agent, Darek Braunecker, who decamped Orlando yesterday. One wonders — based on what Nolan Ryan said last night — if this meeting will be a “we want to leave with you signed. Tell us what you want and we’ll do it now; if not, we’re out” kind of meeting.
The Yankees have to have this in the bag, though. With Boston adding $300 million in talent in the past four days, New York has to unleash a counter attack, right? Because this is war, and that’s what you do in a war.
Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.
Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.
While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.