Danny Knobler of CBSSports says there is “a growing belief in baseball” that Wandy Rodriguez will be placed on waivers this week and that at least one team will put in a claim.
The Yankees discussed a Rodriguez trade prior to the July 31 deadline, but talks broke down amid reports that the Bombers wanted the Astros to eat $17 million of the $38 million owed to the left-hander through 2014. Knobler says the Yankees are no longer interested in Rodriguez.
That even the Yankees wanted the Astros to take on so much of the salary suggested that Rodriguez would probably clear waivers this month. However, Knobler doesn’t believe that’s the case. He says it’s likely at least one NL team will put in a claim.
The Astros could simply let Rodriguez go if he is claimed on waivers. Doing so would free them from his entire salary, but they wouldn’t get anything in return. Alternatively, they could pull him back and attempt to trade him to the claiming team. If that were to happen, the Astros might eat some salary and get a prospect back for him.
If Rodriguez instead clears waivers, the Astros will be free to deal him to any team through the end of the regular season. The only issue there is that he’d have to be traded prior to Sept. 1 to be postseason eligible for his new team.
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.