The Red Sox may have collapsed, but their MVP certainly isn’t to blame.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit a pair of solo homers Sunday off the Yankees’ A.J. Burnett to become the first member of the 30 HR/30 SB club in Red Sox history.
It’s the 57th 30/30 season in major league history. Matt Kemp and Ryan Braun have also pulled it off this year. Kemp has 37 homers and 40 steals for the Dodgers, while Braun has 33 homers and 31 steals for the Brewers. Ellsbury currently has 38 steals.
Ellsbury’s second homer also gave him 100 RBI for the season.
Ellsbury is the first American Leaguer to go 30/30 since the Rangers’ Ian Kinsler in 2009. He’s the first American League to amass 30 homers, 30 steals and 100 RBI since the Rangers’ Alfonso Soriano in 2005.
While Ellsbury was always a good bet to get the required steals needed to pull off such a feat, none were expecting this kind of power from him. He has 10 more homers in 639 at-bats this season than he did in 1,372 at-bats entering the year.
The Astros have made a contract offer of one year with an option to free agent pitcher Charlie Morton, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports. The amount of the contract offer is not known, but would likely be less than the $17.9 million qualifying offer the Astros failed to make to him.
Morton, 35, had the best season of his career in 2018, going 15-3 with a 3.13 ERA and a 201/64 K/BB ratio in 167 innings. It is likely the peak in what has been a late-career reinvention that started at the end of his tenure in Pittsburgh, persisted through an injury-shortened stint with the Phillies, and continued over the last two years with the Astros. Morton’s delivery, which famously mimics that of the late Roy Halladay, has seen his strikeout rate rise from middling to elite rates while his fastball velocity climbed from the low-90’s to the mid-90’s.
Despite Morton’s reinvention, he is likely going to have to settle for short-term deals due to his age and durability issues. 2018 was the first time in his career he crossed the 30-start threshold.