Boston’s attempt to trade for Chris Capuano last week failed, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Red Sox are still trying to acquire a veteran starting pitcher for a potential Game 163 tiebreaker tomorrow and one possible target is Bruce Chen of the Royals.
Their reported offer to the Mets for Capauno was a cash deal, so presumably the Red Sox offered the same to the Royals for Chen, who’s actually scheduled to start tonight against the Twins in Minnesota.
Tampa Bay has struggled against left-handed starters lately, so Chen–or any other veteran southpaw, really–would make sense as a last-second addition even though pitchers acquired this late wouldn’t be eligible for the postseason. Kansas City won’t know whether Boston will still want Chen for tomorrow until after he’s slated to take the mound tonight, so a late scratch would confirm that something is in the works.
On a related note: Anyone know where Pedro Martinez is right now?
UPDATE: Our own D.J. Short points out that Chen is currently projected to be a Type B free agent, in which case the Royals would seemingly need a decent prospect in return for passing up a draft pick.
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.