I believe I heard the first Jeremy Guthrie trade rumor in the summer of 1984. I had just turned 11, got a copy of the Sporting News and read that the the Orioles were talking to some teams about dealing him but would, inevitably, just hold on to him so they could have an innings eater while the young arms develop.
Yes, I realize that Guthrie did not make his major league debut for another 20 years. But such is the nature of Jeremy Guthrie trade rumors. They will outlive us all.
Anyway, Jon Paul Morosi said the Angels and Orioles have discussed the possibility of a Guthrie trade in recent days. And really, when you’re a team like the Angels and you already have pretty strong starting pitching, you don’t pass up an opportunity to trade for a guy who led the league in losses two of the past three years.
OK, I kid because it’s fun to kid. Guthrie has his uses. He’d have more uses if he got out of Camden Yards and into the AL West, but I really don’t see why the Angels would be that interested.
The Red Sox have some tough decisions to make in advance of the World Series next week; namely, what to do with some of their hottest-hitting players once the series shifts to a National League park — and National League rules. During a press conference on Saturday, manager Alex Cora said he’d be open to the idea of starting All-Star right fielder Mookie Betts at second base when the club’s regular DH, J.D. Martinez, is forced to play the outfield during away games.
The Red Sox carry home field advantage through the Fall Classic, so Games 1 and 2 will be played at Fenway Park — as well as Games 6 and 7, should those become necessary. Depending on the outcome of NLCS Game 7 later tonight, World Series Games 3 through 5 will be played at Dodger Stadium or Miller Park. That’s when Betts might take over the keystone from Ian Kinsler and Brock Holt, both of whom have shared second base duties over the course of the 2018 postseason.
The idea isn’t without merit. Betts and Martinez comprise two of the team’s top talents at the plate and, should the Red Sox need to stave off elimination in Games 4 and 5, sitting either of them doesn’t make sense. The 26-year-old Betts led the team with a staggering .346/.438/.640 batting line, 32 home runs, 30 stolen bases, and career-best 10.4 fWAR over 614 PA, while Martinez posted some career totals of his own, slashing .330/.402/.629 with 43 home runs, a 1.031 OPS, and 5.9 fWAR in 649 PA. This wouldn’t be the first time Betts has taken reps at second, either, as he’s logged 15 games at the position over the course of his five-year career, most recently during a 4-1 win over the Yankees in August.
Whether or not Betts is considered a lock for all three games is another question, one to which Cora didn’t give a definite answer. “I don’t know, man,” the skipper told reporters Saturday. “[Betts] already played second during the regular season, so there’s always a chance, I guess.” He later added that while Betts would be taking ground balls at second, it’s part of the routine he’s maintained all year — so nothing should be read into it until a clear decision has been announced.