Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti mentioned during the Winter Meetings that he was working on a deal to add another infielder capable of playing multiple positions. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com was told by a league source that the Mets’ Daniel Murphy was their target and that they make may a run at him again sometime in the future.
It’s not clear what the Dodgers would have offered in return, but Colletti acknowledged that the trade unraveled when the other club satisfied its need without trading the player he wanted. If Murphy was indeed the target, that was likely a reference to this week’s trade that brought outfielder Andres Torres and right-hander Ramon Ramirez to New York.
Murphy batted .320/.362/.448 with six home runs, 49 RBI and an .809 OPS over 423 plate appearances this year before suffering a torn MCL in his left knee in early August. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is doing his due diligence by discussing him in different trade scenarios, but the 26-year-old currently projects as the team’s starting second baseman next season.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.