Yunel Escobar had a homer, three doubles and five RBI Wednesday in the Blue Jays’ 8-5 defeat of the Yankees.
The final double, which scored two runs in the ninth, came on a ball that Andruw Jones should have caught. He had it in his glove as he attempted the sliding catch, but he lost it in contact with the ground.
It was Escobar’s third career five-RBI game. The previous two came in 2010, one for the Braves and the other after he was traded to Toronto. His 10 total bases topped his previous high by two.
Escobar became the sixth player this year to deliver four extra-base hits in a game. Josh Hamilton actually had five in his four-homer game back in May. Ryan Braun, Carlos Beltran, Joey Votto and Alfonso Soriano all had games with four apiece.
Escobar’s big day sent CC Sabathia to his first loss in 10 starts and fourth of the season. Sabathia allowed five runs — two earned — in seven innings of work.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.