Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported late last week that the Cardinals have interest in acquiring shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera from the Indians this offseason. And if the source giving information to ESPN’s Buster Olney is to be believed, there might just be a match:
The Cardinals have a ridiculous amount of good young starting pitching, extending from their major league roster all the way to the lower levels of their minor league system. Guys like Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal burst onto the scene during the 2012 season, and others like Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Jordan Swagerty and Tyrell Jenkins are still on the way.
Cabrera, 26, boasts a .272/.335/.443 batting line, 41 home runs and 160 RBI in 294 games since the start of the 2011 campaign. He would be a significant upgrade over Rafael Furcal, who has had durability issues.
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.