Buster Olney of ESPN says that the Phillies are “very willing” to trade Jimmy Rollins.
Which, sure. But he’s going to make $11 million in 2014 and his biggest strength these days — his durability — pretty much ensures that he’ll reach the plate appearance incentives that will cause his $11 million vesting option for the 2015 season to vest. Last year he hit .252/.318/.348 across in 666 plate appearances. He needs 434 in 2014 for the option to vest. Oh, Rollins is also a 10-5 guy, so he can veto any trade.
Could Rollins be moved? Maybe. But it’s way more likely that someone interested in spending $22 million on a shortstop would do better to go after Stephen Drew, pay a little more and get a lot more out of the bargain.
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.