Yesterday the Athletics claimed Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar off revocable waivers. The two teams have until 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday to work out a trade. And, despite the fact that the teams seem to matchup pretty well on paper — the Rays got a younger, cheaper infielder in Nick Franklin from Seattle, the A’s lost Jed Lowrie to an injury — Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times says that a trade is unlikely.
Mostly because the Rays aren’t treating Franklin like a shortstop. They’ve been playing him at second base at Durham. And the Mariners, it should be worth noting, played him at second far more often than short in the bigs as well, even though he played more short in the minor leagues.
Escobar is under contract through 2016 with a club option for 2017. Looks like he’ll be doing that as a Tampa Bay Ray.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.