ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Rangers have mild interest in outfielder Michael Saunders and have checked in with the Mariners about a potential trade. The Mariners are expected to shop Saunders heavily this off-season.
Saunders, 28, had what would have been considered a breakout season if he had logged more playing time. He hit .273/.341/.450 with eight home runs and 34 RBI in 263 plate appearances, but missed 15 games in mid-June due to inflammation of the A/C joint in his right shoulder, and 50 games between mid-July and early September after straining his left oblique.
Saunders’ injury woes caused GM Jack Zduriencik to publicly criticize the outfielder on the radio in October. Saunders’ then-agent, Mike McCann, fired back, expressing his displeasure that Zduriencik chose to air his grievances publicly. Saunders hired new representation last week.
Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. hit his 40th home run in today’s 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. In so doing he become only the third player to hit 40 homers at age 21 or younger, joining Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Eddie Matthews, who hit 42 and 47, respectively, before turning 22. Ott was only 20 in fact.
Home run marks are a dime a dozen this year, of course, so maybe you want to discount Acuña’s accomplishment. Even if you do, though, you can’t discount his wheels. He didn’t have a stolen base this afternoon but he does have 37 on the year and has over a week to swipe three more. If he does he’ll become a member of the exclusive 40/40 club. It’s only current members: Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano.
The Braves win clinches at least a tie for the NL East title. They’ll clinch the division outright if either they win or the Nationals lose tomorrow.