The best record in baseball belongs to…the Kansas City Royals.
Behind two home runs from Kendrys Morales and another strong start from Chris Young, the Royals topped the Cardinals 5-0 last night in an interleague matchup at Kauffman Stadium.
Young scattered six hits over six scoreless innings in the victory. After holding out until March to sign with a team, the 35-year-old right-hander now owns a 0.78 ERA and 23/9 K/BB ratio in 34 2/3 innings this season. He has allowed two runs (one earned) over four starts.
Morales did all the heavy lifting offensively, clubbing a three-run homer off Lance Lynn in the first inning and added a two-run shot in the third. The Royals bought low on the 31-year-old after nightmare 2014 season, but he’s now batting .305 with six home runs and an .864 OPS across 41 games and leads the American League with 37 RBI.
The Royals sit at 27-14, two games ahead of the Tigers in the AL Central. Check out this tidbit on their hot start:
Your Friday box scores:
Cardinals 0, Royals 5
Rangers 10, Yankees 9
Phillies 1, Nationals 2
Orioles 8, Marlins 5
Reds 3, Indians 7
Mets 1, Pirates 4
Mariners 4, Blue Jays 3
Brewers 11, Braves 0
Astros 2, Tigers 6
Angels 12, Red Sox 5
Giants 11, Rockies 8
Athletics 2, Rays 5
Twins 2, White Sox 3
Padres 1, Dodgers 2
Cubs 4, Diamondbacks 5 (13 innings)
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.