UPDATE: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has confirmed the full deal, which sends Corey Dickerson and prospect third baseman Kevin Padlo to Tampa Bay and Jake McGee and German Marquez back to Colorado.
6:10 p.m. ET: MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that the Rockies will also receive prospect right-hander German Marquez in the deal. Marquez, who turns 21 in February, posted a 3.56 ERA and 104/29 K/BB ratio over 139 innings (23 starts and three relief appearances) at High-A Charlotte last season. He’s not regarded as one of Tampa Bay’s top pitching prospects.
4:01 p.m. ET: Colorado has lessened its outfield logjam by trading Corey Dickerson to the Rays for reliever Jake McGee. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that there are also undisclosed minor leaguers involved in the swap.
When the Rockies surprisingly signed free agent Gerardo Parra to a three-year, $26 million deal it seemed inevitable that at least one of Dickerson, Charlie Blackmon, or Carlos Gonzalez would be on the move. It ends up being Dickerson, who was limited to just 65 games last season with foot and rib injuries while hitting .304 with 10 homers and an .869 OPS.
At age 27 he’s still making the minimum salary and is under team control through 2019, although with a career OPS of 1.085 in Colorado compared to .695 on the road it’s unclear what type of hitter the Rays are actually getting. In his lone full, healthy season Dickerson hit .312 with 24 homers and a .931 OPS for the Rockies in 2014.
McGee has been one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball since debuting in 2010, logging a total of 260 innings with a 2.77 ERA and 319 strikeouts. However, he’s starting to get expensive via the arbitration process with a $4.8 million salary for 2016 and McGee will be a free agent after the 2017 season.
McGee is a fantastic, high-impact reliever, but it’s unclear why the rebuilding Rockies of all teams need an expensive 29-year-old reliever two seasons from free agency or why they signed the 29-year-old Parra to get that ball rolling.
The Yankees defeated the Astros 4-1 during Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night, staving off a potential postseason elimination and forcing the series to at least six games.
In just the third playoff appearance of his career, Yankees southpaw James Paxton turned in another impressive performance, limiting the Astros to four hits and four walks over six innings of one-run ball. According to MLB Stats, his nine strikeouts made him the second Yankees lefty to record multiple starts of 8+ strikeouts in the same postseason campaign, two decades after David Wells did so for the 1998 championship-winning club.
Paxton’s strong outing was backed by a handful of runs from DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks, both of whom went deep against Astros ace Justin Verlander in the bottom of the first inning. LeMahieu’s leadoff solo shot marked his first postseason home run since Game 1 of the ALDS, while Hicks’ three-run 347-footer was his first home run of any variety since July 24 (and his first in the playoffs since the 2017 ALDS).
Neither team managed a single run after the first inning, leaving the two pitching staffs to duke it out for eight quick innings. Verlander outlasted Paxton — taking the game through the seventh with five hits, four runs, and nine strikeouts — but even with a flawless contribution from Brad Peacock in the eighth, there was little the hurlers could do to help the Astros solve Paxton and an airtight Yankees bullpen.
With the win, the Yankees will try to push the series to a full seven games in order to snatch the AL pennant from the Astros. They’ll have to do in Houston, however, as the Astros will regain home field advantage when Game 6 kicks off on Saturday at 8:08 PM EDT. Neither starter has been announced yet; per Houston skipper A.J. Hinch, it will likely be a bullpen day.