Infielder Brett Lawrie is set to enter free agency on Sunday after the White Sox placed him on unconditional release waivers on Friday. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, one interested party may be the Rays, who could try to sign the infielder for his right-handed bat.
Lawrie, 27, completed a one-year run with the White Sox in 2016. He batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs and a .723 OPS through the first half of the year, but saw his season derailed after suffering a hamstring strain in July.
The Rays aren’t in dire need of another second or third baseman this season; for that, they’ll rely on Brad Miller and Evan Longoria, with utility infielders Nick Franklin and Tim Beckham waiting in the wings. Assuming Lawrie can stay healthy for a full season, however, the added bat off the bench and infield depth would make the acquisition worthwhile, particularly with the White Sox eating $600,000 of his salary.
There’s no two ways about it: Aristides Aquino is having a rookie year for the ages. The hot-hitting Reds outfielder tacked another item onto his already lengthy list of accomplishments on Friday, clubbing a two-run, 396-foot home run off of Adam Wainwright in the sixth inning of the Reds’ 13-4 loss to the Cardinals.
The blast came far too late in the game to upset the Cardinals’ nine-run lead, but was otherwise perfectly timed for the rookie. It marked his 10th career home run in just 16 major-league games, officially making him the fastest MLB player to 10 homers in league history. (On a less-thrilling note, it was also the first home run allowed by the Cardinals in 32 2/3 consecutive innings.)
So far in 2019, Aquino is batting a robust .353/.400/.961 with 11 extra-base hits, 19 RBI, a 1.361 OPS, and 0.8 fWAR through 55 plate appearances. Friday’s feat follows other impressive performances from the 25-year-old, who collected three homers against the Cubs last Saturday and tied Trevor Story‘s previously unbeaten record for most homers through his first 10 career games. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon adds that Aquino’s torrid home run pace also eclipsed the standing record held by the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins, who delivered nine home runs through his first 16 career games in 2017 (per Elias).