The Tampa Bay Times reports that Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier has a hairline fracture in his right hip and will miss at least two months. The team has not yet confirmed, but it’s pretty rare that the Rays beat from the Times gets that stuff wrong.
Kiermaier injured his hip sliding into first base during the fifth inning of yesterday’s 7-5 win over the White Sox. He was forced to leave the game and was on crutches after the game and had tests scheduled for Friday. You can watch the play here if you’re into that sort of thing.
It’s rarely a good idea to slide into first base, with the only usual exception being a situation in which the fielder is pulled off the bag and tries to get the runner with a swipe tag. In this case Kiermaier was in a foot race to the bag with Jose Abreu. It seems that if he just ran through instead of slid he’d have a better shot, but that’s Friday morning quarterbacking I suppose.
In any event, this is a big blow for the Rays. Kiermaier is hitting .258/.329/.408 and has played in every Rays game to date this season. His calling card, of course, is his defense. He’s had a few odd lapses out in center this year, but he’s still one of the best if not the best defenders in baseball, and his absence will be notable.
Charles Gasparino reports that billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen has submitted an offer to buy the Mets for $2 billion as well as an additional $2 billion for SportsNet New York (SNY). The Mets own a 65% controlling interest in SNY. (Full disclosure: Comcast, through NBC Sports Group, owns an 8% share of SNY.)
As Jon Heyman reported yesterday, the Mets were expected to accept the first round of bids by Thursday. Cohen was one of a handful of bidders that also included Josh Harris and David Blitzer, Álex Rodríguez and Jennifer Lopez, and the Reuben brothers.
Cohen and the Wilpons were believed to be in agreement on a deal back in December that would have increased Cohen’s ownership share from 8% to 80% in exchange for $2.6 billion. However, the deal fell through as Cohen grew upset the Wilpons attempted to change the terms of the agreement at the last minute. The two sides have, obviously, patched up their differences.
As Sportico’s Scott Soshnick notes, the offers in the first round of bidding are non-binding. At any rate, given Cohen’s preliminary offer, the Wilpons are likely to collect quite the windfall. Fred Wilpon bought a 50% stake in the Mets for $81 million in 1980 and bought the other half in 2002 for $391 million.
Perhaps with different owners, the Mets could get back to being consistently competitive. Since 2012, the club has sat in the middle-third of the league (rank 11-20) or lower in terms of total payroll.