Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Rays are taking offers on right-hander Jake Odorizzi. The Orioles, Twins, Brewers, Cardinals, Yankees, Cubs and Angels are said to be involved in trade discussions, though no clear frontrunner has been named just yet.
Odorizzi, 27, is coming off of a down year with the Rays, one in which a bout of hamstring tightness and a back strain cost him just over a month on the disabled list. The righty produced a 10-8 record in 28 starts with a 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 143 1/3 innings. It’s not difficult to see his appeal, however: he’s only one season removed from the sub-4.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR numbers he posted in 2016 and is slated to remain under team control for another two years before hitting free agency in 2020.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times points out that Odorizzi still needs to complete the arbitration process with the Rays. He filed for $6.35 million last month and was met with a counteroffer of $6.05 million from the team. The two sides are scheduled to meet on Monday. Topkin adds that club owner Stuart Sternberg is still focused on reducing payroll this offseason, but isn’t likely to entertain offers for Odorizzi (or anyone else) unless the Rays are guaranteed prospects or organizational depth in the deal.
One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.
NLCS Game 6
Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
Pitchers: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.
For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.
As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.