David Ortiz made his 575th plate appearance of the season today, boosting the value of his 2016 contract to $15MM, Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe tweets. The Red Sox held a club option on Ortiz for 2016 that vested for $11MM when the slugger hit the 425-PA plateau, and he has only been adding to his future salary ever since by making more and more plate appearances. Big Papi can max out his deal at $16MM in 2016 by reaching 600 PA, which seems like a foregone conclusion with two weeks left on the schedule. The deal is contingent on Ortiz passing a physical, though the slugger has been seemingly healthy and is still very productive, hitting .270/.357/.544 with 35 homers this year.
Here’s some more from around the AL East…
- Masahiro Tanaka will miss his scheduled start against the Blue Jays on Wednesday due to a hamstring strain, Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters (including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch). Tanaka suffered the injury while running out a sac bunt in an interleague game with the Mets last Friday, though he was able to stay in the game and pitch six innings. It is a Grade One strain, the lowest level, so the Yankees hope that Tanaka will only miss one outing; the righty himself “lobbied” to pitch as scheduled in the big AL East matchup.
- The Orioles rotation hasn’t pitched up to expectations this season, though Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun doesn’t think the starting five will be too different in 2016. The O’s have rarely been big free agent buyers, and are probably even less likely to spend big on pitching given how Ubaldo Jimenez hasn’t delivered much return on his four-year, $50MM deal. Schmuck figures Wei-Yin Chen will depart in free agency, but Baltimore will still have Jimenez, Kevin Gausman, and arbitration-eligibles Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman projected to return as the top four. Chen will likely be replaced by an internal option, with Mike Wright or Tyler Wilson standing as the best candidates to be the fifth starter.
- In an interview with Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link), Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has been pleased to see what David Price has brought the team on the field and also “to see the impact that he’s had on the entire clubhouse. He truly loves his teammates and the environment.” Price has made similar comments praising his team and the Toronto fans, which obviously can’t hurt the Jays’ chances of re-signing the southpaw in free agency this winter. It will take more than good feelings, of course, to keep Price in town, as he is expected to command at least a $200MM deal this winter.
- It sounds like former Rays notable Aubrey Huff could be interested in a comeback, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. Now 38 and retired since 2012, Huff took to Facebook recently and wrote: “I do feel mentally, and physically stronger than I ever have in my life. Hmmmmmm!???” Huff retired after a 13-year big league career in which he posted a .278/.342/.464 line in 6,786 plate appearances for the Rays, Astros, Orioles, Tigers, and Giants.