The Rangers could emerge as suitors for Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain if he reaches free agency in the offseason. Texas has “repeatedly” asked the Royals about Cain in the past, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Still, considering the Rangers have pressing rotation issues that will require offseason spending, Fraley casts doubt on them forking over big money for Cain. While Rangers center fielder Carlos Gomez is also slated to hit the open market, they may have an in-house replacement lined up in Delino DeShields.
- With right fielder Jose Bautista likely playing the final home game of his Blue Jays tenure on Sunday, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet looks back on the team’s 2008 acquisition of the now-franchise icon and some of his most memorable moments in Toronto. When the Jays picked up Bautista in a trade with the Pirates in August 2008 (for catcher Robinzon Diaz), they were merely looking for a stopgap at third base to fill in for the injured Scott Rolen. “I’m not trying to send the wrong message – this guy isn’t like Mike Schmidt,” then-Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. “He’s not going to come out here and hit 40 home runs. But he’s a guy that can hit double-digit home runs for us in a spot where right now we need some help.” Nine years later, Bautista ranks second in Jays history in homers (287), 22 of which have come this season. Unfortunately for both team and player, the 36-year-old’s once-magnificent production began dropping off significantly last season and has cratered in 2017. As an impending free agent, Bautista will move on to a new team or retirement over the winter.
- Terry Pluto of cleveland.com revisits the 2014 trade in which the Indians acquired right-hander Mike Clevinger from the Angels for reliever Vinnie Pestano. Clevinger has turned into a valuable starter for the Tribe this season, but when the deal went down, he was a struggling 23-year-old at the High-A level who was still working back from a 2012 Tommy John procedure. Unsurprisingly, then, Clevinger was not the Indians’ initial target in talks with the Halos. “I don’t recall who we asked for first,” president Chris Antonetti told Pluto. “It wasn’t Mike.” Nevertheless, the Indians saw enough promise in Clevinger to think he could pan out. “He was striking out a hitter an inning (58 in 55 innings). We felt with some changes to his delivery, he could throw a little harder and get more depth on his breaking ball,” GM Mike Chernoff explained. “There were some ingredients for him to succeed.”
- Rays catcher Wilson Ramos is one start away from increasing his 2018 salary from $8.5MM to $10.5MM, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times notes. Ramos needs to make 55 starts this year and not end up on the disabled list with a knee injury in order to collect that money, and it appears he’ll accomplish both feats. The Rays took a risk in signing the former National last winter after he suffered ACL and meniscus tears in his right knee with less than a week remaining in the 2016 regular season. Ramos didn’t debut with the Rays until June, and while he hasn’t come close to matching the stellar offensive and pitch-framing numbers he put up in Washington last year, he has gotten better at the plate as the season has advanced. Overall, the 30-year-old has hit .263/.293/.444 in 210 PAs.