The Mariners have extended congratulations (via Twitter) to Tacoma News Tribune writer Bob Dutton, who will retire at the end of the season. Dutton’s reporting on the Mariners and the Royals (he previously was a longtime beat writer for the Kansas City Star) have been indispensable to us here at MLBTR for years. We wish him the best of luck as he begins the next chapter of his life. Here’s more from throughout the game.
- Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen could have rebuilt the team when he was hired following its 69-93 record last season. He didn’t, and the club was rewarded when the Diamondbacks clinched a Wild Card berth today, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com writes. “The reason we kept the team together in the offseason was because we wanted to give these guys a chance to redeem what happened last season,” says Hazen. Last winter, the Diamondbacks did make one big trade (sending Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis to Seattle for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte) and a few cheap free-agent signings (including Chris Iannetta and Fernando Rodney). But they mostly retained a core held over from previous front offices, and much of that core (including Paul Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke) thrived in 2017. Hazen also, of course, later added J.D. Martinez in a huge mid-summer move that propelled the team to the finish line.
- In taking over the Marlins, Derek Jeter is also taking over “what might be baseball’s most complicated set of obstacles,” ESPN’s Buster Olney writes. One of the many problems Jeter will face is the team’s debt, which is tied to Giancarlo Stanton’s hefty contract. Keeping Stanton could leave the Marlins with little room to maneuver in the coming years, but trading him would be seen as a move similar to the team’s trade of Miguel Cabrera years ago.
- While Rangers right-hander Andrew Cashner told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and other reporters on Sunday that he’s open to re-signing with the team, an offseason trip to the open market looks inevitable. “It’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait,” said the free agent-to-be. “I might strike early. I think there will be some good offers soon. I’ll take what’s best for me and where I want to go.” The Rangers’ $10MM investment in Cashner last winter has paid off this season, but they still haven’t approached the 31-year-old about a new deal. That’s understandable on Texas’ part, as even though Cashner has logged a 3.44 ERA over 157 innings, he’s second last among qualified starters in K/9 (4.7) and third from the bottom in swinging-strike percentage (6.1).
- As they’ve done in the past, the Rays will at least listen to offseason offers for right-hander Chris Archer and closer Alex Colome, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Topkin adds that there’s no reason to believe the team will attempt to move third baseman and longtime face of the franchise Evan Longoria. On the other hand, righty Jake Odorizzi may find himself in another uniform next season, per Topkin. The 27-year-old has endured a down 2017 and only has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining.
- Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy hopes to return for 2018, MASN’s Steve Melewski tweets. “I still feel I can play and we’ll see what happens,” Hardy says. It’s been a frustrating season for Hardy, who’s batted a mere .218/.255/.321. Hardy also suffered a broken wrist in June, then watched the Orioles trade for Tim Beckham, who replaced him at shortstop and thrived. The O’s seem all but certain to pay Hardy a $2MM buyout rather than picking up his 2018 option. It remains to be seen what the future holds for the 35-year-old, although it’s worth noting that he was a productive player as recently as last season.