Mookie Betts tells WEEI’s Rob Bradford that nothing has changed on his end regarding a potential extension with the Red Sox, as the 25-year-old still has no intention of discussing a long-term deal during the season. Controlled for just two years beyond the current campaign, Betts’ increasing proximity to free agency and his continually elevated level of play have priced a theoretical extension out of bargain territory and into a massive financial undertaking, as Bradford examines. Certainly, that’s the case with any young star as he navigates through the arbitration process, but Betts already has one record arbitration payday in his back pocket, and he’s turning in the best season of his young career thus far. The $30MM annual rate that Jose Altuve secured on his recent extension with the Astros seems like an increasingly relevant comp, if not a baseline, Bradford posits in highlighting the difficulties that the Sox could face in locking up their brightest young star.
More from the game’s Eastern divisions…
- Adam Eaton’s ankle injury doesn’t appear to be healing as well as the Nationals’ might’ve hoped, as Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports that Eaton is traveling to Wisconsin to be evaluated by a specialist. He’ll meet with orthopedic surgeon Robert Anderson, currently on the Green Bay Packers’ medical staff but also a renowned surgeon who has worked with high-profile athletes ranging from Steph Curry to Cam Newton to Derek Jeter. Eaton has been on the disabled list for nearly a month after suffering an ankle injury on a slide early in the 2018 season.
- The Phillies announced tonight that they’ve activated right-hander Ben Lively from the 10-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 26-year-old Lively opened the season in Philadelphia’s rotation but struggled to a 6.85 ERA in 23 2/3 innings before landing on the disabled list with a back strain. In his absence, fellow righty Zach Eflin stepped into the rotation and has been outstanding in two starts, yielding a run on seven hits and three walks with 13 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings. He’ll remain in the rotation over Lively for now, and as MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki noted yesterday, a continued hot streak from Eflin could force the Phils to make some tough decisions. GM Matt Klentak has already stated that Jerad Eickhoff will be in the rotation when he returns from the DL later this month, thus pitting Eflin against righties Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta for the final two rotation spots behind Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta. Of course, things can change quickly in the coming weeks, either with a downturn in Eflin’s performance or another injury elsewhere on the roster.
- With Roberto Osuna on administrative leave and under league investigation, the Blue Jays turned to Tyler Clippard with their first save opportunity. Jays manager John Gibbons deployed setup men Seung Hwan Oh, John Axford and Ryan Tepera in the middle innings on Wednesday evening with his team trailing before handing the ninth inning over to Clippard, who worked a scoreless inning with a pair of strikeouts. While Wednesday’s sequence of events doesn’t necessarily anoint Clippard the closer during Osuna’s absence, it does at least suggest that he’s the early favorite for the role. Signed to a minor league deal this March, Clippard has given the Jays 19 1/3 innings of 1.40 ERA ball with 10.2 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 and 1.4 HR/9. He’s running up a staggeringly low 18.6 percent ground-ball rate, however, which could well be a portent for further homer troubles down the line. As a reminder for fantasy players, you can track ninth-inning situations throughout the game by following MLBTR’s @CloserNews account on Twitter and by utilizing Jason Martinez’s closer depth chart over at Roster Resource.
Tyler Clippard is a poor man’s Osuna talentwise as closer. The league will catch up with him. Once the batters start figuring out that they can lean on their back leg in the batter’s box and look changup it will be like the first time in 2018 that Clippard faced the Yankees – a team that knew him well. – going, going gone!
A closer Tyler Clippard is not.
OH might be able to do a passable job, as can Axford. Oh has lost a few feet off his fastball since closer days so he’ll get it done in heart attack fashion.
Axford has been a surprise. Health will be the issue. If he stays healthy with the new two seamer he is throwing, he can miss a few bats. Health will be the key for him.
The Jays really need to acquire or produce a home made closer. Dombrowski maanged to do that and so did Cashman when needed. Let’s see if Atkins/Shapiro can find a real closer now that Osuna is on the shelf for a while..
I’m a die hard Red Sox fan – do NOT give Dumbo credit for the Kimbrel acquisition. That was a massive overpay and it has done nothing to help us get over the postseason hump.
The trade Kimbrel was fair. I wasn’t for it, but Kimbrel was a high talent on a fair contract. Chapman and Jansen have longer, more expensive contracts.
I thought the “big” name was fair, being Margot as the headliner and Javy Guera as the solid #2 included, it was all the decent extras at the time included that made the deal kind of lopsided I wasn’t a fan of and are a trademark of Dombrowski thru the years.. he gave the Pad’s Asuaje and Boston bonus baby Logan Allen, 2 really decent kids and Asuaje has already helped the Pad’s with Logan Allen proving he was worth that 700k bonus already.
literally none of those guys have proven to be anything at the Major league level yet, Logan Allen just reached double-a don’t only how he can earn that 700K before throwing a pitch in the majors.
Manny Margot had a pretty good rookie season last year. He’s not great, but he could become very good and having a starting center fielder is probably a more valuable asset than a one-inning closer, even if he’s the best one-inning pitcher in baseball.
Not Kimbrel’s fault they haven’t gotten over the postseason hump.
That’s right. Kimbrel looked good last night when in a playoff atmosphere he could not get out of the 8th inning.
MLB plays the postseason in May now? That’s weird. I didn’t get the memo.
Definitely felt like a postseason game
I mean, it happens. Closers fail sometimes. Mariano Rivera is the best closer of all-time, and he cost the Yanks a World Series in 2001 when he blew the save in game 7. Doesn’t diminish anything, and that was an actual “playoff atmosphere.”
Last night’s outing by Clippard showed he’s not the guy for that closer role. The Ben Gamel at bat said everything. Dee Gordon bailed him out in his at bat and Segura simply couldn’t wait to take big hacks.
Axford’s probably the best man for that role so long as he doesn’t lose his command. Jays can bring up Barnes anytime now. His innings and appearances only tell part of the story; he’s thrown a lot in the bullpen and either hasn’t pitched or has sat back down only to come in later in the game.
Come all-star break when things shake out for the Jays (presuming they are out of it…) I’d consider taking the 2014 Aaron Sanchez route and bring up a Sean Reid-Foley or Jordan Romano to get bullpen experience and/or close. Being placed in pressure situations would be good for those young arms moving forward.
Closers need to be power arm guys, period. Shortterm, guys like clippard can fill-in but the Jays won;’t win any championship with him, heck they won’t even win a playoff game with Clippard as a closer.
You know who could close really well on the Jays? Sanchez or Stroman. And neither one of them is lighting it up as a starter this year so far.
I had Sanchez as a failed experiment this year due to his finger issues. As I hear from someone in the room, he is throwing only one or two curve balls an outing and trying to win with changeups off his heater, and it isn’t working. His era is up 1.14 over his curve ball throwing year of 2016. And if he brings the curve ball back, the era will go back down but the finger will act up. Catch-22.
I had Stroman for 13-15 wins this year but it looks like the injury in spring training or [losing the arbitration case] has him off to an extremely poor start.
Sanchez’ best pitch is his curve. He certainly hasn’t been throwing it much.
Stroman just hasn’t figured out what it’s like to be a grown man.
Right.. let’s put in the ace of the staff or the former AL ERA champ in to close. Oh and better yet let’s call up Biagini because he will for sure do much better than Stro or Sanchez. Be better man
The Yankees have Clippard figured out? He has a .161 opponent’s batting average against them. The league will figure him out? Of the top 5 teams he’s faced the most, none are hitting better than .203 against.
He can’t close? His splits in high leverage situations are great (622 OPS against). His splits in the 9th inning are great (.597 OPS against). His splits in save situations are better than non-save situations.
He’s a fine reliever, and he’ll do a fine job in the 9th if that’s what the Jays want.
Wait for it Ted, Clippard as a “fine releiver” won’t happen for the Jays. The past stats are past stats,; I am talking about going forward. Give it time. There is a reason Clippard has been all over the place in his career and the Jays were the only ones to take a flyer on him.
Example: Nicasio, Juan
Yes let’s “produce” or acquire a closer. We have three former closers in our bullpen.. all of whom you named but they aren’t good enough for you?? Clippard use to be a great closer. Axford, likewise and Oh came over after successful years overseas and had a great rookie season. But no you’re right. Let’s bring up another 19 year old like we did a few years ago with Castro and Osuna and look how that turned out. One came up as a bust and finally is doing well and the other is on leave. You’re right though man. I’ll call the front office and tell them to fire Gibbons so you can go manage the Jays and do so much better.
Aww shucks, thanks really appreciate that.
Why do bloggers need to make it personal?
We can all be polite and prifessional without insulting each other. Let’s focus on the club and the team.
By Rhymo’s logic that means the young arm route works? Castro was overused by Gibby in 2015 and was sent to Colorado where pitchers do not succeed. For the most part I’d take Osuna’s 3 seasons. So yes, producing a closer seems like a good route to take.
You’re 21-22 years old already set a MLB record as the youngest closer to 100 saves. A whole country loves you and you aren’t even fully matured yet and what just happened happens. But y’all are right we could’ve brought Pearson up before he got injured (you guys do know he’s hurt now right? I hope you guys do know) so he can use his high 90s fastball and not develop any offspeed. Let’s let pitchers come to the majors and are confident with one pitch and won’t be willing to develop their other pitches. Young pitchers rarely work out. Don’t count on it again. The only guy in the minors right now that could fill in at closers role would be Andrew Case and he would still experience troubles in the majors. Stick with veterans they know how to get outs.
Pearson? Who said anything about Pearson?
Who said relievers can’t develop offspeed pitches? Do catchers suddenly lose 3 fingers on the throwing hand late in games?
Who is Andrew Case?
(search for Andrew Case on internet)…
Ah, some 25 year old jobber in AA getting his nipples ripped with an 8 ERA. Yep, he’s the “only” guy the Blue Jays can call up to fill that closer role in the event Osuna is guilty. Case is making a case to be demoted or sold to the Chunichi Dragons like Jack Elliott. He had a hole in his swing but lead the majors once in 9th inning doubles in the month of August.
Did you happen to look at Andrew’s stats last year and his Arizona Fall League stats. If you think you’re a blue jays fan but don’t even know a Canadian closer in their own system I’m kind of questioning your logic here man. Think you should just stick to that Chunichi Dragons team maybe you can sound logical for them.
23 strikeouts in 40 innings during his time in New Hampshire last year. Shows he can’t miss bats in AA. That was in 2017, the year you’re referring to.
Nobody cares about 10 innings in the Arizona Fall League.
Case isn’t even the de facto closer on his own AA team as we speak.
There are probably 10 arms in the minors more equipped to close for the Toronto Blue Jays than a 25 year old AA player with an 8 ERA who can’t strike out anyone.
The fact that you have to look everything up makes me chuckle. You’re right though because Arizona Fall League doesn’t matter right not like top prospects go there to play. By your statement we need a closer that can produce swings and misses. How often is there a minor leaguer that can come up and start striking out every hitter? Veterans know how to get outa even if they barely stile many out. Colome led the league in saves but he doesn’t produce as much swings and misses as Kimbrel or Chapman so what? You think Rays should get a different closer because he can’t produce as many strikeouts as other closers?
I don’t care about the other teams and what they do. You made a case for a player that will probably never reach the major leagues and amount to anything. That is what makes me chuckle. Anyone fighting for a double-A player with an 8 ERA has no leg to stand on.
Yes, I had to look him up. Never heard of him. Probably because he’s not that good or even a ranked prospect.
He went to college in Canada, played in a tournament in Canada got signed by a team out of Canada and he is from Canada. Many should know fellow Canadians that are playing professional ball. You’re assuming he’s no good because of an 8 ERA within a few months. What about the jays rotation and their inflated ERA? Are they not going to amount to anything anymore because of these bad starts? Or what are you going to say? What they have proven that they are good pitchers?
“He went to College in Canada”
You proved my point exactly. Better yet, tell every Jays fan you know on this website that Something Case is the best young arm in the Jays organization suited to close games for the Blue Jays if Osuna isn’t available. Good luck with that.
What are you trying to say there man? That college in Canada isn’t as challenging as it is in US? Who would be a better option besides the veterans we have in our bullpen now? You and others are saying let’s bring up young arms. Andrew is one of the closest to the majors and I don’t care about the ERA at the start of the season. There’s no other young arm that the jays will be willing to bring up and put in the bullpen. Reid-Foley isn’t going to the bullpen anytime soon. Harris isn’t either. Only guy that might’ve been able to would be Connor Greene before he got traded. Veterans are the best option. If they want a young arm it’d be Case. Stop acting like you’re a genius because you are having a teenager knowing more about the jays and their organization than your old ass.
They don’t need to find anyone, Osuna is their closer. He’s not going to be gone forever.
Poor overachieving Giants. What happen after getting a lucky sweep from the Braves?
Hahahaha he said “lucky sweep” I heard of getting lucky and winning one game. But a lucky sweep? Haha. That’s a lot of luck huh.
Not trying to troll.. but would Mookie be singing same tune, if he lost Arb?
I feel like Red Sox fans should be more happy Mookie won his Arb case, as it will further help Boston’s chances for an extension.
Honestly, the world in which Eflin sticks around in the rotation and Velasquez goes to the pen, is a pretty good one for the Phillies.
At this stage of the season what do the RSox need?
1.. A set-up guy not named Matt Barnes–how close is Thornburg to being activated?
2. A manager willing to pinch hit for his catcher, Vazquez, in appropriate situations with two other catchers on the bench.
3. Not trying to make Kimbrel into something he isn’t–He’s a 9th inn. CLOSER!!!!!
1. I heard Thornburg is pitching in rehab and is set up to pitching games a triple A real soon.
2. Vasquez hit almost 300 last year so he will come around and the manager knows that. His two backups are hitting around 200 so why pinch hit with them?
3. Baseball is trying to move away from using your best one inning guy only in the ninth. If you need him in the eighth, throw him out there and get the job done because perhaps the 9th would be a less critical situation for instance bases empty different part of the order Etc.
“Vasquez hit almost 300 last year so he will come around and the manager knows that”
He is a lifetime .253 AVG and .304 OBP, he hit .290 last year not .300, the previous two years he hit .240 and .227. So this is not much worse then what he is…
I wish that the White Sox would have advised the Nationals that Eaton was so fragile, now it looks like we gave up prospects for a player that plays in a few games each year. I understand last years brutal injury, but this years injury is the type that old time player used to play through.
Free Clay Zavada
He played an average of 144 games per season in Chicago…
Old-time players used to play games in walking boots? Please stop with this nonsense. “Old-time” players weren’t better athletes than today’s players, and if they played through injuries it was out of a fear of being released, as contracts weren’t guaranteed.
This Nationals franchise had no problem protecting their ace while sabotaging their World Series chances. I’m sure they did their homework on Adam Eaton’s durability.
Eaton trade was a BUST! His durability is very much in question. Nats Gave up great “ready” prospects – Rizzo blew this one.
Time to keep current great OF “rookies” on the roster… Robles, etc & Taylor in CF. Look for better closers and prepared for Harpers exit. Nats vs Yanks in WS !!
Dude my comment wasn’t meant to be taken too serious…No S*** the trade was a bust….
That Eaton trade is not looking good so far.
I was watching the game when Eaton was hurt. He was clearly gimpy on the bases yet the 3B coach waved him home displaying a ridiculous lack of judgment. It was a meaningless run in an early April game. I yelled “Noooo!!” at the television the second he began waving him, and I’m not even a Nats fan. Then the foolish Nats announcers get all excited and talk about how the 3B coach at the second was the most popular guy in the stadium and commented on how much fun Eaton was having. I said, yea right, now watch him miss the next 2 months. All involved should be flogged.