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MLBits: Gearing Up for Otani, Rosenthal Gets TJS, Cardinals Rally Cat Legal Fight, More

MLB News and Rumors

You may have missed this last night, but before the Boston Red Sox picked up Rajai Davis from the A’s, there were credible (and ultimately accurate, anyway) reports that stated: Red Sox appear to be adding a player via trade or waiver claim.


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Given that we knew Giancarlo Stanton had cleared waivers and that the Red Sox were thought to be interested in him (who isn’t?) before they lost outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. earlier in the day, well, over-eager connections between the two were made.

Of course, those connections did not ultimately come true and the game-changing story was ripped from us before it even grew legs. Oh well, we still have a week before the September 1 waiver deadline. Maybe something can still happen …

  • Speaking of the Red Sox, together with the Yankees, the two AL East teams may be setting themselves up for a run at international superstar and two-way player Shohei Otani. According to Jon Heyman at Fanrag Sports, each team has exactly $8 million to spend in IFA this winter, after both teams acquired an extra $3.25M this past year, and that’s tied for most in baseball at the moment. Of course, as we’ve recently explored, Otani may stay in Japan for an additional season, which would make him available to a different set of teams, including the Cubs and Dodgers (who recently sent their top brass to scout him in Japan).

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  • Of course, there’s also the likelihood that he simply waits two seasons and gets paid a contract maybe 20x larger than what he’d get this winter (by then, he’ll be 25 years old and free of the IFA bonus restrictions).
  • Yesterday, Brett reported that the Cardinals would finish their season without their closer Trevor Rosenthal, but it looks like he may be out a lot longer than that. Per reports,  Rosenthal will undergo Tommy John surgery, which will knock out most of his 2018 season, as well. Ouch.
  • Also, ouch (but also: LOL): The Cardinals are in a legal dispute over the now infamous Rally Cat that leapt onto the field just before a huge comeback a few weeks ago. If you recall, the Cardinals lost their “prized” cat after the game, and it was picked up by a nonprofit cat outreach organization in StL. But now, citing “bullying tactics” on the part of the Cardinals, the non-profit organization has decided not to give the cat back to the team, because they believe the Cardinals do not have the best interests of the animal in mind. “Cat people are different human beings than the rest of us,” said the non-profits’ legal counsel. “And it became clear that the Cardinals were more interested in exploiting the cat for commercial interests.” There was a Rally Cat Appreciation Day scheduled for September 10, but now I … I don’t know. This is too much for me to process.

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  • If you didn’t see what happened to Rich Hill last night … head over to Baseball is Fun and check it out. He lost a perfect game in the 8th inning thanks to an error, finished the 9th with a no-hitter … but was forced to take a scoreless game into extras and lost everything on a walk-off home run. This is about as bad as I’ll ever feel for a player on the Dodgers.
  • The Houston Astros laid off at least eight scouts this week … and the word around the league is not kind to the team.
  • Before yesterday, Zach Britton hadn’t blown a save since September 20 … 2015. That was 60 consecutive, converted saves in a row. Which, wow. That’s impressive. Of course, all streaks must end and his did yesterday against the Athletics. He’s now 11-12 in save chances this season.

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  • Wade Davis’s streak, in case you were wondering, is up to 32 in a row (26 this season, and 6 straight to end the year in 2016).
  • Carter Capps went from the most extreme whiff generator in 2015 to the lowest here in 2016. Indeed, he has just one strikeout this season and Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs is wondering what’s up? Capps, you might recall, is the pitcher with that unique – and, in my opinion, illegal as hell – delivery, wherein he leaps off the rubber and towards home plate with every pitch. As Sullivan digs in, he may have had to modify his delivery after the league “clarified” just how his delivery was legal, and that, combined with a velocity drop, may have sunk him.
  • It’s difficult for me to even describe this, but I definitely have your must-read of the day. At CBS Sports, Jonah Keri retells the story of an absolutely INSANE 22-inning, one-run ball game in which Dodgers legendary manager Tommy Lasorda got the Expos mascot ejected from the game. Like, actually ejected – not a publicity stunt or funny goof. The mascot was really pushing all of Lasorda’s buttons, jumping on the roof of the tin dugout, staring him down, playing practical jokes, and Lasorda was not having any of it, especially in such a tightly-contested game. There is SO MUCH more to all of this than what I just said, but I don’t want to spoil too much. Just give it a read.
  • And in any case, here’s the gif of the ejection, in case you were interested:

  • Oh, Mets … will you ever change?

  • It’s like even the Mets don’t want to play for the Mets.
  • When Fox Sports closed their writing arm earlier this season, Ken Rosenthal (who’s seriously one of, if not the best in the business) was found without a writing home. Well, he’s got one now, and I’m guessing you’ve heard of it. Starting now, 100% of Rosenthal’s written work will appear on The Athletic. He’ll still do some TV and video stuff with Fox Sports and MLB Network, but from now on, The Athletic is where you can go to find his writing. Good on the Athletic for bringing in one of the sport’s very best brains.

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  • And finally, these are fun and cool and enjoyable:

https://twitter.com/flippingbats/status/900727940375347205

https://twitter.com/flippingbats/status/900779228702138368


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Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.