MLBits: Astros Owner Fires Back, Bogaerts to St. Louis? Manfred Talks About Balls, Yelich, Reds, More

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MLBits: Astros Owner Fires Back, Bogaerts to St. Louis? Manfred Talks About Balls, Yelich, Reds, More

Chicago Cubs

It’s May 12, and we’re talking MVP races and blockbuster trades. I love baseball!

Astros Owner Fires Back at Brian Cashman

Houston Astros’ owner Jim Crane has been quiet since the cheating scandal broke a few years ago, but that changed recently, when Crane recently spoke with USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale. Crane fired back at New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman and his comments that the Astors cheating scandal cost the Yanks a World Series in 2017.

“I found his comments to be extremely strange,’’ Crane says in the USA Today story. “There’s the letter, and you were doing it, too. You were there, dude. What are you talking about? “If I was one of the teams, and I knew our team was doing it, I’d keep my mouth shut and just go about our business. But listen, I can only control what’s going on here. I can’t control what the other guys do.’’

Brian Cashman has this to say about the Astros:

The only thing that stopped (us) was something that was so illegal and horrific,” Cashman told Andy McCullough at The Athletic. “So I get offended when I start hearing we haven’t been to the World Series since ’09… I’m like, ‘Well, I think we actually did it the right way.’ Pulled it down, and brought it back up. Drafted well, traded well, developed well, signed well. The only thing that derailed us was a cheating circumstance that threw us off.”

Crane spoke to Nightengale about the damage that the public perception of the Astros did to baseball (well, duh) and the associated backlash that Astros fans have endured. Crane also commented on the Astros decision to ultimately part ways with All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa who signed a massive three-year deal with the Minnesota Twins after the lockout ended in March.

Rob Manfred Talks About Balls

The baseballs being used and their effects on offense have been an oft-discussed topic around the baseball world in recent years, and with offense down around the league this season, the conversation is here to stay.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with reporters earlier this week about the baseball and some of the things that MLB is doing to perfect their game’s central piece of equipment, as well as some experimental balls in circulation in the majors and minors that might help pitchers find a solution to the sticky stuff dilemma.

Reds on Pace for 126 Losses

The Cincinnati Reds have won back-to-back series, but they’re not out of the woods yet. The Reds still have a chance to become the worst team in MLB history. Despite winning four of their last six games, they’re on pace to finish the season with a 36-126 record.

ESPN’s David Schoenfield takes a look at what it would take for the Reds to finish the season as the worst team in MLB history (ESPN+):

Xander Bogaerts to St. Louis?

It’s only May 12, but apparently it’s never too early to start talking about blockbuster trades in baseball. Jon Morosi opined on Wednesday that if the Boston Red Sox continued to struggle, they would be open to trading shortstop Xander Bogaerts. And Morosi named St. Louis as the perfect fit for the All-Star shortstop.

Boston finds itself in last place in the AL East with an 11-20 record after losing eight of their previous 10 games, and the Cardinals are 17-13 and two games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. Boston may very well be sellers, and it seems like the Cardinals will most certainly be buyers. After recently demoting struggling shortstop Paul DeJong to Triple-A, the Cardinals would be a pretty obvious fit for Bogaerts. Still, it’ll be an expensive trade that will signal the Cardinals going all-in on this season.

Also useful information: Bogaerts can (and likely will) opt out of his contract at the end of the year. Not only will he find more money out there in free agency than the 3/$60M he has due in Boston, but also the Red Sox signed his heir apparent, Trevor Story, last winter. Point here being, he’s likely a rental for any acquiring team, just a very good one.

Could you imagine a left side of the infield in St. Louis featuring Nolan Arenado and Xander Bogaerts!? Bogaerts is slashing .345/.397/.466 with 157 wRC+ through his first 126 plate appearances for the Red Sox this season.

Odds and Ends …

•   Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich hit for the cycle against the Reds on Wednesday, and it’s the third time he’s done so in his career. Per ESPN Stats & Info, Yelich became the sixth player in MLB history to hit for the cycle three times in his career, tied for the most in MLB history. Yelich also became the only player to have all three feats come against the same team. The Reds continue to be involved in history that doesn’t favor them this season. Yelich and his 136 wRC+ this season seems to have bounced back from back-to-back down years in 2020 and 2021.

•   For fans of fantasy baseball, NFTs, or both; MLB has partnered with Sorare to launch an exclusive NFT game this summer:

•   The Yankees are off to a red-hot start, and their history says that they’re off to a start that might be indicative of something much more significant to come this fall:

•   Do you realize how strong you have to be to snap a bat over your knee with this kind of ease?

•   Yadi is SLOW 😂:

•   In today’s edition of “So You Think You Can Hit Against a Major League Pitcher?” …

•   An early look at the frontrunners for the AL & NL MVPs has arrived this morning. Mike Trout and Manny Machado lead the way in their respective leagues:

•   Speaking of the Padres, they might have a (sorta) reinforcement coming.

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.