Phil Hughes of the Twins has capped off one of the game’s best turnarounds by topping 200 innings on the year after today’s outing. As Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes on Twitter, Hughes picked up a $250K bonus after passing the 195 IP threshold. Needless to say, Minnesota is thrilled that it not only landed Hughes, who just turned 28, but that it did so on a three-year deal that promises him just $24MM in total. As Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register observes (Twitter link), Hughes has struck out 181 batters while issuing a mere 16 walks this year, meaning that he owns an absurd 11.3 K/BB ratio. That is a historically significant mark, and one that would surely have made the righty one of the offseason’s most interesting free agents had he elected to take a one-year pillow contract last year. You can count the Yankees among the teams taking a hard look at Yasmani Tomas, reports George A. King III of the New York Post. Of course, they will be far from the only team doing so. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez provides an interesting look at the much-hyped young slugger, who is preparing for an important showcase on Sunday.
While there was plenty of jubilation with the result of Matt Holliday’s timely headfirst slide into first base on Thursday, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny offered a more candid assessment of that strategy when asked about it a day later.
The Rangers’ two most prominent free agents this winter will be outfielder Alex Rios and pitcher Colby Lewis.
Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo will report to the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League for the start of their season on Oct. 7. Roughly three weeks later, he will start playing Winter Ball in Puerto Rico.
Evan Gattis has not passed the kidney stone that doctors found on Wednesday. But because the stone had not yet moved to a location that elicits what is often intolerable pain, Gattis was cleared to participate in batting practice before Friday night’s game against the Mets at Turner Field.
Tristan Pompey, one of Canada’s top draft-eligible prospects, is following in his brother’s footsteps and taking part in the Tourney 12 Tournament this week in Toronto.
On Friday, Ryan Raburn underwent arthroscopic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, where Dr. Rick Parker repaired a lateral meniscus tear in the veteran’s left knee. Raburn is expected to need around six to eight weeks for a full recovery, giving him enough time to be ready in time for Spring Training.
Though the Astros just went through the process of finding a new manager two years ago, GM Jeff Luhnow tells Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle that he expects the list of candidates to be longer, not shorter, this time around. Luhnow wouldn’t put a timeline on the first round of interviews beginning, though he acknowledged that the birth of his son this week pushed the start date back a bit. Drellich writes that veteran managers Manny Acta and A.J. Hinch will be considered for the position. Drellich spoke with catcher Jason Castro about interim manager Tom Lawless’ reception in the clubhouse, and Castro had good things to say about Lawless, though he noted that his managerial style was quite different from that of the departed Bo Porter. “Bo is definitely more of an active manager,” said Castro. “Very involved in different aspects of the game, and intensity level is definitely a lot higher. Tom’s kind of approach is just to observe.” Here’s more on the Astros… Triple-A manager Tony DeFrancesco tells MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart that he hopes to receive an interview for the managerial vacancy in Houston.
Mariners ace Felix Hernandez tossed seven shutout innings vs. the Angels on Thursday but came away with a no-decision. It marked the eight time since 2005 he’d gone at least seven scoreless without a decision.
The Mets will send three scouts to get a first-hand look at Yasmani Tomas for his showcase on Sunday, reports Newsday’s Marc Carig. However, as has been documented recently, the team’s payroll isn’t likely to rise significantly next season, which could make Tomas a stretch, financially speaking. The 23-year-old could top Rusney Castillo‘s $72.5MM guarantee, and a $100MM commitment is certainly possible. Mets VP of player development and scouting Paul DePodesta tells Carig that despite the team’s lack of activity, they’ve been keeping close tabs on the Cuban market: “We have been very diligent about all of the free agents who have come available, there just hasn’t been a fit yet.” Elsewhere in Mets-related news… Bill Madden of the New York Daily News writes that the lack of a payroll increase doesn’t necessarily doom the Mets in 2015, as the team’s surplus of young pitching gives them an inexpensive rotation and the ability to trade for a cost-controlled shortstop if it is eventually deemed necessary. However, he feels that it’s becoming clear that the Mets intend to try to fill the shortstop hole from within, giving Wilmer Flores an opportunity to prove himself. Left field may be the more problematic area of need for New York, and while GM Sandy Alderson would like to fill that void via trade, Madden says, the dearth of power hitters in the game might make it difficult to swing. He suggests Michael Cuddyer as a viable free agent option, which makes some degree of sense for the Mets in my opinion