If their latest megadeal involving the Miami Marlins is any indication, the Toronto Blue Jays are going all-in on next season.
On Wednesday, Toronto took advantage of the Miami Marlins’ latest fire sale, acquiring SS Jose Reyes, LHP Mark Buehrle, RHP Josh Johnson, C John Buck, and IF/OF Emilio Bonifacio in an attempt to bolster their Major League roster. Essentially, the Blue Jays acquired almost everyone on the Marlins’ roster that made significant money last season.
After a year in which no Chicago Cubs pitcher won more than nine games, it’s hardly a surprise that the team is looking to add starting pitching help this offseason. That doesn’t mean, however, that they’re planning to dive into the multimillion-dollar Zack Greinke sweepstakes.
As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs are looking to continue last year’s approach of targeting bargain-priced free agents this offseason. The paper suggests that with the potential trade for Dan Haren having fallen through, the team’s top candidates include two more righthanders: Oakland’s Brandon McCarthy and Milwaukee’s Shaun Marcum.
All three pitchers have reasons to appeal to Cub management, though ex-Cub Haren—now a free agent after the Angels declined his option—is likely to be out of Chicago’s desired price range. Of the two more affordable starters, McCarthy appears to be the more encouraging prospect.
The San Francisco Giants have completed their improbable playoff run with the ultimate prize: a World Series Title. After a period of 56 years without a championship, the Giants now have two titles in three years. While the city of San Francisco and its fans are still celebrating, it is already time to start looking towards next season and where this Giants team is headed.
The Detroit Tigers did not enjoy their trip to San Francisco this week.
Coming into the series as the odds on favorites, the Tigers find themselves in a 0-2 series hole to the San Francisco Giants, who it now seems can do no wrong.
After a grueling seven game series against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants were forced to throw Barry Zito in game one against All-Planet pitcher Justin Verlander. The result? Zito dealt like the man who won the AL Cy-Young in 2002, Pablo Sandoval hit three homeruns, and the Giants smoked Verlander for five runs on their way to an 8-3 victory.
Then the Giants decided to throw Madison Bumgarner in game two, a guy who hasn’t had his normal stuff since the end July. The Tigers threw Doug Fister, who was one of the best pitchers in the AL after the All Star Break.
Fister did his job, holding the Giants to just 1 run on 6 hits, but what not many expected was Bumgarner to look like 2010 World Series Bumgarner. The 23-year-old they call Mad-Bum threw 7 innings, allowed only 2 hits and struck out 8, frustrating Tigers hitters all night and the Giants won 2-0.
Man, you just can’t get anything past Jim Leyland.
Brilliant strategist, scintillating motivator that Detroit manager is, indeed. Seeing how San Francisco played baseball’s rope-a-dope with Cincinnati and St. Louis in successive series to reach the World Series as the National League’s rep, Jimmy stepped back, somehow coaxed his Motown minions to roll over the first two games and give the Giants false hope.
For good measure, he even boasted – yes, boasted – how his Tigers’ bats looked good Thursday night, belting out a collective two hits against that trio of Cy Young-like stylists named Madison Bumgarner, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo in what normally would have been seen as a must-win situation.
A must-win situation, of course, if it were not for Leyland’s foresight, his absolute understated genius … which somehow gets stated all the time by national media members.
Oh, the Tigers have San Fran right where they want it – up 2-0 in the series, feeling good and bordering on the edge of overconfidence – and they can thank their chain-smoking lead strategist for that.
At least that’s the scenario all of Detroit hopes is the case.