Jon Lester went 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA in 32 starts last season for the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A’s. (Getty Images)
Jon Lester is arguably the best left-handed pitcher on the free agent market. Wednesday, it was revealed that the Dodgers might enter an escalating bidding war for his services (according to reports here, here, here, here and here).
Here’s what you need to know as of Thursday morning:
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and pitcher Zack Greinke won Gold Glove Awards at their positions Tuesday.
Greinke, 31, had never won a Gold Glove award before in his career. Greinke made one error in 59 chances this season, a .983 fielding percentage.
Gonzalez had won the award three times before in his career, twice with the San Diego Padres and once with the Boston Red Sox. No Dodgers first baseman had won a Gold Glove award since Steve Garvey in 1977.
Gonzalez gets an additional $100,000 from the Dodgers for winning the award, part of a bonus clause that was written into his 2012 contract with the Boston Red Sox.
Juan Uribe was a finalist for a Gold Glove award at third base. He fell short in the balloting to defending winner Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was a finalist to win the award along with Greinke.
Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke had a part in eight double plays this season, which led all major-league pitchers. (Getty Images)
We’ll begin today’s analysis with some of the basic fielding numbers for Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke, who is looking for his first career Gold Glove Award this season. He made one error in 59 chances, a .983 fielding percentage. The error (on an attempted pickoff throw to first base) did not factor in the outcome of the game, an 8-4 Dodgers win in Chicago.
Greinke finished seventh in the National League with 30 assists, one fewer than teammate Clayton Kershaw. Greinke was credited with starting five double plays this season — second in the National League — and finishing three. No other pitcher in MLB had a hand in more double plays this season. Why was Greinke involved in so many fielding plays this season? We’ll get to that in a minute.
Onto the advanced stuff.