Impending free agent Matt Holliday, on whether or not the A’s will trade him:
They have not approached me or my representation at all. I would
assume that being a smaller-market team that is into developing young
players currently, that they will probably either trade me at some
point or take their draft picks at the end of the year. It’s sort of
the understanding that I have. So we’ll just kind of see what happens.
I’d like for this to work out. I’ve had a great time with my teammates
and have really appreciated the way this organization has treated me in
this first couple of months.
The guys have been great, and I see a lot of potential in this team,
but we obviously aren’t playing very well. So I would say if it looks
like we’re not going to be able to get back into the race or get
healthy, I think every player wants a chance to win, and I’m no
exception. I’d love to play in the postseason again. So if it looks
like we’re not going to be able to make it to the postseason and they
can get some good players for me, I’d be OK with getting a chance to go
try to make it to the postseason and play in October.
Oakland trading Carlos Gonzalez, Greg Smith, and Huston Street to get
Holliday from Colorado this offseason never quite made sense to me,
because the A’s seemingly weren’t yet at the stage where adding one
veteran bat could put them over the top and Holliday was likely to see
his numbers plummet away from Coors Field.
Sure enough, the A’s are in last place at 20-30 and Holliday is
hitting .278/.369/.444 compared to .319/.386/.552 in five seasons with
the Rockies. They’ll recoup some value by either dealing Holliday or
taking compensatory draft picks when he walks as a free agent, but the
25-year-old Street has pitched very well for the Rockies and the
23-year-old Gonzalez is hitting .348/.429/.652 with 59 RBIs in 46 games
Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.
Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.
Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.
Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.