Ozzie Guillen, on the White Sox’s struggles offensively:
If this was the 1980s, [none] of these guys would be in the big
leagues right now because if you hit .210-.230 and you can’t execute, I
don’t think you should be out here. When you can’t bunt, hit-and-run,
squeeze and move the guy over, you better hit 40 home runs and drive in
140. Is the clubhouse closed? We should open it and let them
why they’re so horse [expletive]. I talked to them. One thing about it:
Good teams win games. Bad teams have meetings. Well, I think we’re to
the point of having a lot of meetings. That’s all I can say.
Guillen could definitely “bunt, hit-and-run, squeeze, and move the guy
over” during his 16-year playing career, ranking among the league’s top
10 in sacrifices eight times, so he’s probably immune from his own rant
about guys with poor batting averages not belonging in the big leagues.
Still, the whole thing is pretty amusing considering that Guillen
hit .264/.287/.338 for his career and was basically one of the worst
hitters in baseball for two decades. In fact, from 1985-2000 he had the
worst on-base percentage and third-worst OPS of any player in baseball
with at least 3,500 plate appearances.
I’m a big Ozzie fan and managers certainly don’t need to have been
great players themselves to criticize their team, but talking about
what would happen to horrible hitters in the 1980s probably isn’t his
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.