Potent quotables: Castillo and Bradley face the music

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“I have to catch that ball. The ball
was moving a little bit. I didn’t get it. I feel bad. It was a routine
fly ball. … I need to get it. … I feel so bad. I don’t want to make
any errors, so I feel bad about myself. I made a mistake — I feel bad.”

– Luis Castillo, at a loss to explain the epic drop that allowed the Yankees to win Friday night’s game.

“I just closed my eyes and swung.”

– Rick Porcello, on becoming the first Tigers’ pitcher to have a multi-RBI game
since Joe Coleman in 1972. He was 2-for-3 at the dish. The 2o-year-old
Porcello wasn’t that bad on the mound either, allowing just a single
run over seven innings to improve to 7-4 on the season.

“We’re trying to win ball games up
here. If they need to make a move to help the team out, I’m all for
that. Going to Triple-A is never news you want to hear but I’m going to
go down there and try to find out what I need to do to find myself.”

– Howie Kendrick reacts to his demotion
to Triple-A Salt Lake. The 25-year-old second baseman was hitting just
.231/.281/.355 with four homers and 22 RBI in 186 at-bats this season.

“I wasn’t embarrassed. I’ve done a
whole lot of things to be embarrassed about. That’s water under the
bridge. The run was going to score, the fan got a souvenir. Worst case
scenario.”

– Milton Bradley, after committing the Cardinal sin of throwing the ball into the stands with just two outs. By the way, this might be the most accurate thing Bradley has ever said.

“The difference in this game, with
these young pitchers we have, I don’t even know if they watch baseball,
to be honest with you.”

– Jason Giambi, commenting on the excellent pitchers duel
between Tim Lincecum and Athletics’ rookie Vin Mazzaro on Friday night.
Lincecum got the better of him on Friday, hurling a complete-game
shutout, but Mazzaro has a 1.37 over his first three big league starts.

The Orioles signed Rafael Palmeiro’s son

Rafael Palmeiro
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Last summer we posted about Rafael Palmeiro coming out of retirement to play for the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters. The reason: to play a game with his boy Patrick. In that game the elder Palmeiro went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored. His son, who is now 26, went 2-for-4 with a grand slam.

Did that serve as an audition for Patrick? Possibly, as Jon Meloi of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles just signed him to a minor league deal.

As Meloi notes, it’s certainly just an organizational depth move, as Patrick is no prospect. And it’s actually likely something of a coincidence that it’s the Orioles who signed him, as Palmeiro doesn’t have any real contacts with the Orioles baseball operations people, all of whom are different folks now than back in his day.

This may not be the last of the Palmeiros, by the way. Peter Gammons tweeted this morning that Patrick’s younger brother, Preston, is a first baseman at North Carolina State who could be drafted this june. Gammons says he has a swing “remarkably similar to dad.”

Diamondbacks, A.J. Pollock avoid arbitration with two-year contract

Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock drives in two runs against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
AP Photo/Gary Landers
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Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.

Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.

Report: Blue Jays and Josh Donaldson agree to two-year, $29 million extension

Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson celebrates his two run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the third inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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The Blue Jays and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $29 million contract, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.

Donaldson was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He filed for $11.8 million and was offered $11.35 million by the Blue Jays when figures were exchanged last month. It wasn’t a big gap, but since the Blue Jays are a “file and trial” team, they bring these cases to an arbitration hearing unless a multi-year deal can be worked out. As opposed to last winter, they were able to avoid a hearing this time around. Donaldson was originally a Super Two player, so he’ll still have one year of arbitration-eligibility once this two-year deal is completed.

The 30-year-old Donaldson is coming off a monster first season in Toronto where he batted .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers while leading the American League with 123 RBI.

Giants and Brandon Belt have an arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday

San Francisco Giants'  Brandon Belt reacts after being called out on strikes by home plate umpire Jim Joyce to end the top of the first inning against the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game Friday, Sept.. 4, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Brandon Belt filed for $7.5 million and was offered $5.3 million by the Giants when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That’s a pretty sizable gap. While there’s still a chance that an agreement will be worked out at the last minute, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Giants haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when they lost to catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Schulman hears from one person involved that because of the gap between Belt and the Giants, there’s a real chance this will break that string and require a hearing.

Belt batted .280/.356/.478 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI over 137 games in 2015, but he dealt with concussion symptoms for the second straight season. An arbitration hearing could bring some unpleasant conversation to the surface.