Potent quotables: Weaver brothers make history

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“Mentally and physically I am exhausted. One of the most ill-felt victories ever. It wasn’t easy for either of us.”

– Jeff Weaver, after outpitching his brother Jered
in a 6-4 win over the Angels on Saturday night. They became the first
siblings to pitch against each other since Andy and Alan Benes did it
in 2002.

“People make assumptions about what
our activity would be, which is probably not unreasonable, but at the
same time, I never thought we’re required to be the rest of the
league’s farm system.”

– Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail tells Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun
that the club is not in “salary dump mode.” A number of players,
including Aubrey Huff, Melvin Mora and George Sherrill figure to draw
interest as the trade deadline approaches.

“Baseball is an expensive sport. That’s why a lot of African-Americans don’t play it. You gotta have a bat, a ball, a glove, a catching
glove, cleats — so many things. The fields. If you look at all those
commercials on TV, you never see a baseball commercial. You see LeBron
[James]. You see Terrell Owens. You don’t see that in baseball. Kids
think it’s boring. I thank my parents for that, that I had one of those
old Flintstone Wiffle ball bats. Big, fat bat. If it wasn’t for that, I
wouldn’t have played baseball.”

– Brandon Phillips, commenting on the lack of African-Americans in the majors.
The Reds fell to the White Sox 10-8 in Saturday’s third annual Civil
Rights Game. The event attracted a sold out crowd of 42.234 and names
like Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Bill Cosby, former President Bill
Clinton, and Muhammad Ali.

“It’s just a matter of competing. Do
I think he could play without embarrassing himself? Yes. But it’s best
just to play games and get acclimated. I think that’s important. He
doesn’t need to put up numbers.”

– Manager Joe Torre comments on Manny Ramirez, who agreed to start a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday. He is eligible to return from his 50 game suspension on July 3 in San Diego.

“The big deal is probably that a lot
of people aren’t familiar with what he went through, how serious of a
surgery he had and the fatigue that he went through. Everything is
always (bigger) when it’s Alex.”

– Manager Joe Girardi does his best to downplay Alex Rodriguez’s two days off. A-Rod may have needed a breather, but according to the New York Post, that didn’t stop him from attending a private party with Kate Hudson in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday.

Padres sign Trevor Cahill

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Trevor Cahill (53) during the seventh inning of Game 3 in baseball's National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.

He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.

Justin Verlander: “I’m too old to be part of a rebuilding process”

DETROIT, MI - JULY 20: Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the eighth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on July 20, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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The Tigers have sent some mixed signals this winter. The offseason began with widespread reports that GM Al Avila was going to break up the team. Indeed, it was reported that he was willing to field offers for any and all players, on up to Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera.

As the offseason has unfolded, however, a rebuild has not materialized.

Avila traded away outfielder Cameron Maybin. He signed old friends Omar Infante and Alex Avila. He made the usual sorts of minor league signings every team makes to fill out the roster. Detroit still needs a center fielder and there continue to be rumors that outfielder J.D. Martinez and second baseman Ian Kinsler could be had for the right price, but it’s been pretty quiet at 2100 Woodward Avenue.

If that changes, however, and the Tigers do start to rebuild, there’s one key member of the team who doesn’t really want a part of it. From the Detroit Free Press:

Justin Verlander is 33 years and 330 days old.

He’s not that old.

But the Detroit Tigers ace right-hander – a 12-year major league veteran – is old enough in baseball years to know that he doesn’t really want to be part of a rebuilding process.

“Would it have been upsetting for me if we started trading away everybody?” he told MLB Network Radio on Friday morning. “I’m too old to be part of a rebuilding process.”

Verlander will make $28 million a year for each of the next three seasons and has a vesting option for 2020 if he finishes in the top 5 of the 2019 Cy Young vote. He had an excellent return-to-form in 2016, but his contract is still pretty big for a pitcher with his mileage, making it seem unlikely that he would be moved absent the team eating a huge portion of his salary. The same could be said for Miguel Cabrera who, despite still being one of the best hitters in baseball, is making between $28-32 million between now and 2023. A wonderful player, but an extraordinarily difficult contract to move. Both superstars have full no-trade protection as 10-5 men as well.

At the moment the rebuild does not seem to be materializing and the Tigers — as I think they should, probably — will enter 2017 aiming for the AL Central crown, not aiming at restocking their farm system.

But what will Verlander think, however, if the Tigers find themselves out of contention come May? What will he think if Ian Kinsler — a valuable player on a tradable contract — is sold off? Or Justin Upton? Or J.D. Martinez?

It’s worth watching.