Jeter says the umpire is lying: what will MLB do?

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Yesterday, after the umpire from Monday’s Yankees-Blue Jays game said
that he told Jeter he was tagged on that play on the first inning, I said this:

Interesting. But not nearly as interesting as it will be if someone
in the New York press gets Jeter on the record today about all of this.
Because he pretty much has to say the ump was lying, right? And when
you do that, you usually get fined or something, don’t you? More likely
scenario: Jeter gets away with some non-committal quote and everyone
drops it because he’s the Captain and no one ever seems to want the
Captain to look bad.

Guess I was wrong, because somebody — George King III of the New York Post — got Jeter on the record, and he’s anything but non-committal:

Jeter wasn’t buying Foster’s explanation to Hirschbeck prior to last
night’s 4-3 win over the Twins at the Metrodome. Asked if he heard
Foster say, “I had him tagging you,” Jeter was quick to answer.

“He didn’t say that,” Jeter told The Post in a firm voice. “He knows exactly what he said and he didn’t say that.”

So, we have a clear instance of a player saying that an ump is lying.
Which is worse than simply saying that an ump blew a call, which in the
past has gotten players and managers fined. No one seems to be rushing
to fine Jeter this morning, however, which suggests one of two things:
(1) that Jeter gets special treatment because he’s Jeter; or (2) that
Major League Baseball thinks Jeter has a point and isn’t buying the
ump’s story.

So which is it: does baseball not care if one of the game’s biggest
names calls an umpire a liar, or does baseball not care that its
umpires are freelancing out there and then lying about it to cover
their butts? Because it has to be one or the other, doesn’t it?

Cubs sign Brett Anderson to a $3.5 million deal

Brett Anderson
AP Photo/J Pat Carter
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.

Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.

When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Duane Burleson/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.