Meche happy in Kansas City, unlikely to waive no-trade clause

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With the Royals headed for another 90-loss season it makes sense for
them to shop 30-year-old Gil Meche, who’s 4-8 despite a solid 4.14 ERA
in 18 starts and is signed through 2011. However, Meche indicated yesterday that he’s unlikely to waive his no-trade clause if the team attempts to deal him:

I don’t want to go anywhere. I know this is the last year of the
no-trade in my contract, but I would like to be here to win. That’s why
I signed to come here in the first place. When that time comes, then
I’ll answer that question. But I’m not going to address speculation. Do
I want to go somewhere? No. That’s about all I can say.

The five-year, $55 million contract that Meche signed in the winter of
2006 is unique in that he has a full no-trade clause this season before
shifting to partial no-trade rights in 2010 and then zero veto ability
in 2011. He’s making $11 million this season and is owed $12 million
for both 2010 and 2011.

Kansas City handing Meche that much money was criticized at the time
because he had ERAs of 4.59, 5.01, 5.09, and 4.48 in his final four
seasons in Seattle and had never thrown even 190 innings in a season,
but midway through the deal he’s produced 530 innings of a 3.88 ERA and
is on pace for his third straight 200-inning campaign.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.

It’s not known yet what kind of contract the two sides are negotiating. It could be a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, a non-guaranteed major league contract, or a guaranteed major league contract.

President Obama pardons Willie McCovey

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 06:  San Francisco Giants legend Willie McCovey  waves to the crowd while seating between Jeff Kent (L) and Willie Mays during a ceremony honoring Buster Posey for winning the 2012 National League MVP before the Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.

Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.

President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.