Former big leaguer Billy Koch was arrested over the weekend on criminal mischief and battery charges after getting into a wild incident with his neighbor in Florida.
Details on how the whole thing got started seem somewhat sketchy, but
apparently 48-year-old Luis Camacho “pushed” Koch’s stepson while they
were both in the street at 2:00 a.m., at which point Koch’s wife “came
running out of the house, screaming and spitting at him.” Koch was not
far behind, and that’s when things got crazy:
The altercation began near the Koch residence and moved to Camacho’s
driveway nearby as Camacho and his son retreated. According to
statements by the Koches, Camacho and several witnesses, Camacho
grabbed a bat to defend himself and when it was taken away, grabbed a
spade shovel. Camacho pushed Brandi Koch to the ground and swung at
Billy Koch while his son lowered their garage door. Billy Koch landed a
punch on Camacho, splitting his lip, the report shows. The injury
required seven stitches.
Billy Koch stopped the garage door from closing one time by striking
it with the bat. As the door lowered the second time, Koch turned and
began hitting a car that belonged to Melvin Habrat. Based on witness
statements and evidence at the scene, it was determined the Koches were
the primary aggressors while Camacho responded in self-defense, the
report shows. “My son was there and that really bothers me,” Camacho
said. “It’s bad enough I swung a bat and hit him [Koch] with a shovel.
It still just bothers me.”
Normally “it’s bad enough I swung a bat and hit him with a shovel”
would be the award-winning quote from just about any incident, but not
here. My favorite? “I’ve lived here two years,” Camacho said. “First
time I ever laid eyes on the man was as he was trying to crush my
skull.” Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
Koch has the fifth-most saves in baseball history through the age of
27, last pitched at the age of 29, and is now making headlines for
skull-crushing at the age of 34. For anyone interested in studying
relief pitchers, his is a somewhat atypical career path.
New Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has kept pretty busy in his short time on the job and Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that free agent outfielder Nori Aoki could be his next target. The club recently pursued a trade for Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna, but the asking price has them looking at alternatives.
Aoki, who turns 34 in January, has hit .287 with a .353 on-base percentage over four seasons since coming over from Japan. He was having a fine season with the Giants this year prior to being shut down in September with lingering concussion symptoms.
The Giants decided against picking up Aoki’s $5.5 million club option for 2016 earlier this month, but he should still do pretty well for himself this winter assuming he’s feeling good.
It was reported Sunday that free agent right-hander Johnny Cueto had turned down a six-year, $120 million contract from the Diamondbacks. He’s hoping to land a bigger deal this winter and ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has heard some chatter about what he’s looking for.
Jordan Zimmermann finalized a five-year, $110 million contract with the Tigers today, which works out to $22 million per season. Arizona’s offer to Cueto checked in at $20 million per season. A six-year offer to Cueto at the same AAV (average annual value) as Zimmermann would put him at $132 million, which is still a little shy of the figure stated by Crasnick. Of course, Cueto owns a 2.71 ERA (145 ERA+) over the last five seasons compared to a 3.14 ERA (123 ERA+) by Zimmermann during that same timespan, so there’s a case to be made that he should get more. Still, he’s the clear No. 3 starter on the market behind David Price and Zack Greinke.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Dodgers, Giants, Red Sox, and Cubs are among the other teams who have interest in Cueto. One variable in his favor is that he is not attached to draft pick compensation, as he was traded from the Reds to the Royals during the 2015 season.
The rebuilding Braves have already been active on the trade market and they might not be done, as CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that right-hander Shelby Miller has been a very popular name. In fact, around 20 teams have checked in.
Nothing is considered close and the Braves have set a very high asking price, mostly centered around offense. They asked for right-hander Luis Severino in talks with the Yankees and would expect outfielder Marcell Ozuna among other pieces from the Marlins. The Diamondbacks and Giants are among the other interested clubs.
Miller is under team control through 2018, so there’s not necessarily a sense of urgency to move him, but anything is possible with the way the Braves are doing things right now. The 25-year-old is coming off a year where he went 6-17, but that was about really rotten luck more than anything else, as he had a fine 3.02 ERA and 171/73 K/BB ratio over 205 1/3 innings. The Braves gave him the worst run support of any starter in the majors.
Jenrry Mejia appeared in just seven games this past season due to a pair of suspensions for performance-enhancing drugs, but Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the Mets are expected to tender him a contract for 2016.
While the Mets were vocal about their disappointment in Mejia’s actions, it makes sense to keep him around as an option. Had he played a full season in 2015, he would have earned $2.595 million. He’s arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter and figures to receive a contract similar to his 2015 figure, but he’ll only be paid for the games he plays. He still has 100 games to serve on his second PED suspension, which means that he’ll only be paid for 62 games in 2016. This likely puts his salary closer to $1 million, which is a small price to pay for someone who could prove useful during the second half and beyond. He also won’t count toward the team’s 40-man roster until he’s active.
Mejia, who turned 26 in October, owns a 3.68 ERA in the majors and saved 28 games for the Mets in 2014. He’s currently pitching as a starter in the Dominican Winter League.