Vin Scully to go one more year; Plaschke, sadly, not going anywhere

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A lot of folks thought Vin Scully was going to retire after this season, but he’s got one more in him, he says:

Vin Scully, thought to be retiring this winter after 60 seasons,
said this week he is planning on coming back for one more summer.
Scully, 81, said if he continues to feel well he will work past his
landmark year and retire after the 2010 season.

“God willing, I will probably come back for one more year,” Scully
said in a phone interview. “At this moment, my health is excellent, and
I’m leaning toward one more year.”

And then retire?

“Yes, that makes sense,” he said.

The L.A. Times’ Bill Plaschke, of course, gets this all wrong,
going on about how the Dodgers need to take the next 15 months to think
really, really hard and come up with some sort of special, spectacular
sendoff. After describing a tribute video the team has been playing on
the scoreboard and how Scully himself, while honored, felt rather
uncomfortable with the whole thing, Plaschke says this:

This was the Dodgers’ first attempt at a farewell, and it was a good
one, but now it’s time to get serious. If they could build a Mannywood
in a couple of weeks, surely they can use the next few months to figure
out a way to permanently honor Scully in a way that no Dodger has been
honored before . . .

. . . Turn this Dodgers monument into a statue. Sculpt Scully
sitting in a booth, with a microphone and headsets and his ever-present
scorebook. Fill the desk with dozens of ports where fans can plug in
headphones and listen to tapes of Scully’s calls. What greater tribute
than having Dodgers fans gathered at his feet as one, listening to his
voice forever? Place the sculpture just beyond the Dodger Stadium
center-field fence, in the area currently populated by autograph booths
and fans chasing batting practice fly balls. Lay down some grass like
they do at Yankee Stadium for the center-field Monument Park. Call it
Scullyville.

Apart from the fact that Scully himself is probably reading that this
morning and spitting coffee across the table due to just how
horrifyingly opposed it is to everything he’s ever stood for as a
broadcaster, it’s a fabulous idea.

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.