Potent quotables: Everyone loves bobbleheads

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“Bobbleheads are our most expensive giveaway item. And they have the most perceived value.

– Dennis Lehman, executive vice president of business for the Indians, takes bobbleheads very seriously.
The team went ahead with their “Victor Martinez Bobblehead Night” on
Saturday, despite him being traded to the Red Sox on Friday.

“We have to have a special type of
veteran pitcher, who is willing to give of himself as a teacher and
mentor type of guy. We have to get a team-oriented person, a person
that is going to give his time and his knowledge. It’s not an easy

– Nationals interim general manager Mike Rizzo is currently casting the “big-brother type” to his boy-band of starting pitchers.

“I’m just depressed that this isn’t
progressing the way I want it to progress. I’m throwing, playing catch.
There are different symptoms now. I’ve got zero strength in my left
calf due to the nerve. I’m just waiting for it to get better.”

– Tim Wakefield, who turned 43 years old on Sunday, isn’t likely to return from the disabled list anytime soon.
He went 11-3 with a 4.31 ERA, earning his first trip to the All-Star
Game, before landing on the disabled list with a lower back strain on
July 21.

“I know I’ve got to go out there and
pitch one or two innings. I’ve got to throw strikes and keep the ball
low. That’s exactly what I have to do.”

– Top-prospect Neftali Feliz knows what he has to do in order to be successful in the bigs.

“It just seemed like one thing after
another. [It] just seemed like every one of the surgeries he had, as
soon as he got healthy from one of those, something else kind of crept
in and happened.”

– Jeff Niemann speaks about his friend Wade Townsend, who was released by the Rays on Monday.
Now 26-years-old, numerous arm injuries resulted in the 2005
first-round draft pick posting a 5.59 ERA over 211 1/3 innings in the

Orioles interested in Denard Span

Denard Span
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles have “some level” of interest in free agent outfielder Denard Span. The Nationals did not make a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Span, which means he doesn’t come attached with draft pick compensation unlike other free agents such as Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler.

Span, who turns 32 in February, hit a solid .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases, but took only 275 plate appearances due to back and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.

The Mets and Royals have also reportedly shown interest in Span’s services.

Blue Jays showing interest in Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.

Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.

Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.

After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.

Trevor Cahill considering the Pirates as a potential destination

Trevor Cahill
AP Photo/Paul Beaty
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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.

It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.

Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.

Blue Jays narrow GM search to two candidates: Tony LaCava and Ross Atkins

Tony LaCava
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.

LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.

Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.