From the “if it makes you feel better” department:
Red Sox star David Ortiz may soon provide more details about his 2003 drug test. The Boston slugger and incoming players’ union head Michael Weiner plan a news conference Saturday at Yankee Stadium before the Red Sox play New York . . .
. . . “I’m going to let you guys know what I’ve got. Period,” Ortiz said after the Yankees beat the Red Sox 13-6.
I don’t know how this serves anyone’s interest. Certainly not the public’s. Unlike the case with A-Rod and Manny, there hasn’t been a big “he must come clean!” groundswell with respect to Big Papi. Probably because everyone knows that whenever a ballplayer makes a statement about these things all we get are prepared remarks which were in all likelihood crafted by legal counsel. The union’s general counsel and future president, Michael Weiner, will be at Ortiz’s side tomorrow, so it’s not as if we should expect anything candid or all that interesting here.
A statement is not really in Papi’s interests either. It’s still early, but doesn’t it seem like people are willing to go a bit easier on Ortiz than on other PED-implicated players? Maybe that’s because everyone always liked him. Maybe it’s because he probably wasn’t a Hall of Fame case anyway and holds no records, so no one is too worried about what his legacy means. Maybe it’s because his career is obviously winding down and there’s no sense in piling on. Whatever the case, I don’t know that his situation is crying out for a P.R. offensive.
The final reason I think this is a bad idea is that, as I’ve mentioned several times before, the whole reason Ortiz’s name is out in PED land is because of someone’s illegal, unethical act. It’s quite likely that the reason this scumbag is releasing these names is because he wants to make a spectacle out of these players and would like nothing more than to see them make this media perp-walk. Why give him the satisfaction?
Ortiz’s positive test is more than six years-old. It’s troubling and regrettable and all of that for the reasons so many people have stated so often, but it certainly doesn’t call for a news conference.
Let it go, Papi.
From Jon Heyman of CBS Sports comes word that the Orioles “like” free agent starter Yovani Gallardo and “have reached out to him” to gauge his interest in coming to Baltimore and what that might cost.
Gallardo rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Rangers earlier this month and so his free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t hurt his bottom line all that much.
The 29-year-old right-hander posted a solid 3.42 ERA in 184 1/3 innings (33 starts) this past season for Texas and he pitched well in his one ALDS start.
Heyman reported a few weeks ago that the Diamondbacks are interested, and the Cubs, Blue Jays, and Dodgers were tied to him just ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
David Price has expressed a desire to return to Toronto, where he finished out the 2015 season, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes Wednesday that the Blue Jays “are not expected to be a major factor in his free agency.”
The teams that should be considered serious suitors, per Rosenthal, are the Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, and Red Sox — all deep-pocketed teams looking to contend in 2016. Money is apparently the issue for the Blue Jays, who are currently owned by Rogers Communications.
Price registered an outstanding 2.45 ERA, 1.076 WHIP, and 225/47 K/BB ratio in 220 1/3 innings (32 starts) this past season between the Tigers and Jays, finishing second in the American League Cy Young Award race behind Dallas Keuchel of the Astros.
The 30-year-old left-hander is probably looking for a six- or seven-year contract worth more than $25 million per season. He is represented by agent Bo McKinnis.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote three weeks ago that the Marlins were probably going to explore an extension this winter with second baseman Dee Gordon. And it sounds like those talks are underway.
Via beat writer Joe Frisaro of MLB.com:
As a guest on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” show Wednesday morning, Gordon confirmed his camp has been in talks with the Marlins regarding a multiyear deal. A source told MLB.com that the discussions are preliminary and have just recently started.
“My agent is doing the talking,” Gordon said on the show. “They’re just keeping me in the loop. I think it’s going pretty well right now. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just playing the waiting game. We’re going to do the right thing.”
The 27-year-old carries three more seasons of salary arbitration, so there’s no real rush to get something done before next spring. Gordon carries quite a bit of leverage after posting a career-best .333/.359/.418 slash line in 145 games this past season for the Fish. He led all major leaguers in hits (205) and stolen bases (58).
Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.
Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.
In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.