Quick hits: Mets' Wright gets beaned in head

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– The nightmare season for the Mets continues as David Wright had to leave Saturday’s game against the Giants after getting beaned in the head by a 94 MPH fastball by Matt Cain.
Of course, Johan Santana had to follow that up with his best Shawn
Estes impression, throwing behind Pablo Sandoval in retaliation. What
happens two pitches later? Kung-Fu Panda hits a moonshot to the second
deck in left. Only the Mets, folks. Only the Mets.




– Brett Myers was supposed to start for Single-A Clearwater on Saturday night,
but the rehab outing was scratched after he was hit in the eye while
playing catch with his four-year old son. Nevermind, it happened when
he fell out of his truck. Nothing else to see here. Move along.




– According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, John Smoltz doesn’t have any plans to retire and would be open to joining a club as a starter or a reliever.
The Red Sox have until Monday to trade or release Smoltz, but moving
his contract is pretty unlikely at this juncture. The Dodgers, Rangers,
Cardinals and Marlins are believed to have interest in the 42-year-old.
The future Hall of Famer had a 8.33 ERA and 1.70 WHIP over eight starts
this season.




– According to Baseball America,
first-round picks Mike Leake (Reds), Nick Franklin (Mariners) and Chad
James (Marlins) have all come to terms with their respective teams. If
you count James,
18 of the 32 first-round picks have signed, with No. 3 pick Donovan Tate expected to sign with the Padres in short order.

Evan Longoria: “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”

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The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.