Cabrera had a previous run-in with the law

Leave a comment

File this under stuff no one ever would have known or cared about if Miguel Cabrera hadn’t screwed up on Saturday:

During an altercation at a Birmingham bar in August, Detroit Tigers
slugger Miguel Cabrera allegedly mocked a teenager about his weight and
challenged a man to a fight in an incident that resulted in no criminal
charges but prompted Tigers management to order Cabrera to avoid the
bar, according to information provided to The Detroit News . . .

. . . In the August incident, according to the information, a man told
Birmingham police that he and an unnamed teen encountered Cabrera at
the Rugby Grille on Aug. 31 about 6:30 p.m. Cabrera allegedly asked the
teen, who weighs about 300 pounds, “What’s up, big boy? You need to
work out,” according to the information provided to The News.

After that things apparently escalated, and Cabrera — though unarmed — implied that he had a gun out in his car.  He was not charged, but the irony police did issue the often out-of-shape Cabrera a citation for making fun of someone else’s weight.

The significant thing about this is that the Tigers were made aware of it at the time, their security people got involved, and Cabrera was ordered by the team to avoid the bar.  He didn’t, however, because according to this and other stories in the Detroit News, Cabrera’s Friday night/Saturday morning drinking occurred at the same place.

Last night Matthew argued that the Tigers should bench Cabrera for tonight’s playoff. I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to do or not, but let’s do the math: (a) the team knew that Saturday was not Cabrera’s first problem with going out and getting rowdy; (b) the team knew that Cabrera had violated their specific order that he stay away from that particular bar; and (c) the team nonetheless allowed him to play on Saturday and Sunday.

In light of this, if the Tigers bench Cabrera they should get absolutely no credit for “doing the right thing.”  To the contrary, because they had all of the same information in hand over the weekend and took no action against Cabrera, benching him now would constitute a transparent P.R. move on the team’s part, not something they do because they actually think that Cabrera is deserving of punishment.

Cubs, Jake Arrieta avoid arbitration at $10.7 million

Jake Arrieta
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
2 Comments

The Associated Press is reporting that the Cubs and starter Jake Arrieta have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $10.7 million salary for the 2016 season. That marks the highest salary on a one-year deal for a pitcher with four years of service, the AP notes. Arrieta and the Cubs were set to go before an independent arbitrator but now can simply focus on the season ahead.

Arrieta, 29, is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He had filed for $13 million while the Cubs countered at $7.5 million. The $5.5 million gap was the largest among players who did not come to terms with their respective teams by the January deadline. The $10.7 million salary is $450,000 above the midpoint between the two submitted figures.

Arrieta won the National League Cy Young Award for his performance this past season, narrowly edging out Zack Greinke, then with the Dodgers. Arrieta led the majors with 22 wins, four complete games, and three shutouts. With that, he compiled a 1.77 ERA and a 236/48 K/BB ratio across 229 innings.

Once a top prospect in the Orioles’ minor league system, Arrieta struggled in the majors but found immediate success with the Cubs in 2013 after the O’s traded him along with Pedro Strop in exchange for Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman.

Giants sign Conor Gillaspie to a minor league deal

Los Angeles Angels third baseman Conor Gillaspie is unable to hold on to the ball after catching a grounder hit by Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain in the fourth inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
AP Photo/Colin E. Braley
Leave a comment

Per Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, the Giants have signed infielder Conor Gillaspie to a minor league deal. Gillaspie was selected by the Giants in the supplemental round of the 2008 draft, then was traded to the White Sox in February 2013.

Gillaspie, 28, hit a meager .228/.269/.359 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 253 plate appearances between the White Sox and Angels during the 2015 season. Almost all of his playing time has come at third base but he can also play first base if needed.

The Giants, thin on depth, will allow Gillaspie to audition in spring training for a spot on the 25-man roster.

Joe Nathan plans to pitch in 2016

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joe Nathan throws against the Chicago White Sox in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Detroit Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
2 Comments

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that free agent reliever Joe Nathan, recovering from Tommy John surgery, plans to pitch in 2016 according to his agent Dave Pepe. According to Pepe, Nathan’s workouts are “going well” and the right-hander is “definitely planning on playing this year.”

Nathan, 41, got the final out on Opening Day (April 6) against the Twins before going on the disabled list with a flexor strain in his right elbow, causing him to miss the next 161 games. He will likely be able to contribute out of the bullpen in late May or early June if he has no setbacks. On a minor league deal or incentive-laden major league deal, Nathan could make for a low-risk gamble.

Over a 15-season career that dates back to 1999 (he did not pitch in the majors in 2001 or 2010), Nathan has 377 saves with a 2.89 ERA and a 967/340 K/BB ratio over 917 innings.

The Rays are considering reliever Tyler Clippard

New York Mets pitcher Tyler Clippard throws during the eighth inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Leave a comment

On Thursday, we learned that the Diamondbacks were still considering free agent reliever Tyler Clippard. You can add the Rays to the list as well, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

The Rays traded lefty reliever Jake McGee to the Rockies in exchange for outfielder Corey Dickerson in late January, so Clippard would be able to slot right in behind closer Brad Boxberger. Clippard, 30, compiled a 2.92 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 31 walks over 71 innings in a season split between the Athletics and Mets. The strikeout rate was at its lowest since the right-hander become a full-time reliever in 2009, and his walk rate was at its highest since 2010, which may be a factor in his still being a free agent in February.