With the Hot Stove officially underway, news is coming in at a rapid fire pace. Here’s just a few things you may have missed:
– Angels owner Arte Moreno has awarded general manager Tony Reagins with a long-term contract extension.
Specifics were not announced, however one club official said it was at
least as long as the three-year contract Reagins signed in 2007 after
replacing Bill Stoneman. The Angels have won the American League West
in each of Reagin’s first two seasons at the helm.
– Cameron Maybin will undergo surgery to repair a partially torn left labrum on Monday.
The injury caused him some discomfort during the season, but he was
able to play without any limitations. He should be ready for the start
of spring training. With the trade of Jeremy Hermida this week, Maybin
is expected to have an everyday role with the club in 2010. The
22-year-old batted .250/.318/.409 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 176
at-bats for the Marlins this season, but put together a .319/.399/.463
line in 82 games with Triple-A New Orleans.
– The Twins have exercised Michael Cuddyer’s $10.5 million option for 2011.
The team had five after the World Series to decide on the option, or
otherwise pay Cuddyer a $1 million buyout. It seems counter to the way
the Twins usually operate, since Cuddyer simply isn’t worth that kind
of money, especially with his below-average defense in right field.
Cuddyer, who turns 31 years old next March, batted .276/.342/.520 with a
career-high 32 homers to go along with 94 RBI and an .862 OPS in 2009.
– According to Tim Dierkes at MLB Trade Rumors, the Diamondbacks are discussing a trade that would send oft-injured catcher Chris Snyder to the Blue Jays.
On the surface it makes sense since Rod Barajas is about to hit free
agency, but Synder is coming off back surgery in September and has two
years and $11.25 million left on his contract. With top-prospect J.P.
Arencia nearly ready for the majors, color me skeptical.
– And finally, the Nationals have declined Austin Kearns’ $10 million option for 2010, while the Rockies have declined a $4 million option on Yorvit Torrealba.
The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.
Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).
A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.
The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:
A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.
Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.
The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.
Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.