Hot Stove Roundup: Reagins, Maybin, Cuddyer, Snyder

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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.

Buddy Carlyle named the Braves new replay assistant

Buddy Carlyle
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The Braves have been terrible with respect to replay challenges this year. Almost improbably terrible. Fredi Gonzalez has challenged calls seven times and he’s been unsuccessful on all seven challenges. Given how these things work, it’s likely because he’s getting bad advice from the Braves employee designated to watch the replays and suggest when challenges should be made.

Now Gonzalez is going to have a new guy in that role. A familiar name too: Buddy Carlyle, who Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports, will join the Braves as a coaching assistant who will handle the replay review decisions.

Carlyle, of course, spent nine seasons as a major league pitcher and nearly 20 as a professional overall. Most recently with the Mets last season before calling it a career. He pitched for the Braves as well, from 2007-09.

Now he’ll provide a new and, hopefully, more discerning set of eyes for the Braves’ replay operation.

Garrett Richards needs Tommy John surgery, Andrew Heaney has UCL damage too

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Associated Press
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Bad, bad news for the Los Angeles Angels: their best starter needs Tommy John surgery and their most promising young starter has UCL damage as well.

Jeff Passan reports that Garrett Richards has a torn right ulnar collateral ligament and is expected to need Tommy John surgery. Richards was scratched from today’s start due to fatigue and dehydration, but Passan says they found the UCL tear while examining him yesterday. Richards is the Angels’ ace, having won 13 games in 2014 and 15 games a year ago. So far this year he a 2.34 ERA in six starts.

Heaney, meanwhile, has damage to his left ulnar collateral ligament, Passan reports. He was diagnosed with a flexor muscle strain after he was placed on the disabled list following his first start of the season, but this is obviously more serious. Unlike Richards, the plan at the moment is for Heaney to rehab rather than go under the knife. Sometimes that works. Often it doesn’t and Tommy John happens later. We’ll see.

These twin blows are huge and terrible for the Angels, who already had serious depth issues basically everywhere on the roster. The conventional wisdom before the year started was that, if everything broke right and everyone stayed healthy, they could possibly contend in an often volatile AL West, but that they didn’t have a big margin for error. This is a lot of error. The Angels are 13-15 and four games out in the division as it is. Without two starters on whom they were counting big, it’s hard to see how the rest of the Angels’ season isn’t going to be a total slog.

Willie Mays gets a cable car named after him

Major League Baseball hall of famer  Willie Mays, who spent the majority of his career as a center fielder with the New York and San Francisco Giants, smiles as President Barack Obama honors the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants baseball team, Monday, July 29, 2013, during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. The team beat the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series, their second championship since the franchise moved to San Francisco from New York in 1958. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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This is not exactly stunning news, but it’s Willie Mays’ 85th birthday today and any excuse to talk about Willie Mays is a good one. Happy Birthday, Willie!

The pretext is a story in the San Francisco Chronicle about how The Greatest Baseball Player of All Time (my view anyway) is getting an iconic cable car named after him. An icon named after an icon, I guess. The cable car is, appropriately, number 24.

Next month I’m taking my kids on vacation to California and we’re spending a few days in San Francisco. It’ll be a shame when I tell them we have to cancel half of a day’s plans while I make them wait for one particular cable car to come by so they can take my picture with it, but that’s just what they have to deal with given that I’m their dad.

Carlos Gomez calls out a hit piece-writing columnist

Houston Astros' Carlos Gomez (30) reacts after hitting a double in the second inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
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Yesterday I wrote about a column written by Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. It was about Astros outfielder Carlos Gomez, who has had a poor start to the year.

The column, as I noted, was a hatchet job, blaming Gomez for the Astros’ problems despite the fact that Gomez is by far from the biggest of the Astros’ problems. It was particularly bad in that it presented an unedited bit of broken English from Gomez which seemed calculated to cast Gomez in a bad light. Many journalists were critical of Smith in this regard, noting that he could’ve used a translator, could have paraphrased or could’ve done some mild correction via brackets, as is often done with quotes from non-native English speakers.

Last night Gomez took to Twitter to call out Smith himself:

It’s possible to write a column about how a player hasn’t lived up to expectations without being an insensitive jackass. It’s possible to do so even in the sharpest of ways. Smith didn’t do that, however, and didn’t make an effort to try, it seems. Gomez is right to take issue with it. And I suspect that Gomez’s teammates and organization take issue with it too. Which likely doesn’t bode well for Smith getting cooperation from others in the Astros family.