Doug Miller at MLB.com reminds us that Thanksgiving isn’t necessarily a day off in the hot stove league:
Mets GM Omar Minaya might have put it best last year when he told the
New York Daily News, “In this business, Thanksgiving is still a work
Minaya’s Red Sox counterpart, Theo Epstein, proved that in
2003, when he and club president and CEO Larry Lucchino flew to Phoenix
and showed up at the home of then-Arizona Diamondbacks ace Curt
Schilling. The two actually ate Thanksgiving dinner with Schilling and
his family while Epstein tried to convince the right-hander to waive a
no-trade clause and accept a contract extension, presumably between
It worked. They carved out the turkey and the trade that
brought Schilling — and the following year’s World Series title — to
The famous Josh Beckett-Mike Lowell-Hanley Ramirez swap occurred on Thanksgiving too, as did the Mets’ trade for Carlos Delgado. Omar traveled to the Dominican Republic on Thanksgiving to woo Pedro Martinez as well.
The upshot: something big could happen today, and if I’m not buzzed on Beaujolais, zonked out on tryptophan or filling my pie hole with pie, I’ll tell you all about it.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.