White Sox overpay for mediocrity, sign Teahen to three-year deal

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Mark Teahen and the White Sox have agreed to a three-year, $14 million contract, which will cover his remaining two seasons of arbitration eligibility and buy out his first year of free agency.
That’s a lot of money for mediocrity, but comes as no surprise given the oddly prevalent notion that Teahen is somehow an impact player. Acquired from the Royals last month for Josh Fields and Chris Getz, Teahen is slated to be the White Sox’s everyday third baseman in 2010 with Gordon Beckham sliding across the diamond to second base.
His defense is below average at third base and Teahen’s bat hardly makes up for the bad glove, as he hit just .271/.325/.408 in 2009 and a combined .270/.330/.407 over the past three seasons. That works out to a .737 OPS from 2007-2009, whereas the average MLB third baseman had a .757 OPS in 2009. Similarly, he’s been 10 runs below average per 150 games at third base according to Ultimate Zone Rating.
He’s certainly a useful player, but as a starting third baseman Teahen is solidly below average on both sides of the ball. Committing to him through 2012 at annual salaries of $3.75 million, $4.75 million, and $5.5 million locks the White Sox into a player who’s far from building-block caliber and eats up a sizable chunk of their payroll for little impact.

The first native Lithuanian in MLB history made his debut last night

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Why yes, it is a slow news day. But let’s not allow that to take away from some MLB history.

Last night a young man named Dovydas Neverauskas pitched in mopup duty for the Pirates, who were getting hammered by the Cubs. Mr. Neverauskas pitched two innings, allowing one run, making him, by default, the most effective pitcher the Pirates sent out there last night.

That’s good, but that’s not what makes it historic. What makes it historic is that Neverauskas is the first person born and raised in Lithuania to make the Majors. Here’s some back story on him from last year’s Futures Game.

Lithuania is known for producing basketball players. Now it has its first major leaguer. Whether he becomes baseball’s Arvydas Sabonis is an open question.

Bumgarner: dirt bike adventure was “definitely not the most responsible decision”

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Madison Bumgarner talked to the press yesterday about his dirt bike injury and its fallout.

While there is some speculation that the Giants may change their approach to Bumgarner’s contract situation at some point as a result of all of this, yesterday Bumgarner noted that the organization has been supportive as have his teammates. He said he apologized to them as well for an act he characterized as “definitely not the most responsible decision.”

As for the wreck itself, Bumgarner was a bit embarrassed to say that it wasn’t the result of doing anything cool or spectacular on the bike. Sounds like he probably just laid the thing down. Guess it makes no real difference given that he’s injured either way, but you’d hope to at least get a cool story out of it. Alas.

Here’s video of him talking to the press. The best and most accurate takeaway from it: when he says “it sucks.” Yep.