You know it’s the week of Christmas when Jason Marquis leads the day’s news and Dusty Ryan comes in second. But believe it or not, there were some transactions that registered even lower on the Richter (Richar?) scale than those:
The Marlins sign infielder Danny Richar: One of six guys from the Dominican Republic named “Danny”; Richar was once traded for Ken Griffey, Jr., which is the kind of thing a sharp young man could turn into a career of speeches at Rotary Club luncheons if he plays his cards right; A game-worn Richar jersey can be had for $125, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get it by Christmas;
The Indians signed reliever Saul Rivera: The 32 year-old reliever was something of a horse for the Nats for the past few years, pitching in 76 games in 2008 and 85 the year before, but he was sent down to AAA last season before being released in December. I can only assume Manny Acta told Mark Shapiro to go get him, preferring bullpen canon fodder he knows to bullpen canon fodder he doesn’t know;
The Pirates signed Javier Lopez: Finally, after seven seasons I had broken myself of thinking of the former Braves catcher Javy Lopez when his name is mentioned. Then the Pirates go and sign him and my first thought its “Ya know what? I could picture Pittsburgh signing the old catcher instead of the reliever. Did he get three years? If so, you know it was the catcher.”
We’ll break into programming with an emergency redball update if anything as big as these three things goes down for the remainder of the day.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.
It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.
The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.