David Wright thinks he's going to bounce back

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This isn’t a “best shape of my life” article, it’s simply David Wright talking frankly about his bad 2009, his approach at Citi Field and talking confidently about 2010:

“I felt very uncomfortable in the batter’s box . . .I think one of my greatest strengths as a hitter is going the opposite
field and hitting with power to the opposite field. Obviously Citi
Field is going to take a lot of that away because it is spacious out
there . . . I’m not using Citi Field as an excuse. I’m not using the lineup as
an excuse.  It’s up to me to go out there and do what I’m
capable of and I think there were times last year that I did not do
that.

“You just have to adapt to the ballpark, whether it’s
learning to pull the ball a little bit more, getting stronger, doing
things that will help you hit the ball out of the ballpark . . . I’m ready to go.  I’m excited. We have a lot to prove. I have some things to prove.”

Wright may not be blaming Citi Field, but he is exaggerating its impact on him just a bit.  Like most hitters, he has always pulled more home runs than he’s hit the opposite way. Indeed, he only hit eight of his 33 home runs in 2008 to right field, so it’s not like the large right field of Citi is killing him that much. He’s probably far more on point with that stuff about being uncomfortable at the plate, having his swing all messed up and everything.

All that said, I think the “what’s wrong with David Wright” stuff has been a bit overblown.  No, he wasn’t himself last year, but he still got on base at a healthy clip. Indeed, he got on at an identical clip to his 2008 season.  If I had to wager on anyone having a bounceback season this year, Wright would be near the top of my list.

Cubs sign Brett Anderson to a $3.5 million deal

Brett Anderson
AP Photo/J Pat Carter
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.

Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.

When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.