Everybody already assumed as much, but Cardinals general manager John
Mozeliak finally confirmed it on Saturday when he said his willingness
to hire Mark McGwire as the team’s new hitting coach was contingent upon him addressing his past use of performance enhancing drugs:
“He needed to be honest,” Mozeliak told the media during a press
conference at the 14th annual Winter Warm-Up. “He needed to say more
than just that statement, ‘I’m not here to talk about the past.’ … He
needed to not have a line or a sentence that he was going to stand
This isn’t much of a revelation, of course, but in a surprising moment
of candor, Mozeliak said that he was ready to develop an “exit
strategy” if McGwire did not agree to an appearance to answer questions:
“My concern was early on in this process that we would never get
there,” Mozeliak said. “I had a lot of concerns. How it would be said,
and what would be said. … We had to have more than we had in 2005.”
While “coming clean” has found McGwire new employment, it probably won’t make a difference as far as the Hall of Fame is concerned.
The New York Times surveyed 35 Hall of Fame voters, and found that his
confession won’t make a difference with those who have voted against
him in the past. If anything, writes David Waldstein, “McGwire might
lost a vote or two.”
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.