First we had Part I, then we had Part II, and now we have even more signings! We will not be undersold!
- Carl Pavano, Twins, $7 million. Heyman says he “wouldn’t give that guy a penny.” Maybe $7 million is a lot, but aren’t there such a thing as average starting pitchers in Heyman’s world?
- Russell Martin, Dodgers, $5.05 million. Not a big raise for Martin, but it’s not like he had the best year ever.
- Jered Weaver, Angels, $4.265 million. It’s hard to express in English, but I’m sure the Germans have some awesome, multi-syllabic word that perfectly expresses the notion of “a player who feels like he has been around forever due to the fact that he was a highly touted prospect, yet who is inexplicably still in his arbitration years.”
- Peter Moylan, Braves, $1.15 million. Dude missed almost all of 2008 following elbow surgery and then Bobby Cox throws him out there 87 times. Either his arm is made of rubber or Bobby Cox thinks he’s two different guys.
- Matt Garza, Rays, $3.35 million. Anyone else see a Sid Fernandez career for this guy? As was the case with El Sid, whenever I see him he looks dominant, but they you look at his numbers at the end of the year and he’s just like, eh. Good pitcher, but if he could harness the awesomeness of which he is occasionally capable he’d be somethin’ else.
- David Aardsma, Mariners, $2.75 million. Milton Bradley says that as long as Aardsma plays the right way, comes to spring training ready to
work and ready to be part of the team that they have–good guys put their
nose to the ground and bust their butts–they’ll even take Aardsma.
- Michael Bourn, Matt Lindstrom, and Humberto Quintero, Astros for $2.4 million, $1.625 million and $750,000, respectively. Bourn was the only one of the three NL Gold Glovers who actually deserved it last year.
- Jason Hammel, Rockies, $1.9 million. Jason Marquis gets $15 million over two years. The guy who the Rockies actually trusted to pitch in the playoffs is paid under $2 million for a year. Viva the free market.
- Kevin Kouzmanoff, Athletics, money not yet reported. Obviously the A’s knew they had to pay him when they dealt for him, but doesn’t doing this deal a mere couple of days after the trade feel like putting a new water pump in a car you just friggin’ bought?
- J.P. Howell, Rays, $1.8 million. Hey, J.P., I know you’re not the closer anymore, but please take this raise as a parting gift.
- Jason Frasor, Brian Tallet, Blue Jays, $2.65 million and $ 2 million, respectively. I continue to be upset that Alex Anthopoulos didn’t get to kick ass and take names in arbitration like he said he was going to.
- Delmon Young, Twins, $2.6MM with $25,000 bonuses each for 575 and 600 plate appearances. You gotta figure that if he doesn’t step up and assert himself this year that he’s non-tender bait for next year.
- Alex Gordon and Robinson Tejeda, Royals, terms are top secret. They could tell you, but then they’d have to kill you.
- Stephen Drew, Diamondbacks $3.4 million. He’s the Ashlee Simpson of the Drew brothers. Wait, I forgot about Tim Drew. Let’s start over: Tim is Magda Gabor, J.D. is Zsa Zsa, and Stephen is Eva.
- John Danks, White Sox, $3.45 million,
and all of the Slim-Fast he can drink. Forget that. I got my Danks and Jenks mixed up. Again.
- Pedro Feliciano, Mets $2.9 million with $100K in performance bonuses. He’s used so much, however that he’s probably the cheapest pitcher in baseball on a pro-rata basis. If the Mets are out of it this year they should try to break Mike Marshall’s record with the guy.
- Chris Ray, Rangers, $975,000. Ray saved 33 games once upon a time, but a 7.27 ERA and Tommy John surgery in the rear window will cut down on your market price.
- Jeremy Accardo, Blue Jays, $1.08 million. Accardo is like that old barn on a road trip. I feel like I’ve reported this deal four of five times already today, but according to my map I’m still heading in the right direction;
- Rafael Perez, Indians, $795,000. Another member of the 7.00+ ERA club. I actually saw him pitch here in Columbus last year. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of chances this year too.
- Luke Scott, Orioles, $4.05 million. I like Luke Scott. I kind of hope he turns into Matt Stairs and hangs around forever.
- Jeff Baker, Mike Fontenot, Koyie Hill, Angel Guzman and Tom Gorzelanny, Cubs, for $975,000 $1million, $700,000, $825,000 and $800,000, respectively. Man, the Cubs were busy this morning. Kind of makes me wish I was in the room at the same time. I bet I’d have a good shot of slipping a contract with my name on it in front of Jim Hendry and walking away with $800K.
- Zach Duke, Pirates, terms unknown. And Duke comes from Parts Unknown. Used to wrestle with a mask back in his high school days. True story.
- Mark Lowe, Mariners $1.15 million. At some point in the last hour I became convinced that people just started making up names of baseball players and tweeted phony deals for them. Neat idea. I think I’m going to jump on the Twitter and make up one myself.
The Braves have been terrible with respect to replay challenges this year. Almost improbably terrible. Fredi Gonzalez has challenged calls seven times and he’s been unsuccessful on all seven challenges. Given how these things work, it’s likely because he’s getting bad advice from the Braves employee designated to watch the replays and suggest when challenges should be made.
Now Gonzalez is going to have a new guy in that role. A familiar name too: Buddy Carlyle, who Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports, will join the Braves as a coaching assistant who will handle the replay review decisions.
Carlyle, of course, spent nine seasons as a major league pitcher and nearly 20 as a professional overall. Most recently with the Mets last season before calling it a career. He pitched for the Braves as well, from 2007-09.
Now he’ll provide a new and, hopefully, more discerning set of eyes for the Braves’ replay operation.
Bad, bad news for the Los Angeles Angels: their best starter needs Tommy John surgery and their most promising young starter has UCL damage as well.
Jeff Passan reports that Garrett Richards has a torn right ulnar collateral ligament and is expected to need Tommy John surgery. Richards was scratched from today’s start due to fatigue and dehydration, but Passan says they found the UCL tear while examining him yesterday. Richards is the Angels’ ace, having won 13 games in 2014 and 15 games a year ago. So far this year he a 2.34 ERA in six starts.
Heaney, meanwhile, has damage to his left ulnar collateral ligament, Passan reports. He was diagnosed with a flexor muscle strain after he was placed on the disabled list following his first start of the season, but this is obviously more serious. Unlike Richards, the plan at the moment is for Heaney to rehab rather than go under the knife. Sometimes that works. Often it doesn’t and Tommy John happens later. We’ll see.
These twin blows are huge and terrible for the Angels, who already had serious depth issues basically everywhere on the roster. The conventional wisdom before the year started was that, if everything broke right and everyone stayed healthy, they could possibly contend in an often volatile AL West, but that they didn’t have a big margin for error. This is a lot of error. The Angels are 13-15 and four games out in the division as it is. Without two starters on whom they were counting big, it’s hard to see how the rest of the Angels’ season isn’t going to be a total slog.
This is not exactly stunning news, but it’s Willie Mays’ 85th birthday today and any excuse to talk about Willie Mays is a good one. Happy Birthday, Willie!
The pretext is a story in the San Francisco Chronicle about how The Greatest Baseball Player of All Time (my view anyway) is getting an iconic cable car named after him. An icon named after an icon, I guess. The cable car is, appropriately, number 24.
Next month I’m taking my kids on vacation to California and we’re spending a few days in San Francisco. It’ll be a shame when I tell them we have to cancel half of a day’s plans while I make them wait for one particular cable car to come by so they can take my picture with it, but that’s just what they have to deal with given that I’m their dad.
Yesterday I wrote about a column written by Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. It was about Astros outfielder Carlos Gomez, who has had a poor start to the year.
The column, as I noted, was a hatchet job, blaming Gomez for the Astros’ problems despite the fact that Gomez is by far from the biggest of the Astros’ problems. It was particularly bad in that it presented an unedited bit of broken English from Gomez which seemed calculated to cast Gomez in a bad light. Many journalists were critical of Smith in this regard, noting that he could’ve used a translator, could have paraphrased or could’ve done some mild correction via brackets, as is often done with quotes from non-native English speakers.
Last night Gomez took to Twitter to call out Smith himself:
It’s possible to write a column about how a player hasn’t lived up to expectations without being an insensitive jackass. It’s possible to do so even in the sharpest of ways. Smith didn’t do that, however, and didn’t make an effort to try, it seems. Gomez is right to take issue with it. And I suspect that Gomez’s teammates and organization take issue with it too. Which likely doesn’t bode well for Smith getting cooperation from others in the Astros family.