King Felix’s extension is obviously the biggest news in advance of today’s deadline for signing arbitration eligible players, and we’ll update that story with the details of the deal as they become available. We’ve also already filled you in on Dan Uggla, Jody Gerut and Shaun Marcum.
In the meantime, here’s a rundown of some of the more minor arbitration-avoidance signings that have been coming pretty fast and furious in the past 24 hours:
- Ryan Spilborghs, Rockies, $3.25 million with $1.15 million in incentives;
- Chad Gaudin and Boone Logan, Yankees, $2.95 million and $590,000, respectively. Their real payment, however, is going to come in the form of a lot of free beers for telling hilariously off color Derek Jeter stories no one has heard before;
- C.J. Wilson, Rangers, $3.1 million. Wilson is on the Twitter, you know. According to a tweet last night, he’s not going to use his new dough to by a car, though, because he’s “already rollin hard on a Vespa.”
- Chad Durbin, Phillies, $2.125 million;
- Jared Burton, Reds, no details on the money, so I assume they’re paying him in Gold Star Chili coupons and boxes of JTM burgers;
- Chad Qualls and Aaron Heilman, Diamondbacks, $4.185 million and $2.15 million, respectively. Pfun Pfact: if you took the money Heilman will make providing slightly above average relief pitching for the Dbacks and put it in a San Jose redevelopment municipal bond, you’d realize $129,000 in income this year!
- Anibal Sanchez and Renyel Pinto, Marlins, $1.25 million and $1.075 million, respectively. I had these guys as Mariners earlier, if that tells you how much mental energy I’m spending following this stuff.
- Tony Pena, White Sox, $1.2 million. No, he’s not the converted shortstop Pena.
We’ll do our best to update this list as the day goes on, but really, it’s a crazy day for these kinds of signings, so lay off if we miss some random 23-25th roster spot fodder, OK?
People have been drinking in Wrigleyville since before 8am this morning. There are throngs of people out on the streets and packing every bar in the vicinity and it’s still four hours until first pitch. I realize I’m an old man who rarely leaves his home, but that looks exhausting even by the standards of normal degenerates. Be safe, everyone!
As for the game, the Indians are doing it: Carlos Santana is playing left field, keeping his bat and he bat of Mike Napoli in the lineup. I mentioned this morning that Santana has played exactly one game in the outfield in his career, and that that came four years ago. Allow me to reiterate that. And to remind everyone that, in baseball, the ball tends to find you. I can picture a sinking liner to left right now and it’s not a pretty picture. If you’re an Indians fan, pray that I’m wrong, but don’t act like you can’t picture it too.
Of course, this being baseball, he’ll probably rob someone of a homer and hit two himself while Napoli goes for the cycle. Never try to predict this stuff, folks.
1. Carlos Santana (S) LF
2. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B
3. Francisco Lindor (S) SS
4. Mike Napoli (R) 1B
5. Jose Ramirez (S) 3B
6. Lonnie Chisenhall (L) RF
7. Roberto Perez (R) C
8. Tyler Naquin (L) CF
9. Josh Tomlin (R) P
1. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
2. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Ben Zobrist (S) LF
5. Willson Contreras (R) C
6. Jorge Soler (R) RF
7. Javier Baez (R) 2B
8. Addison Russell (R) SS
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) P
For reasons that are not entirely clear to me the governor of my state, John Kasich, was on The Dan Patrick Show today. He had some bad news, unfortunately. According to Kasich, “baseball is going to die.”
It’s based mostly on his belief that, because some clubs are rich and some clubs are not so rich, and because players make too much money, poor teams cannot compete and fans cannot find a basis for team loyalty. He cites his boyhood rooting for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the ability for fans to root for players on the same teams year-in, year-out and claims that, if you don’t root for a high-payroll team, “your team is out before the All-Star Break.” Which is demonstrably not true, but he was on a roll so Patrick let him finish.
The real issue, Kasich says, is the lack of revenue sharing in the NFL-NBA mold. He makes a reference to “my buddy Bob Castellini,” the owner of the Cincinnati Reds, and says stuff about how the Reds can’t compete with the Cubs on payroll. His buddy Bob Castellini, by the way, is worth half a billion dollars, purchased the Reds for $270 million, they’re now worth an estimated $905 million, and they just signed a lucrative new TV deal, so thoughts and prayers to his buddy Bob Castellini and the Reds.
Kasich is right that baseball does not have straight revenue sharing like the NFL and NBA do. But he’s also comically uninformed about the differences in financial structure and revenue sources for baseball teams on the one hand and other sports on the other. He talks about how NFL teams in small towns like Green Bay can do just great while the poor sisters in Cincinnati can’t do as well in baseball, but either doesn’t realize or doesn’t acknowledge that local revenue — especially local TV revenue — pales in importance in football compared to baseball. If the Packers had to make all of their money by broadcasting games to the greater Green Bay area their situation would be a lot different. Meanwhile, if the Yankees had to put all of the revenue they receive via broadcasts in the greater New York area and give it to the poorer teams, it would something less than fair, would it not?
Wait, that’s it! I realize now why my governor did not do as well in the Republican primaries as he expected to! HE’S A COMMUNIST!