Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that 41-year-old outfielder Matt
Stairs has agreed to a minor league contract with the Padres. From Jerry’s Twitter account, a must-follow for any baseball fan:
“[Padres GM] Jed Hoyer was
very aggressive in trying to bring Matt into a young team to have a
veteran presence,” said Stairs’ agent, Bob Garber.
Stairs will serve as a left-handed pinch-hitter for the Friars this season if he’s able to land a roster spot during spring training. He hit just .194/.357/.379 last season in a similar capacity with the Phillies, but he’s dropped over 30 pounds this winter and claims to be in the best shape of his life. We shall see.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.