Did Mike Bacsik groove HR 756 to Barry Bonds?

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Bonds 756.jpgFormer Washington Nationals’ pitcher Tim Redding was on the radio yesterday, accusing teammate Mike Bacsik of intentionally throwing a fat pitch to Barry Bonds, giving him the record breaking home run:

“I think he wanted to give it up. And he can say what he wants in
defense or whatnot, but doing the chart, I mean, every ball that Barry
hit, the ball was center cut, right down the middle, fastball. You
know, I think maybe inside he was thinking he was going to get a little
bit more publicity.  Maybe, you know, publicity and some money out of
it, appearances, stuff like that.”

Bacsik’s response via Twitter:

“Well just got a call from Bill Ladson of washingtonnationals.com and
Tim Redding said he believes I tried to give up homer#756 Good
teammate”

What he said. I mean, there was a time when a guy wouldn’t publicly accuse his teammate of taking a dive like that.  He would keep the fact that his teammate took a dive like that all to himself.

OK, seriously, I have no idea if Bacsik really did groove one to Bonds. It’s not like he had masterful stuff anyway — he gave up 26 home runs in 118 innings in 2007 and had a lifetime ERA of 5.46 — so the odds favored Bonds jacking one out of the yard that night anyway.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.

Padres sign Trevor Cahill

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Trevor Cahill (53) during the seventh inning of Game 3 in baseball's National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.

He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.