Last week Peter Gammons reported that Boston and Jason Bay “had agreed on the framework” of a four-year, $60 million contract in July, but the Red Sox pulled the offer when an MRI exam raised red flags about the health of his knees.
While appearing on WEEI radio today Gammons revealed a few more details:
They wanted him, but they were scared to death of his knees. I never got the impression from either side, from his agents or his club, that the shoulder was that big of a deal. But they were really afraid of both knees and that’s why they dropped the offer from four years to two years.
Somebody said to me, “Gee, there was only one team that went after him, the Mets.” I said, “Yeah, you don’t think that the Angels have requested MRIs? You don’t think the Mariners have requested? They weren’t in on him either.” The Mets were the only team in on Jason.
Bay did struggle with a knee injury in 2007, but for the most part he’s been among baseball’s most durable players, appearing in 892 of a possible 946 games since early 2004, including at least 145 games in each of the past five seasons. Certainly at 31 years old not missing much time in the past doesn’t preclude the Red Sox’s concerns about the future of Bay’s knees from being legitimate, but presumably even the Mets have a doctor on staff who can competently read an MRI. Right? Right?!
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.