Things could be going better for new Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley, who was ejected for a second time in three days Friday night after exchanging words with home plate umpire Jon Merry following a questionable called third strike.
Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu immediately came to the defense of his outfielder, and seems to think umpires are targeting Bradley specifically. Here’s what he told the Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker after Friday’s 2-6 Cactus League loss to the Reds:
“To me, it’s almost like a witch hunt,” said Wak. “I mean, it’s almost embarrassing to me when egos get involved to the point where they don’t
even give a guy a chance. … Again, I think it’s pretty blatant that some guys have it out for him.”
The conspiracy talk may be overdoing it, but it’s pretty evident that Bradley’s reputation is going to leave him with little leeway in arguments no matter the jersey he is wearing. He needs to be careful this season, because we’re sure Wakamatsu and the rest of the Mariners’ management team will quickly tire of defending his actions. Bradley, 31, batted .257/.378/.397 last season for the Cubs. He’s just one year removed from a career-best .321/.436/.563 batting line.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.
Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.
Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.
We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.
The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.
Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.