Milwaukee released Scott Schoeneweis today after signing him to a minor-league contract about six weeks ago and the veteran left-hander had some harsh words on his way out the door:
The only regret I have is that I wasted a month of my time. I didn’t have a chance to make the team. That’s what I learned today. I’m a big league pitcher and I shouldn’t have to prove anything. This will be my 12th year in the big leagues and I wasn’t injured, I wasn’t out of the game because my skills diminished. … It’s just ironic that I can’t get a job because my wife died. It doesn’t make much sense to me.
Schoeneweis has no doubt had a very rough time since his wife passed away from an overdose of cocaine and lidocaine last May–and I’m certainly not here to pick on him–but I’m sure the Brewers would vehemently deny that had anything to do with his release.
He was brought in to compete for a middle-relief job after posting a 7.12 ERA last season, and while there’s a tragic explanation for those struggles at 36 years old he certainly did have to prove himself again. Instead he continued to struggle this spring and the Brewers apparently felt like they had better (or younger) options given that his upside is a left-handed specialist.
I don’t blame Schoeneweis for being frustrated, on several different levels, but the Brewers signed a 36-year-old pitcher coming off a poor season to a minor-league contract and deciding that he’s not one of their dozen best options for Opening Day shouldn’t come as a huge shock. He turned down the chance to accept an assignment to Triple-A, but seems unlikely to land a major-league offer at this point.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.