Janie McCauley of the Associated Press (via NBCSports.com) reports that the Mariners have placed left-hander Cliff Lee on the 15-day disabled list to start the season as he continues his recovery from an abdominal strain.
Lee enjoyed a pain-free throwing session late last week and is making progress toward a return, but the M’s have not revealed any sort of timetable. Since he hasn’t begun throwing from a mound, we can probably write him off for at least the first two weeks of the regular season. A return before the end of April would, of course, be a real positive for Seattle.
The 31-year-old southpaw went 14-13 last season with a 3.22 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 181 strikeouts in 231 2/3 innings between Cleveland and Philadelphia. He should enjoy the spacious confines of Safeco Field once he’s able to regain his health.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.