UPDATE: John Fay tweets that Joe Morgan’s job with the Reds will not affect his Sunday Night Baseball job because (a) his job with the Reds will not be in day-to-day operations and (b) the Reds aren’t scheduled to be on Sunday Night Baseball this year.
In other words, because the job is merely ceremonial and because the Reds kind of stink, we get to continue to invite Joe Morgan into our homes every Sunday evening. Glad tidings!
1:15 P.M: No idea if this will impact his ESPN duties in any way, shape or form, but the Cincinnati Reds are holding a press conference at 4:30 today to introduce Joe Morgan as a “Special Advisor for Baseball Operations.”
One would think such a title — unless totally ceremonial — would present some sort of conflict of interest issue for ESPN given that, you know, the guy does opine on other baseball teams for a living. If he’s doing substantive work for the Reds, wouldn’t the media access provided by his credential provide some sort of unfair scouting advantage? How many teams allow other teams’ front office personnel in their clubhouse and talk about injuries and hitting approaches and stuff with them?
But I’m sure we’ll learn more about that at the press conference.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.