The Phillies activated Brad Lidge today. In order to make room for him they designated Nelson Figueroa for assignment. You know the drill: ten days to trade him, release him or send him down to the minor leagues. The smart money is on the releasing, of course, because that’s just how these things usually go.
Figueroa appeared in nine games for the Phillies, one of which was a start. He gave up 19 hits, struck out eight and walked eight in 18.2 innings, so he wasn’t exactly fooling anyone. In addition to giving up ten runs of his own, he’s allowed two of four inherited runners to score. That’s not good, even though I’m certain that the Mets would rather have him back than to have to see Ollie Perez come out of the pen anymore.
He is 2 for 4 at the plate this year, however, and with the way the Phillies offense is going I’m somewhat surprised they let such a slugger go . . .
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.