Selig to "examine" umpires, replay; declines to overturn Joyce call

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Selig statement.jpgBud Selig just released a statement on last night’s events. Short version:

  • No word on overturning the call, which I think is a clear signal that he will not do so (UPDATE: Multiple reporters are now hearing that no, Selig will not overturn the decision);
  • A decision to “review” umpiring systems and replay which, as I suspected this morning, is the first step of a long delay job on both of these issues; and
  • A congratulations to Galarraga and Leyland for how they handled themselves after last night’s debacle and an appreciation of Jim Joyce for his “courage,” all three of which I think are well-deserved.

The statement in full:

“First, on behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate
Armando Galarraga on a remarkable pitching performance. All of us who
love the game appreciate the historic nature of his effort last night.

“The dignity and class of the entire Detroit Tigers
organization under such circumstances were truly admirable and embodied
good sportsmanship of the highest order. Armando and Detroit manager
Jim Leyland are to be commended for their handling of a very difficult
situation. I also applaud the courage of umpire Jim Joyce to address
this unfortunate situation honestly and directly. Jim’s candor
illustrates why he has earned the respect of on-field personnel
throughout his accomplished career in the Major Leagues since 1989.

“As Jim Joyce said in his postgame comments, there is no
dispute that last night’s game should have ended differently. While the
human element has always been an integral part of baseball, it is vital
that mistakes on the field be addressed. Given last night’s call and
other recent events, I will examine our umpiring system, the expanded
use of instant replay and all other related features. Before I announce
any decisions, I will consult with all appropriate parties, including
our two unions and the Special Committee for On-Field Matters, which
consists of field managers, general managers, club owners and
presidents.”

Yadier Molina will not enter contract negotiations during the 2017 season

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Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina is still open to extension talks during the last week of spring training. Once Opening Day rolls around, however, Molina has preemptively nixed any contract negotiations until the end of the 2017 season, when he’s scheduled to hit free agency.

Molina wants to stay with the Cardinals, or so he’s telling reporters, but he’s also “not afraid” to test the free agent market this fall should a deal fail to materialize. Via Goold:

I would love to stay, but at the same time I’m not afraid to go to free agency. I’ve still got many years in the tank. Believe me. I feel great. I feel like a 20-year-old kid. I’m not afraid to go to free agency.

The 34-year-old backstop is entering his final year under contract, though Goold points out that he has a $15 million option for 2018 that he can choose to decline in the event that it’s exercised by the team. He’s reportedly searching for a figure closer to those made by other top catchers like Buster Posey and Russell Martin.

The 2017 season will mark Molina’s 14th year in the Cardinals’ organization, building on a career that has spanned seven All-Star campaigns, nine postseason runs and two World Series championships in St. Louis. He batted .307/.360/.427 with eight home runs and a .787 OPS for the club in 2016.

Colby Rasmus could start 2017 on the disabled list

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Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.

Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.

The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.