Former second-round pick Brent Brewer quits baseball to play college football

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Back in 2006 the Brewers drafted Georgia high school shortstop Brent Brewer in the second round, but after hitting just .240 with a .650 OPS in 427 minor-league games he’s decided to quit baseball … and play football at the University of Tennessee.
Brewer was a highly recruited football player coming out of high school and originally committed to play for Florida State before opting for a $600,000 bonus from the Brewers. Now he’s headed to Tennessee as a 22-year-old freshman and 6-foot-2, 205-pound safety. Here’s what he told Volquest.com:

It had always been in the back of my mind, I’d always kind of wonder how things might have worked out for me in football. I know it’s going to be hard and I’m sure I’ll have some rust, but I’m ready to come in and work hard and get into it. I’m really excited to have this chance and I’m going to make the most of it.

Brewer certainly isn’t the first player to give baseball an unsuccessful try before heading back to football, but his timetable for doing so was a lot quicker than most. He essentially played three full seasons, plus a half-year in rookie-ball after signing and one-third of a season this year before calling it quits. Ultimately it doesn’t matter because Brewer looked nothing like a future major leaguer, but for a $600,000 investment it seems like Milwaukee deserved more than 427 games before he switched sports.
Of course, maybe I’m just upset because now there’s zero chance of a game named Brewer playing for the Brewers.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.

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.