The Nationals are going to do the right thing and limit Stephen Strasburg’s innings this year. Contrary to what Jon Heyman and Peter Gammons have reported in the past, however, they are not obligated to do so by contract. That’s the story from MASN’s Ben Goessling, who spoke to Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo about it:
“I’m under no obligation to do that,” Rizzo said. “I do what’s best for
the players and what’s best for the Washington Nationals. We develop the
player. The agency doesn’t develop the player. The player doesn’t
develop the player. There certainly was no agreement, written or
unwritten, or perceived or unperceived, whatever it is.”
According to Goessling the team talked with Boras last year about their
plans to limit Strasburg’s workload, but no deal was struck. And really, it strains credulity that a team would cede on-the-field considerations like innings counts and the like to the player via agreement, written or unwritten.
Makes me wonder, though, what Gammons and Heyman were working off of when they reported to the contrary. They have to know that such a move is unprecedented. Likewise Boras has no incentive that I can see to make something like that up. Crossed wires, I guess.
Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.
Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.
Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.
Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.
Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.
As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.
You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.