You see this kind of stuff from independent and low-minor league teams all the time: an offer to sign some monster free agent from a major league — regardless of the sport. After making fantastically awesome sandwiches, this may be the top promotion of the bush leagues
In this case it’s the Lake Erie Crushers of the independent frontier League who have offered to sign LeBron James:
The Lake Erie Crushers plan to offer James a
maximum contract under Frontier League rules on “Keep LBJ in the C-L-E
Night” next week. The team said the contract is worth $1,600 a month and
will include a host family so the NBA superstar won’t have the “stress
of a potential commute” from the Akron.” Also available will be a luxury suite.
The Crushers will wear
Cavaliers-themed jerseys June 30 and each player will wear No. 6 to
honor James’ switch from No. 23. The team is renaming its park LeBron James Field at All Pro Freight Stadium for the game. Anyone named LeBron gets
Whatever. The way I see it, LeBron James need the Crushers more than they need him. After all, the Crushers won the Frontier League championship last year. Last I checked, James is still looking for a title . . .
Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.
Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).
The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.
Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.
As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:
Great to know that the Nats’ baseball operations budget is dictated by its capital expenditures. Maybe they shoulda been smart like the Braves and suckered — er, I mean negotiated the local government to pay more for it? GO BRAVES!
Anyway, Bryce Harper had a response to that:
I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.