When Fredi Gonzalez got canned yesterday, his defenders pointed out that, hey, the Marlins didn’t exactly stock his bullpen with decent pitchers.
Well, let no man say that Jeff Loria doesn’t listen to the critics! He — or his subordinates — signed a reliever today: Armando Benitez. Who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2008 when he put up a 5.68 ERA for the Blue Jays in eight games before being released. He kicked around the Astros’ organization a bit last year but was released by them too. For all we know he’s been hustling pool or teaching gardening classes or something since then.
Why sign Benitez? Best explanation I can come up with is that maybe someone told Loria that it was 2004 or something and he expects to be getting back the guy who saved 47 games? Secondary explanation: maybe he’s secretly trying sabotage games in order to trigger a clause in the stadium lease that would allow him to move to Cleveland!
Either way, Benitez will go to New Orleans, physical willing, to pitch for the AAA club. Don’t be surprised to see him in Miami soon, though, because these games don’t lose themselves.
With Jeff, all things are possible.
On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.
The Reds announced that starter Homer Bailey has been activated from the 60-day disabled list and will make his 2016 season debut on Sunday against the Padres. To make room on the roster, the Reds optioned outfielder Kyle Waldrop to Triple-A Louisville and transferred pitcher Caleb Cotham to the 60-day disabled list.
Bailey, 30, underwent Tommy John surgery last year, taking about 14 months to recover. He made only two starts last season and 23 starts in 2014. The right-hander has three more guaranteed years and $63 million remaining on his contract as well as a $25 million mutual option for the 2020 season with a $5 million buyout.
In six rehab appearances with Louisville dating back to June 27, Bailey has a 5.75 ERA and a 13/7 K/BB ratio in 20 1/3 innings. The stats from rehab stints don’t mean too much as long as the Reds feel he’s healthy enough to pitch.