Bobby Valentine continues to slam the Marlins


I swear, this will be the last time I post on Bobby Valentine. At least for a long time. That is, at least if nothing interesting happens.  Screw it, we’re launching BobbyValentine Talk next Monday. I’m pulling the trigger on this bad boy!

Anyway, Bobby V. was on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Russo show today and he offered some more interesting commentary on his odyssey with the Marlins:

“You know, I mean, I was reading in the
paper I wasn’t a candidate,
you know?  And I don’t really like that stuff.  You know, we did have
conversations and then the next thing I know their leaks have people
things that I’m no longer a candidate and they’re going in another
direction.  Well, you know, if that’s the case tell me.  I’m a big
boy.  It’s real easy.”

The most obvious explanation to that is that Valentine was only Jeff Loria’s candidate and that the front office bucked under Loria’s diktat and leaked that stuff to the papers to undermine Valentine’s candidacy and maybe to even tease out the very negative reaction from Valentine displayed in the above quote.

The alternative: the Marlins really are a bunch of sociopaths who all agreed to cut bait on Valentine at once and decided to simply not tell him.  I can’t decide which is worse for the Marlins long term: a house divided or a house united in idiocy.  At least the former has them thinking half-right.

Valentine also added something else, when asked about his interaction with the Orioles, that suggests that just maybe he won’t be managing anywhere in the big leagues any time soon:

“To tell you the truth, the in-season
stuff where you have all the
rules and regulations that are set forth – rightfully so, I guess – by
commissioner that you have to interview so many different types of
people from
in and outside your organization before you’re allowed to hire a person
want to, it’s a pretty tough process.  I don’t know that it’s tough. 
It doesn’t seem like it’s the way most industries do it.”

So he either doesn’t like how Major League Baseball wants its clubs to approach managerial hires or else he only wants to be a part of a process in which he’s the only candidate. I guess it could be a combination of those things.
Either way, it makes him a rather difficult candidate for almost any team to woo, does it not?

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.