I think a lot of the baseball world has gotten a jump start on their holiday weekend so there isn’t much news a-happenin’. There are a couple of games going down, however, one of which — Reds at Cubs — I have on while I’m working.
Fun development a few minutes ago: Ryan Dempster walked Johnny Gomes and Jay Bruce, and then the bases were loaded due to an error by Mike Fontenot. That brought up the pitcher, Bronson Arroyo. Dempster walked him on four straight pitches.
The pitcher. On four straight. I mean, sure, Arroyo has a little bit of pop in his bat for a pitcher, but how do you not throw that guy 75-percenters right down the pike and make him put the ball in play? If anyone wonders why Lou Piniella lookes half-dazed all the time, this is the reason why.
Dempster was just pulled after giving up five runs on only two hits. He struck out nine dudes, though, so it was a very LaLooshian performance. On some weird level I found his scuffling, off-kilter performance quite comforting as background noise on what has turned out to be a bit of a scuffling, off-kilter day.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.