“It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. You can quote
me on that.”
— Joe Saunders of the Los Angeles Angels on teammate Jered Weaver not making the All-Star team.
I want to get worked up over the snubs — especially the Omar Infante inclusion and Joey Votto exclusion — but I really can’t. It’d be one thing if what happened this year was some freak occurrence, but it’s not. Snubs and oddball inclusions happen every single year. Maybe not as odd as Infante, but this stuff always goes down.
Managers pick their guys to keep team harmony intact (e.g. Ryan Howard and Alex Rodriguez’s selections). Guys get picked because baseball has decided that the All-Star game is like Little League and every team needs a participant. There are approximately 125 pitchers on each team. The rules don’t allow for a natural roster construction, so we can’t really expect to have a natural or even a logical roster. Someone is going to get left out. Probably lots of someones. It’s the nature of the beast.
And ultimately, you have to wonder how much it matters. Sure, I feel bad for youngish guys like Votto and Weaver who get boned out of a fun time and the experience, but I always wonder if older snubs like Kevin Youkilis and Dan Uggla wouldn’t rather just avoid the ten hours in a plane and get the extra days off to hang out with their family and friends back home.
And besides, maybe we’ll get something fun out of all this craziness (and the All-Star Game is a lot of things, but rarely is it fun anymore). For example, though I won’t defend his selection for a millisecond, how cool would it be if Infante ended up being the game’s MVP or something?
According to the official Twitter account of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the club has agreed to terms on a one-year major league contract with outfielder Rafael Ortega.
It’s worth the MLB minimum, which should be a little north of $507,000 in 2016.
Ortega was once considered a top prospect in the Rockies’ minor league system, but he has made only six total plate appearances at the big league level since signing out of Venezuela in 2008. The 24-year-old batted .286/.367/.378 with two home runs and 17 stolen bases in 131 games this past season for the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.
He’ll be in the running for an Opening Day roster spot next spring in Angels camp.
Ben Zobrist will turn 35 years old early next summer, but that doesn’t seem to be putting too much of a dent in his free agent value.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the “sense among interested teams” is that Zobrist’s price is currently hovering around four years, $60 million and it “may go higher.”
There was a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Sunday stating that the Mets have made Zobrist their “No. 1” offseason target, and over a dozen other clubs have linked to him since the World Series ended. That’s the kind of attention you command when you can both hit — Zobrist posted an .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 2015 — and also cover a range of positions defensively.
He makes sense for just about any club looking to contend in the coming seasons.
Wilin Rosario was designated for assignment by the Rockies late last month. Now, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, the 26-year-old former National League Rookie of the Year vote-getter has elected to become a free agent.
Rosario is a bad defensive catcher and wasn’t much better when the Rockies tried him at first base, but he should draw some interest from American League teams looking for a bench bat and part-time DH.
Rosario slugged 28 home runs for the Rockies in 2012 and he’s averaged 26 home runs for every 162 games over the course of his five-year major league career.
He boasts a .319/.356/.604 career batting line against left-handed pitching.
As first reported by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma Tribune and now confirmed by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have traded first baseman and corner outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Orioles in exchange for catcher and first baseman Steve Clevenger. There is also a second player headed to Baltimore in the deal.
This feels like an admission from the O’s that they’re not going to be able to re-sign Chris Davis, who is said to be looking for more than $150 million in free agency.
Clevenger was out of options and the Orioles have both Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph coming back at the catcher position. Wieters was due to become a free agent but accepted a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Baltimore last month.
Trumbo has always been a low-OBP guy and he rates as a poor defender everywhere he has played, but the 29-year-old has averaged 31 homers and 96 RBI for every 162 games in his six-year major league career. Camden Yards is a much better place than Safeco Field for him to show that power.