We passed along word last week that the A’s were selling “Get off my mound” t-shirts in honor of the Yankees’ return to Oakland. Sounded like a great idea to me in a fun, self-effacing kind of way. But apparently they don’t do self-deprecation in the 209, because Dallas Braden hates the shirts:
“They’re trying to generate revenue, trying to get butts in the seats, I
can see that. It’s almost like, at what cost do you do
that? They didn’t have permission. They were told on multiple occasions
that, no, it’s not a good idea. It’s not going to be approved. They just
kind of put the horse-blinders on and ran with it . . . . . It’s just not cool. It’s just a serious, gross lack of tact. At the end
of the day, I hope I do not become associated with that kind of
Hey Dallas: if you didn’t want to be “associated with that kind of approach,” perhaps you shouldn’t have barked like some kind of loon about the sanctity of Greater Bradenia. As it is, you made a fool out of yourself and everyone is having fun with it now. Even A-Rod who, according to the Daily News article linked above, got a big laugh out of the fact that Robby Cano wore one of the shirts in the clubhouse before the game in order to taunt him.
Upon closer reading it’s hard to tell if Braden’s displeasure is about the shirt itself or if he’s really upset that it’s not MLBPA approved and thus (a) does not have his name and likeness on it; and (b) he does not get a cut of the sales. Probably a little of both. Which means that he’s got no sense of humor and that he’s trying to cover his business savvy with a mock (or at least mockable) sense of decorum.
Of course if Braden really wanted to get in on the shirt money, I’m assuming he could have told the MLBPA that he was all for it, they would have approved it and he’d have some extra dough. So this probably is more a matter of Braden being embarrassed about the whole “get off my mound” incident than it is a business thing.
In which case I’d advise him that one looks pretty silly trying to distance oneself from one’s own words in the space of a couple of months. Better to just own it dude.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.