UPDATE: The Daily News is reporting that George Steinbrenner has died. He was 80. We’ll be writing more about this shortly. In the meantime, thoughts and prayers to the Steinbrenner family, Yankees fans and, let’s face it, baseball fans everywhere.
9:25 A.M.: WABC in New York is now reporting that Steinbrenner had a
“massive heart attack” and is in “extremely critical condition.”
I have no inside information here, obviously, and I’m not trying to be alarmist, but based on personal experience with this sort of thing, the term “extremely critical condition” is used by some hospitals in situations where death is imminent, but doctors wish to hold off pronouncing it so that family can be gathered to say final good-byes. I have no idea if that is the case here, of course. I also have no idea if Hal and Hank Steinbrenner or other members of the Steinbrenner family are in Tampa or if they traveled to Anaheim for the All-Star Game.
9:18 A.M.: It’s so far unconfirmed, but Bay News 9 in Tampa is reporting that George Steinbrenner has been hospitalized.
Also worth noting that there are various tweets floating around saying that Steinbrenner had a massive heart attack and some morons have already gotten to his Wikipedia page to report his death. I effing hate the Internet sometimes.
We’ll obviously update when we hear something new.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.
It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.
The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.