Though there are a couple of dissenters, multiple other sources are reporting that the Pirates and Padres are nearing a deal for Pirates’ started Paul Maholm. Tim Brown at Yahoo! just said that the teams were “close.”
I”m never sure what to make of these types of conflicts. It seems easier to assume that some guys are of the loop and thus don’t know that something is going on than it is to assume that multiple people are simply being lied to or making something up, but weirder things have happened.
But let’s assume the talks are legit: The Padres have great pitching overall, but they could use some rotation depth and, of course, don’t know if Mat Latos can truly hold up all year, even if they try to make him. Maholm is 6-9 this year with a 4.52 ERA. He doesn’t strike out enough guys and he walks a few too many, but Petco is a forgiving park, so who knows?
No word yet on who would come back to Pittsburgh.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
It’s not known yet what kind of contract the two sides are negotiating. It could be a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, a non-guaranteed major league contract, or a guaranteed major league contract.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.