Rick Dempsey believes he was stepped over. Which may have been the way Angelos wanted it, but it ain’t the way he wanted it! He’s smaht! Not like everybody says!
“I’m very, very disappointed, to tell you the truth. I don’t begrudge Buck getting the opportunity. He is
going to be a hell of a manager. He has been a hell of a manager. But I
will always feel I know more about this ballclub than anybody else . . . I think it is probably the biggest mistake made here in a long time, and
I’m not talking just today, I mean over the years. Not
being given an opportunity to manage this ballclub. Every organization
in baseball would like to have someone who has won, who has played in
the World Series for the organization, who has learned to manage from A
ball up and come back here. I think with the relationship I have had
with the fans and this city, I should have been a slam-dunk years ago.
Someone dropped the ball a long time ago.”
I think Dempsey has a point that he should have been considered more the past couple of times it was open. The guy paid his dues and had a good deal of success as a minor league manager. But the Orioles just aren’t in a place right now where they can afford to — yet again — take a chance on a guy with no big league managerial experience.
It’s not Dempsey’s fault that the O’s went with the Lee Mazzillis, Sam Perlozzos and Dave Trembleys of the world over him before, but I think he simply missed his window. Based on the rest of the linked it article it seems like he’s being pretty stand-up about it, the above quote notwithstanding. He wishes Showalter the best and even flashes a sense of humor about it all (“Well, it’s not the first time I have gone 0-for-4”). But he’s certainly not a happy camper about it.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.
Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.
Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.