UPDATE: Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the mystery team submitting a waiver claim for Johnny Damon was … the Red Sox. Seriously.
Of course, Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes that Damon has a no-trade clause that includes Boston, so that may be a hang-up even if the Red Sox and Tigers can work out a deal (he also can’t be “assigned” there, to get around the “trade” part).
Obviously the Red Sox could use the outfield help given their many injuries, but it may be too little too late considering they’re 6.5 games back in the AL East and 5.5 back in the Wild Card.
Plus, it’s possible Theo Epstein and company simply claimed Damon to block him from going to the Yankees or Rays.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that an unknown team has claimed Johnny Damon off waivers, which means he can only be traded to that one team.
Detroit has 48 hours to potentially work out a deal, at which point they can either pull him back off waivers and keep Damon for the remainder of the season or simply let the claiming team assume his contract.
He’s owed about $2 million for the rest of the season, so giving him away for nothing could actually be an option with the Tigers all but out of contention at 61-63.
As for the identity of the mystery team, Buster Olney of ESPN.com speculates that the White Sox, Red Sox, Rays, and Rangers “make the most sense as a fit for Damon.”
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.