Jon Heyman reports that Omar Minaya is likely to be “reassigned” this year. Which is a way of firing him without really firing him, seeing as though he still has a year on his contract. Minaya came up through scouting and is said to both enjoy it and have a good eye for it, so maybe he’ll be some sort of Scout Emeritus or something.
Heyman drops Kevin Towers’ name as a replacement but thinks assistant GM John Ricco is more likely. I tend to agree. Towers doesn’t want any part of a dysfunctional ownership group, which is what the Mets are. Ricco is far more beholden to the Wilpons and would likely do exactly what they want. Which is how they seem to like it.
Heyman also notes that Bob Melvin is no longer considered to be the front runner for the Mets managerial job. Hard to say if he ever truly was — Heyman had been the only one reporting that, and had been for a long time — but now he says that’s no longer operative. In his defense it made sense in that the Wilpons brought him in as a vague advisor that looked more like a manager-in-waiting gig than anything else. Heyman says that Wally Backman is a distinct possibility.
If the Mets follow form, they’ll see what the newspapers and talk radio says about all of this before they make their decision.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.