Mariners’ CEO Howard Lincoln recently sent a would-be morale-boosting email to his employees in which he rips the media for not knowing how things really work on a baseball team.
Seems Lincoln doesn’t really know how the media works either. As in, they tend to have sources in the front office who like to do things like leak silly internal emails. Geoff Baker got hold of this one, and reprints it in full over at the Seattle Times. The juiciest bit:
“If it seems to you like the local media is going out of its way to
trash the Mariners, well, you’re right, they are! And you can expect
this to continue as the season winds down. We’re getting hit like never
before–or at least never before in recent memory! Indeed, if you read
between the lines, you get the clear impression that at least one beat
reporter would love nothing better than to step right in and run the
Mariners. (Don’t worry, that’s not going to happen!) . . .
. . . I want you to know that Chuck, Jack and I have very thick skins and
that nothing said by the folks in the media or, for that matter, the
bloggers, is going to distract us from continuing to do our jobs to the
best of our ability, with the goal of giving our fans a championship
It strikes me that if you really have “very thick skins” you don’t much care what the media says and you don’t send silly emails like this. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a blogger who spends my day trying to distract baseball executives from continuing to do their jobs to the best of their ability.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.