A couple of months ago, if you told me that Carlos Zambrano was going to retire after the 2012 season, I would have asked how he’d ever make it that long. He’s been pitching well lately, however. So well, in fact, that it’s not too hard to imagine him being a solid starter again for several years.
Nope. Big Z says he’s done after 2012:
“I told you the other day, this will be my last contract. This will be my last contract. I won’t be playing anymore. I
don’t want to play anymore. Life is short. Sometimes you miss things
with your family, like very important people, like my daughter.
Sometimes you miss things in life because of baseball that you shouldn’t
miss. I want to be there any moment for my daughter and my family.
Baseball takes a lot of time away from us.”
This has been an ugly season for Zambrano, but if he can return to being the guy he was a few years ago — a horse who took the ball every fifth day and who kept the crazy to an amusing minimum — I’d be sad if he hung it up after 2012.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.