Hideki Matsui hit a triple last night for the first time since April of last season and Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register writes that it may have cost Torii Hunter a whole bunch of money.
According to Plunkett the two players “had a friendly wager” on whether Matsui and his arthritic knees could leg out a triple this season, and “the wager was definitely not for any amount of money like, oh, $5,000.”
In other words, it was for $5,000. Here’s what Hunter had to say afterward:
I was like, “What the …? Ah, hell no.” I’m not talking to Matsui anymore. I saw him running the bases. He was making all kinds of faces, trying to get me. I didn’t realize it was a triple until I got to the dugout then everybody let me know.
Matsui ought to go double or nothing on Hunter hitting a triple. Hunter has zero in 135 games after hitting just one in 119 games last season.
The Orioles have re-signed infielder Pedro Alvarez to a minor league deal, per a report from Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. The deal guarantees Alvarez $1 million if he makes the 40-man roster and another $2 million in potential performance bonuses. The team has yet to confirm the deal.
This will be Alvarez’s third year with the Orioles. After posting decent numbers in 2016, the 31-year-old was relegated to the minors for the majority of the 2017 season and saw only 14 games at the big league level. He finished the year with an underwhelming .239/.294/.442 batting line and 26 home runs through 595 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk.
Alvarez is expected to split his time between first base and DH this spring, and MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli notes that he’s unlikely to experiment with another outfield role. While he isn’t too far removed from his last productive season in the majors, the veteran infielder will function purely as insurance for first baseman Chris Davis and designated hitter Mark Trumbo and will likely begin the season in the minors.