Now that Eric Wedge has been hired as the Mariners’ new manager Milton Bradley’s odds of playing a second season in Seattle are seemingly extremely slim. That is if they weren’t extremely slim already, of course.
Back in 2003 the Indians had Wedge as their manager and Bradley as their center fielder, and while the team wasn’t very good Bradley had one of the best seasons of his career, hitting .321/.421/.501 in 101 games.
He also reportedly clashed with Wedge on numerous occasions and their poor relationship boiled over the next spring when Wedge pulled Bradley from a spring training game for failing to run out a pop up that dropped for a hit. Bradley was barred from the Indians’ spring training complex after reportedly wearing a t-shirt in the clubhouse that read “F*** Eric Wedge” and was traded to the Dodgers a short time later.
In other words, Eric Wedge knows all about life with Milton Bradley and I can’t imagine he wants to re-live the 2003/2004 experience at his new job. Of course, the Mariners’ ability to get rid of Bradley is another issue. They have him in the first place because they agreed take him back from the Cubs in exchange for Carlos Silva’s bloated contract last offseason and since then Bradley turned in the worst year of his career, hitting .205/.292/.348 in 73 games.
He had essentially zero value–and perhaps even negative value–last offseason, so after a terrible, injury filled year the Mariners may be forced to simply cut him loose and eat the $12 million he’s owed in 2011. If they can get anything for him, or even swap him for another bad contract, general manager Jack Zduriencik and company would no doubt jump at the chance. Anything short of that would be setting Wedge up for trouble from Day 1.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.