Jamie Moyer officially became a free agent yesterday and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the Phillies are “highly unlikely” to re-sign the 48-year-old left-hander.
Philadelphia hastened Moyer’s arrival on the open market by placing him on waivers in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster immediately and the 267-game winner is expected to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic in an effort to drum up some interest for 2011.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. indicated that the Phillies might be open to bringing Moyer back on a non-guaranteed minor league contract, but told Zolecki that’s likely where their interest would end:
I don’t know if Jamie would accept anything like that, but we haven’t had any discussions about it. I think more than anything else there are some questions about his health. Obviously his age is a factor. But we have to consider our starting pitching depth and see whether or not bringing Jamie back is the right thing for us.
Even without making any changes to the rotation the Phillies could enter 2011 with a starting five of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, and Kyle Kendrick, so they may not have room for Moyer even if he looks healthy this winter.
Acquired from the Mariners in mid-2006 and later re-signed to a pair of two-year contracts, Moyer went 56-40 with a 4.55 ERA in 721 innings spread over four-and-a-half seasons in Philadelphia, which is pretty remarkable given that he was already 43 years old when he joined the team.
ESPN’s Howard Bryant is reporting that Major League Baseball has approved a rule allowing for a dugout signal for an intentional walk. In other words, baseball is allowing automatic intentional walks. Bryant adds that this rule will be effective for the 2017 season.
MLB has been trying, particularly this month, to improve the pace of play. Getting rid of the formality of throwing four pitches wide of the strike zone will save a minute or two for each intentional walk. There were 932 of them across 2,428 games last season, an average of one intentional walk every 2.6 games. It’s not the biggest improvement, but it’s something at least.
Earlier, Commissioner Rob Manfred was upset with the players’ union’s “lack of cooperation.” Perhaps his public criticism was the catalyst for getting this rule passed.
Unfortunately, getting rid of the intentional walk formality will eradicate the chance of seeing any more moments like this:
Earlier, Craig covered Rob Manfred’s comments in which he accused the Major League Baseball Players’ Association of “a lack of cooperation” concerning some proposed rule changes. The union would need to agree to any such changes, which have included automatic intentional walks, limiting mound visits, pitch clocks, and swapping batting practice times for home and visiting teams.
Manfred went on to say that MLB will impose those rule changes unilaterally next year as allowed in the latest collective bargaining agreement.
Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLBPA, responded to Manfred’s comment. Via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
“Unless your definition of ‘cooperation’ is blanket approval, I don’t agree that we’ve failed to cooperate with the Commissioner’s office on these issues.”
“Two years ago we negotiated pace of play protocols that had an immediate and positive impact. Last year we took a step backward in some ways, and this off season we’ve been in regular contact with MLB and with our members to get a better handle on why that happened.”
“I would be surprised if those discussions with MLB don’t continue, notwithstanding today’s comments about implementation. As I’ve said, fundamental changes to the game are going to be an uphill battle, but the lines of communication should remain open.”
“My understanding is that MLB wants to continue with the replay changes (2min limit) and the no-pitch intentional walks and the pace of Game warning/fine adjustments.”
Clark’s response isn’t anything too shocking. Manfred’s accusation was pretty baseless, but it’s behavior to be expected of a commissioner who comes down on the side of the owners over the players almost always.