The free agent market will be fairly thin this winter, but that doesn’t mean the rumors won’t be flying.
Paul Konerko, a free agent, posted a stellar .312/.393/.584 batting line in 2010 with 39 home runs and 111 RBI. The on-base and slugging percentages were career highs.
The White Sox never engaged in talks toward an extension with Konerko during the season, which indicates that they are prepared to let him walk. And there will be no shortage of teams looking for a solid power bat. In fact, one club has already thrown its hat in the ring.
Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that the Diamondbacks have expressed interest in the free agent and have made signing him an “offseason priority.”
Konerko grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona and still makes his home there. Turning 35 in March, he might be attracted by the idea of settling down near his home. And playing in the hitting-friendly confines of Chase Field should suit him well.
If the D’Backs do sign Konerko, it probably means that Adam LaRoche will not be brought back. He has a $7.5 million mutual option for 2011 that comes with a $1.5 million buyout.
Angels’ right-hander Garrett Richards has been moved to the 60-day disabled list, according to a team announcement on Saturday. Richards was originally placed on the 10-day disabled list in early April after sustaining a right biceps cramp during his first start of the season. No timetable has been given for his return to the mound, though Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times speculates that his return date could be pushed back to June.
While the Angels report that Richards is making some progress in his recovery, he’s still experiencing some “irritation of the cutaneous nerve,” which could be preventing him from working back up to full strength. The veteran righty already missed 154 days of the 2016 season after suffering a UCL injury, and opted for biometrics surgery to repair the ligament rather than undergoing a more intensive Tommy John procedure.
This is Richards’ seventh season with the Angels. He last pitched a full, healthy season in 2015, delivering a 3.65 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 207 1/3 innings. He’s currently one of eight Angels pitchers serving time on the disabled list, including left-hander Andrew Heaney and right-handers Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Vicente Campos, Huston Street, Mike Morin and Nick Tropeano.
When it comes to home run trots, Adam Rosales is still the guy to beat. The Athletics’ shortstop led off the first inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Mariners with a solo shot to center field, and made it all the way around the bases in record time — 15.9 seconds, to be precise. That’s 0.06 seconds faster than the previous record, which Rosales set himself last September on a 15.96-second run.
In fact, as MLB.com’s Michael Clair points out, Rosales holds eight of the 10 fastest home run trots recorded by Statcast. (The other two, naturally, belong to the Reds’ speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton.) Eight of those 10 trots were recorded in 2016, with Rosales gradually inching his way toward the 15-second mark.
The blast was the first of two home runs for the A’s, who tacked on a couple of runs with Ryon Healy‘s two-RBI homer and capped their 4-3 win over the Mariners with a productive out from Khris Davis in the third inning. It’s the fifth straight victory for the A’s this week.