Tom Gage of the Detroit News tweets what is easily the saddest news I’ve heard in a while: Former Reds and Tigers manager Sparky Anderson is seriously ill, and is in hospice care. According to his family he’s suffering from “complications resulting from dementia.” Anderson is 76, though that gray hair always made him seem like he was much older. Hard to get your brain around the fact that he was only 36 when he led the Reds to the 1970 pennant and was only 45 when he took over the Tigers.
One of my favorite things about Sparky Anderson was how crazy he was in overstating the merits of young players. Kirk Gibson was the next Mickey Mantle. Mike Laga would make you forget every power hitter who ever lived. Here’s hoping that the reports of his condition are the equivalent of Mike Laga, and things aren’t as dire as they sound.
The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.
Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.
Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.