I just spoke with my buddy Norm Wamer at 106.5 The Ticket in Toledo. Norm tells me that he was on a conference call with Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski this morning, talking about the Jhonny Peralta signing. During the call someone asked him, basically, what’s next? The response was that they were looking at the middle of the lineup. Dombrowski was coy, but the reporters tried to get some hints by asking him what position they were looking to fill. When Dombrowski wouldn’t say, they asked him if it would be someone they’d consider asking to DH. Dombrowski dodged the question.
Take all of this second hand kind of stuff for what it’s worth, but you’d figure that if Dombrowski had his sights set on someone like Carl Crawford he’d say no, we’re looking at the outfield, wouldn’t you? Of course, it’s also possible that Dombrowski just doesn’t want anyone to know who he’s targeting — smart, even! — but the reporters on the phone call came away thinking that Dombrowski’s responses suggested that he’s looking at Adam Dunn or Victor Martinez. Both of whom are guys who could spend a lot of time at DH in Detroit but who might not want to. And might certainly not want to hear it from a team that’s courting them.
But don’t take my hearsay at face value. Norm is going to have Dombrowski’s comments on his show at around 3:30, and you can hear it streaming here.
On Friday, Athletics teammates Billy Butler and Danny Valencia were involved in a clubhouse altercation that started when Butler told an equipment representative that Valencia was wearing off-brand spikes during games. Valencia didn’t like Butler’s interference, potentially costing him an endorsement deal, so he punched Butler in the temple, causing a concussion.
Neither player had said much to the media about the incident, but Butler finally addressed the issue on Wednesday. MLB.com’s Mark Chiarelli reported Butler’s comments:
“This was something that could’ve been prevented on both sides,” Butler said. “We had equal faults in this. I definitely said some things that you shouldn’t have. I definitely stepped in an area where it wasn’t my business.”
“By no means do I think his intentions were to give me a concussion,” Butler said. “This is me addressing my faults and what I took away from the team.”
“To say that we’re enemies is not right,” Butler said. “To blame this all on one side is not right either.”
Butler also apologized to his teammates. “I would like to apologize for putting [my teammates] through this because they didn’t deserve this. This was an issue between me and Danny. To be fair for them, they didn’t deserve this. The coaching staff didn’t deserve this. The organization didn’t deserve this,” he said.
Butler is making progress in his recovery from his concussion. He’ll travel with the team to St. Louis to open up a three-game series against the Cardinals starting on Friday. If he passes his concussion protocol test, the Athletics will put him back on the active roster from the seven-day concussion disabled list.
WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval has lost 22 pounds during his rehabilitation after undergoing shoulder surgery in early May. Weight has been the top subject of conversation regarding Sandoval ever since he showed up to spring training and an unflattering photograph was published by the Boston Globe.
Sandoval had a miserable spring training, batting .204 in 49 at-bats and lost out on the starting third base job to Travis Shaw. He went hitless in seven regular season plate appearances before landing on the disabled list with a sprained left shoulder, which ultimately required reconstructive surgery.
Sandoval is still under contract through at least 2019, earning $17 million next season, and $18 million in ’18 and ’19. His controlling club has a $17 million option with a $5 million buyout for 2020 as well. It’s hard to see Sandoval fitting into his current club’s future plans, but it will be tough for the Red Sox to get rid of him without eating a significant portion of his remaining contract.