The Diamondbacks are about to get… older.
According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Arizona is close to agreement on a one-year contract with infielder Geoff Blum.
The veteran Blum posted a poor .267/.321/.356 batting line, two home runs and 22 RBI in 202 at-bats for the Astros this year and they rewarded that effort by declining his $1.65 million mutual option at the end of the regular season.
He played first base, second base, third base and shortstop, but he lacks the range to truly be considered versatile.
The good news for D’Backs fans is that Blum will come cheap — cheaper than the $1.65 million that he would have made in Houston — and likely represents a slight offensive upgrade over the utility infielders that populated Arizona’s 25-man roster throughout 2010.
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers expressed a desire earlier this month to bring in a few veteran bats. He moved quickly to satisfy that goal.
UPDATE: Gilbert now says that the deal is for two years and could be announced as soon as Friday. Without knowing the financial details, it’s safe to say that new D’Backs GM Kevin Towers is not off to a good start.
Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.
Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.
The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com just tweeted that the Cubs will soon announce a five-year contract extension for president Theo Epstein. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that it’s worth in excess of $50 million.
He’s earned it. When he took over the Cubs in October, 2011 the Cubs were a last place team with an aging roster and a front office that was several years behind the state of the art in every conceivable way. Last year the Cubs made the playoffs and this year they are baseball’s best team by a large margin and the franchise looks poised to continue its success for some time.
So, yeah, I’d say locking Theo up is a good idea.