A lot of hot stove handicappers were assuming that the Cardinals would re-sign free agent Jake Westbrook this offseason because apparently Dave Duncan liked him, Westbrook responded well enough to the change in scenery and it’s not hard to see him pitching well in St. Louis over the next couple of years. That thinking may no longer be operative, according to Ken Rosenthal, who reports that the Cardinals’ talks with Westbrook “seem to have lost momentum.”
Apparently the sticking point is that Westbrook wants more than a two-year deal, and the Cards are less-inclined to give him one. Given that, after Cliff Lee, the free agent pitching market isn’t any great shakes, it seems likely that Westbrook could get a three-year deal — which is kind of the going contract length for a middlin’-to-above-average starter these days — elsewhere. Milwaukee would probably jump at him, as would a lot of other teams looking to solidify the staff.
As for the Cardinals, their fourth starter’s position may very well continue to be a revolving door.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.