From Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes comes word that the Phillies are close to re-signing reliever Jose Contreras to a two-year contract worth around $5 million. The deal also comes with a third year option and performance incentives.
Handing a multi-year contract to a reliever can be problematic, but the Phils had to buck up to retain the 38-year-old Contreras, who put together solid numbers as a full-time reliever in 2010. He has actually gained velocity since moving to the bullpen and isn’t showing signs of slowing down. It’s not all that rare for established setup men to remain effective well into their 40s.
The Phillies are expected to finalize the new pact early this week. Then we’ll see if Contreras can top the 1.22 WHIP, 3.34 ERA and 57/16 K/BB ratio that he registered over 56.2 inning this past season.
During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.
We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:
And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:
The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.
Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.
Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.
Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.
Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.