UPDATE: According to Curt Anderson of the Associated Press, Jim Leyritz was acquitted on DUI manslaughter charges for a December 2007 crash that resulted in the death of Fredia Ann Veitch. However, he was convicted on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence, which could put him in jail for a maximum sentence of six months.
In other words, he’s incredibly fortunate today. Leyrtiz could have faced up to 15 years in prison if he was convicted for the DUI manslaughter charge. Let’s hope he does something useful with a second chance.
9:30 AM: A quick update on Jim Leyrtiz’s trial.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, after six hours of deliberation on Friday, the jurors in Leyritz’s DUI manslaughter trial said that they were deadlocked.
“We have reached a stalemate. We have completely decided that we cannot reach a decision,” the panel of five men and one woman wrote the judge about 6 p.m. Friday in the second day of deliberations. “How do we proceed?”
Circuit Judge Marc Gold asked the jury to discuss the case further and attempt to reach a unanimous decision. They’ll do so today. If they are unable to reach a verdict, a mistrial will be declared. According to the Associated Press, prosecutors say there would be a second trial, which hopefully won’t take another three years.
In December of 2007, Leyritz allegedly drove drunk and ran a red light when he hit a vehicle driven by Fredia Ann Veitch, who was killed. The former Yankee faces between four and 15 years in prison if convicted.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.
Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.
Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.