No writer packs more valuable information into a Sunday notes column like the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. He’s at it again today with details on a variety of big time free agent and trade options. Let’s review:
- Though he’s unlikely to be moved this winter or even next summer, so far the White Sox, Cubs, Orioles, Nationals and Red Sox have shown trade interest in San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The 28-year-old hit .298/.393/.511 with 31 homers in 2010 and is entering the final year of his tenure with the Padres.
- Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton has been dangled on the trade market this winter and is drawing interest from the the Mariners, Blue Jays, Marlins, Red Sox and Royals. It’s going to take a serious package of prospects to lure him away from Arizona’s grasp, but enough clubs are intrigued and it’s quite possible that he is moved this offseason.
- The Dodgers have a bunch of holes to fill this winter but are seeking one major thing: leadership. That could come in the form of veterans like Juan Uribe, Johnny Damon and A.J. Pierzynski.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin has set a deadline for extension talks with first baseman Prince Fielder. If talks don’t progress by the end of spring training, the big man is likely to be on the trade market next summer.
- Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett is drawing trade interest from the Giants, Orioles and Nationals. Bartlett was a disappointment in 2010, and Tampa is prepared to go with Reid Brignac at short.
- The Angels have already engaged in serious talks with free agent outfielder Carl Crawford and appear to be the front-runner for his services. He’s thought to be seeking a contract worth north of $100 million.
- The Brewers and Nationals are moving “swiftly” on free agent starter Carl Pavano. He registered a 3.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 32 starts this year for the Twins.
- Three teams are interested in signing Mark Prior, but he’s not totally set on a comeback. That decision should come soon.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Thursday that Astros bench coach Trey Hillman is leaving the team to manage the SK Wyverns in South Korea. According to Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News, Hillman will earn $600,000 in each of two years plus a $400,000 signing bonus.
Hillman, 53, managed the Royals from 2008-10 but the team wasn’t very successful, putting up a 152-207 record before he was fired early in the 2010 season. Hillman was the bench coach for the Dodgers from 2011-13, served as a special assistant for the Yankees in 2014, and had been the Astros’ bench coach for the past two seasons.
Per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, the Astros released a statement which read:
Trey Hillman has accepted the managerial position of the SK Wyverns baseball club of the South Korean Professional Baseball League (KBO). We thank Trey for his contributions to the Astros success over the past two seasons and wish him the very best.
This won’t be Hillman’s first time working in baseball overseas. He managed the Nippon Ham Fighters in the Japan Pacific League from 2003-07.
Sony San Diego announced on Thursday that Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. will grace the cover of its next baseball video game, MLB The Show 17. The game is scheduled to be released on March 28, 2017 for the PS4.
Considering that the baseball and video game fans with disposable income are the people who grew up watching Griffey play, the decision comes as no surprise. It’s just shocking that this hadn’t been done before. The Show has featured current stars on its cover including Josh Donaldson, Yasiel Puig, Miguel Cabrera, and Andrew McCutchen, but this will be the first time a retired player will be featured on the cover.
Griffey, of course, is no stranger to video game covers. He was the inspiration for Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (Super Nintendo), Ken Griffey Jr.’s Winning Run (Super Nintendo), Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr (Nintendo 64), and Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest (Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color).
Griffey, 46, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this past July along with Mike Piazza.