Last week was the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their free agents. Today is the deadline for those so offered to accept or decline. Some already have done so (guys like Trevor Hoffman) and others have already signed free agent deals, mooting the issue (Victor Martinez). That leaves 12 type-A free agents and 11 type-B free agents who need to make up their minds before midnight.
The type As: Grant Balfour, Adrian Beltre, Carl Crawford, Scott Downs, Adam Dunn, Frank Francisco, Jason Frasor, Paul Konerko, Cliff Lee, Carl Pavano, Rafael Soriano and Jayson Werth.
The type-Bs: Randy Choate, Jesse Crain, Pedro Feliciano, Brad Hawpe, Aaron Heilman, Orlando Hudson, Adam LaRoche, Felipe Lopez, Miguel Olivo, J.J. Putz and Chad Qualls.
There is always a surprise or two — Rafael Soriano unexpectedly accepted the Braves’ offer of arbitration last year — but I can’t really see any of the type-As other than Frank Francisco, who has already indicated that he’ll accept, taking arbitration. Maybe some type-Bs do, but their doing so won’t fundamentally alter the market or anything.
If anything strange does happen, however — like, say, Adam Dunn accepting — it will likely lead to fun trade speculation over the coming days, so let’s hope for the unexpected.
The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.
Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:
It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.
Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”
He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”
Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”
One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.
Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.
Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.