San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers, Game 4

UPDATE: Call off the Michael Young trade talk

3 Comments

UPDATE: It seems that’s over. Multiple sources, including Evan Grant and others who were reporting a possible Michael Young trade, are now saying that it’s not happening. The Rangers have approached young and told him as much.

To the extent the trade was going to be to the Rockies so that Texas could then sign Adrian Beltre, I’d like to think I was partially responsible. When that rumor first started last night I went on Sirius/XM radio with Mike Ferrin and Flash Gordon, who asked me about it. My immediate response: “Why don’t the Rockies just sign Adrian Beltre? Not tons more expensive and, you know, he’s a lot better.”  Perchance Colorado heard that and agreed?

Well, no, I suppose not. But if a knucklehead like me can understand that, you figure that a team full of guys paid to think about such matters could.

Tuesday, 11:42 PM: Oh, baby. Multiple sources are telling Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that the Rangers are talking to the Rockies about a trade for Michael Young.

This will be no easy task, since Young is owed $48 million over the next three seasons, but Grant writes that if the Rangers are able to deal him, they will pursue free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. Now that would be something.

Tuesday, 8:02 PM: Here’s more clarification from Rangers president Nolan Ryan, via Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com:

“I wouldn’t say that were shopping him,” Ryan said. “A lot of players come up in discussions and you listen to what’s out there. I think people ask us about all kinds of players and so you see what level of interest some teams have on various things, but it’s all just part of the process. We’re not shopping him.”

Tuesday, 7:58 PM: According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rangers officials have “debunked” the rumor that they are shopping Michael Young. Again, probably doesn’t matter if they are, because they aren’t going to get that much interest with a contract like his.

Tuesday, 6:19 PM: Ken Rosenthal says that the Rangers are listening to offers for Michael Young.

I suppose if I had Michael Young and his contract that I’d listen to offers too. I just wouldn’t expect any.  Besides, Young is really popular in Texas, you’d have to figure that it wouldn’t be the easiest trick in the world to trade him in a salary dump.  They’d have to get players, and who wants to give players for a guy who is owed $16 million a year for his age 34, 35 and 36 seasons.

This could be a shot in the dark by the Rangers, hoping that they could maybe unload his contract before his 10-and-5 rights kick in next May.

In other news, there’s a host for an Atlanta sports talk station inexplicably broadcasting from inside the media room here at the Winter Meetings, where people are trying to write. He’s loud, and that would be bad enough. Making it worse: he just referred to Greg Maddux as “The Crime Dog.”  That’s a major, major code violation.  If you don’t know his nickname at least have the common courtesy to call him “Daddy.”

I’m going to get some dinner. Then some courage. Then I’m going to come back and give that guy a wedgie.  If things go sideways, my last tweet of the evening will be a request for someone for to throw my bail.

Yordano Ventura killed in an auto accident

CLEVELAND, OH -  JUNE 2:  Starting pitcher Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals jokes with teammates as he walks off the field after the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on June 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Getty Images
14 Comments

UPDATE, 12:07 p.m. EDT: The Royals have confirmed reports of Yordano Ventura’s death with an official statement. No further details pertaining to the accident have been divulged.

Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.

Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.

Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.

Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.

Report: Tim Lincecum is not ready for retirement

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 29:  Tim Lincecum #55 of the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 29, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Getty Images
8 Comments

Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).

Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.

While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.