UPDATE: First Adrian Beltre and the Rangers had a deal. Then they didn’t. Then a deal was imminent. Now it’s not again:
Club officials are not particularly optimistic that something will get down with third baseman Adrian Beltre. That deal seems unlikely give the tenor of feeling on Monday but things could change.
The weird thing about this is that neither side of these conflicting reports is openly refuting the other. Usually we see “So-and-so said a deal was close, but a team source says that’s not the case.” Not on this. Here it’s like we have two alternate realities existing in which Adrian Beltre is close to signing and not at all close to signing and they are totally unaware of the other.
Maybe we’re in a Star Trek: TNG episode. They used to encounter that kind of thing all the time. If only we can somehow communicate with our alternate selves, we could solve this crisis! I suggest doing something with a tachyon field. Or perhaps reconfiguring the deflector dish. If we need more power, we can just divert some from the main shields. Yes, I know that leaves us vulnerable in the event of an attack, but how likely is that to occur? We’re on a research mission for crying out loud!
11:05 AM: Enrique Rojas of ESPN reports that “an agreement appears imminent,” between Adrian Beltre and the Rangers.
We are in grain of salt territory here however. Why? because yesterday there were reports that a deal was done, but those were walked back by U.S. writers, presumably with Rangers sources, who say that there are conversations but nothing close to being done. Rojas’ new report cites those reports from the Dominican Republic yesterday, but it is bylined from ten minutes ago. Is he reporting something new pointing to an imminent deal, or did an ESPN editor jump the gun or misread Rojas’ latest dispatch as the latest news when he was really reporting on yesterday’s now discredited reports? And if it is the latter, why no acknowledgments of the debunkings from earlier today? Hurm.
Rojas is good, though. If there’s a deal in place, it would not shock me in the least if he had it first. It seems like player-sourced news tends to beat team-sourced news with this sort of thing anyway.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.