Jeff Pearlman wrote something reasonable and reflective over at his personal blog in the wake of this morning’s nonsense. Go read it.
Jeff: you have no need to apologize to me, though I do appreciate the gesture. You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe and the last thing I think anyone should do is to hold back if they feel passionate about something. I don’t think you crossed any lines in what you wrote.
That said, I agree with a lot of the sentiment of Pearlman’s post. I get into a lot of little scrapes like this because that’s just how I’m wired. I think Jeff does too, because that’s how he’s wired. It happens. And it’s just sports, so it’s worth taking a moment for perspective once in a while.
I think Jeff and I still disagree pretty vehemently about a lot of issues, but it’s nice when people can disagree and be polite about it. I don’t always succeed at that, and I’m not happy with myself when I don’t live up to the standards to which I aspire. I think Jeff probably feels the same way.
(psst! Minions: please leave a number where you can be reached if I need you, OK?)
*And no, I have no idea if I’m Nixon or Mao in that pic. I just wanted a picture of a couple of people who could be civil with one another when necessary despite the worst parts of their nature and stuff. Please don’t read anything into it.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.