For Scott Schoeneweis, things haven’t been very easy these past couple of years.
The 37-year-old lefty lost his wife to a drug overdose in May of 2009 and has pitched to a 7.41 ERA and 1.89 WHIP over the last two years with Arizona and Boston. The Red Sox gave him a look in 2010 when he was dumped by the Diamondbacks, but they designated him for assignment after just 15 appearances because he was ineffective and hurting their bullpen.
Schoeneweis, owner of a .229/.304/.309 career line against left-handed batters, hasn’t pitched in a big league game since the Red Sox cut ties with him on May 19, 2010.
But he’s hoping to change that.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Schoeneweis is on the hunt for a minor league contract and an invitation to spring training. He wants to win a lefty specialist gig in a team’s bullpen and thinks he is well enough physically to turn his career around in 2011.
“I don’t know too many people who could have done what I’ve done considering the circumstances,” Schoeneweis told Cafardo. “Seems as if I’m being penalized instead of applauded. It’s not sour grapes. My place is more important to be here raising the kids, but for me personally, I wasn’t quite done. My skills haven’t diminished.”
The veteran southpaw will probably get a shot somewhere. Whether he actually has something left is another story.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.