Geoff Blum apparently didn’t fill new general manager Kevin Towers’ “scrappy utility infielder” quota for the offseason, so Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Diamondbacks have signed Willie Bloomquist to a one-year, $1.05 million deal with a mutual option for 2012.
That means Diamondbacks fans will now be treated to months of newspaper articles and announcer-speak about how Bloomquist longs to be an everyday player and brings much more to the table than his numbers suggest.
Meanwhile, he got a chance to play regularly for the Royals in 2009 and hit .265/.308/.355 in 468 plate appearances for a 97-loss team and his .653 career OPS ranks eighth-worst among all active players with at least 2,000 plate appearances ahead of only Juan Castro, John McDonald, Cesar Izturis, Adam Everett, Nick Punto, Willy Taveras, and Alex Cora.
On the other hand, he’s surely among the MLB leaders in “scrappiness” during that same time frame.
The Diamondbacks announced on Tuesday afternoon that former major leaguer Dan Haren has been named the organization’s new pitching strategist. The role will include working with the front office, the major league coaching staff, and the analytics department.
Haren, 36, ended his 13-year playing career after the 2015 season. He finished with a 153-131 record and a 3.75 ERA across 2,419 2/3 innings.
Since retiring, Haren has been one of the more enjoyable players to follow on Twitter. He promised to teach his disciples how to tweet as part of his new responsibilities.
For a guy who won a World Series MVP Award and has been to a couple of All-Star Games, it’s amazing how many stories have been written about Pablo Sandoval‘s off-the-field exploits compared to his on-the-field exploits. Specifically, stories about his conditioning. Or lack of conditioning. Of him getting into shape, falling out of shape and getting back into shape again. It’s been this way since he emerged as an everyday player in 2009.
And it continues anew:
There is no claim here that Sandoval is, in fact, in The Best Shape of His Life. However, longtime BSOHL fans know that the claim is not about the magic words being used. The idea is that, in the offseason, players with something to prove will routinely make an effort to create the impression that they are a new man. Often it is from claiming that one is in The Best Shape of His Life. Often it comes from surrogates talking about how many pounds of fat one has lost or pounds of pure muscle one has added. Sometimes — as here — it comes in the form of showing post-workout photos.
Whatever the purpose of the photo, Sandoval is certainly looking good compared to where he was last spring:
Or at the end of the 2015 season:
Even if this is part of a plan to get Sandoval some good press heading into the 2017 season, I’m happy to see that he appears to be recovered from shoulder surgery and appears to be taking good care of himself and is thinking about his baseball futrue.
Either way, expect the Panda Weight Watch to continue at Red Sox spring training come February.