This is kind of a shocker: Royals starter Gil Meche has announced his retirement. This despite the fact that he has about $12 million left on his contract.
Of course Meche has had chronic shoulder trouble since 2009. Much of it due, one presumes, to Trey Hillman absolutely grinding him into dust. Rany Jazayerli has chronicled this, the most notorious example of which was Hillman sending Meche out for 121 pitches in a game in 2009 as Meche was suffering from dead arm and trying to overcome various ailments. Maybe Meche goes down anyway, but it was pretty inexcusable all the same.
That aside, Meche gave Kansas City their money’s worth for the first two years of the deal, putting up an ERA+ of 125 and 110, respectively, while pitching over 200 innings. In the past two seasons Meche only made 43 appearances, 32 of which were starts. He had certainly lost effectiveness and velocity. He apparently believes that it’s not coming back. Sad to see it end for Gil Meche, but it’s good to see someone comfortable enough with himself and his place in the game to where he can walk away like this.
Ask yourself, though: would you leave $12 million on the table like this? When you could simply hang around the team, sit in the dugout and collect the checks? Most of us would probably say that we couldn’t do that if we knew we couldn’t pitch anymore, but most of us would probably be lying.
Enjoy retirement, Gil.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.