David Wright feels bad for the Wilpons

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Kevin Kernan is down in Port St. Luice and he caught up with early spring training arrival David Wright.  Wright opined about the Wilpon-Madoff mess:

“I’ve become very close with the Wilpon family over the years.  They’ve done a lot for me. And I feel for them, just having to go through this. I called Jeff a few days ago just to let him know that I was thinking about him and if he needed anything from me, I’m there for him.”

Wilpon then asked David Wright for $300 million.

OK, maybe not.  Wright went on:

“Getting down here and playing baseball you don’t have to listen to every day what’s going on in that situation. It’s almost like once you walk across these lines; it’s almost like a sanctuary. That’s one of the best things for me to get back out on the baseball field. You don’t have to think about everything.’’

The turmoil of a club’s business doesn’t impact the fans as directly as it does the members of a team, but it does affect us.  And of course, most of us have stress and uncertainty of one form or another in our own lives.  Spring training and baseball serves as a sanctuary for us too.

We’re a little over two weeks until actual spring training games start. The beauty of the electronic age allows us to watch a lot of them or, at the very least, follow them live in one way or another.  When they do — or even when the mitts start popping next week — the world will be a better place.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.