Mike Piazza told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York this morning that he has considered becoming an owner.
“Would I be interested in possibly getting involved in a group to buy a team? Probably,” Piazza said. “I’ve been thinking about it. I think that would be something that would probably suit my desire, at least, to get into the game. I don’t really see myself on the field all the time, or in the boardroom all the time. But I feel like maybe I can bring certain intangibles to both. And having the credibility of being on the field and also getting to know some of the administrative aspects of the sport would be something I’d be interested in.”
Piazza is in Port St. Lucie today as the hitting coach for Team Italy, who is taking on a team of Mets’ minor leaguers. The 12-time All-Star told Rubin that doesn’t have anything on the forefront as an ownership bid, but indicated that he had been approached by groups interested in purchasing a stake in the Mets.
“I can’t confirm or deny any of that,” he said playfully. “Let’s just say I’ve talked to some people who have interest in getting into the game. It doesn’t cost anything to talk, thank god. At least not yet. Things start with ideas. And you have to dream a little bit, and you just never know. So we’ll see. But as far anything right now — any talks or putting together any groups — no I’m not involved in anything specifically.”
I’m actually rooting for this to happen, even if it isn’t with the Mets. Just close your eyes for a moment and imagine the Murray Chass outrage. It would be pure gold.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.
With the Braves on the cusp of formalizing their one-year deal with Kurt Suzuki, the market for free agent catcher Matt Wieters is dwindling. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick references an inside source that lists the Angels, Rockies and Reds as potential suitors for the 30-year-old’s services.
Wieters is coming off of an eight-year career with the Orioles. In 2016, he played through his first full year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014 and batted .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and a .711 OPS in 464 PA. A return to Baltimore in 2017 isn’t out of the question, Crasnick writes, citing some within the team that would be open to Wieters stepping into a DH role and catching platoon with Wellington Castillo. However, he also points out that the front office appears divided on the veteran catcher, and sees the Orioles as a long shot for the foreseeable future.
The Angels have already been tied to Wieters this offseason, while the Rockies and Reds don’t appear to have made any formal inquiries so far. Both could use a veteran presence behind the dish, as the Rockies are planning to platoon rookie catcher Tom Murphy with 24-year-old Tony Wolters in the spring. The Reds, meanwhile, are banking on a quick recovery for 28-year-old Devin Mesoraco, who missed most of the 2016 season after undergoing shoulder and hip surgery and forced the club to rely almost exclusively on back-up backstop Tucker Barnhart.