C.J. Wilson dramatically altered the course of his career last year by requesting a chance to move from the bullpen to the rotation and after thriving as a starter he’s potentially now just one season from a big payday as a free agent.
Wilson and the Rangers have had some talks about a contract extension, but yesterday the left-hander told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com that “it doesn’t look like a deal is going to get done before we break camp.”
Wilson described the talks as “amicable” and made it clear he’d like to remain in Texas after this season, while general manager Jon Daniels offered only that “we value him and we’re not going to close the door on anything.”
The two sides avoided arbitration with a one-year, $7 million deal and Wilson has already been named the Opening Day starter, but like many prominent players he’s said that once the season starts he doesn’t want to be distracted by any contract talks. Texas may want to see Wilson repeat his success as a starter before handing him a huge deal, but if he does that it might be too late to keep him from hitting the open market as a 30-year-old free agent.
Video: Undercover David Ortiz drives a Lyft in Boston
David Ortiz did one of those “Undercover Lyft” spots for, well, Lyft, in which famous people disguise themselves while driving passengers around. Yes, they’re ads, but they’re still pretty funny. At least this one was.
Best parts: (1) the woman who says she has two David Ortiz shirts to which Undercover Ortiz responds, “actually, all my shirts are his shirts”; and (2) when Ortiz agrees with someone that baseball games are “so loooong.” Oh, and at one point he tells a woman who said she was going to the Red Sox game that night that he was too. After he unmasked himself, she explains his own joke to him. Which, ooohhkay.
In other news, people who take Lyfts in Boston either don’t watch much baseball, because Ortiz’s costume is NOT very concealing, or else they simply don’t look at their Lyft driver while in the car, at all.
Scouting in Venezuela: “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time”
Ben Badler of Baseball America has a story about how major league scouts who cover Venezuela are unhappy with the rules imposed upon them by the league. Rules, they say, which unreasonably prohibit them from scouting Venezuelan players in centralized, team-controlled locations or, alternatively, flying them to team facilities in the Dominican Republic or elsewhere.
The result: international scouts are forced to travel all over Venezuela to evaluate prospect. And, given how destabilized and dangerous Venezuela has become, they believe their safety is at risk:
“MLB’s rules that limit our ability to travel a Venezuelan guy to the Dominican Republic, that limit our ability to get them in a complex at different ages, all these rules are solely contributing to the risks that all of us are taking traveling from complex to complex, facility to facility in the streets,” said one international director. “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time, and it’s on MLB when it happens, because they’re the ones who created these rules.”
As Badler notes, Major League Baseball itself has moved its annual national showcase out of the country due to safety concerns. It will not, however, relax scouting rules — which seem arbitrary on their surface in the first place — in order to make the job of international scouts safer.
It seems that Rob Manfred and the league owe their employees better than this. Or at the very least owe them an explanation why they don’t think they do.