Dear lord, do I love Ozzie Guillen. If, for no other reason, than because he says what everyone else thinks but which no one in an official position besides him ever, ever says. Things like this, which Brent Ballantini of CSN Chicago reports Guillen said about White Sox reliever Will Ohman, who has had a rough go of it in the season’s first week:
“He’s here—I have to use him. We’ve got only 11 pitchers. I don’t have the luxury to [matchup Ohman to lefties]. Maybe later on I will. But he’s got to get his head out of his ass … We need him pitching. If he’s not going to help us, we’ll put people in his place that will …”
This wasn’t a rant. Guillen was supportive of Ohman and said he wants him to do well. But he’s not going to sugar coat it either. That’s the thing about honesty: it can hurt when someone tells you, you know, that you gotta get your head out of your ass. But it can also be comforting in that at least you know where you stand and you can trust that the good that comes with the bad — the part about Guillen wanting Ohman around — is genuine too.
Yeah, it’s rough. But as anyone who has ever worked someplace where they give you nothing but praise and disingenuous smiles only to kick you out the door later can tell you, the blunt stuff is rather refreshing.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.