I think everyone who works in baseball is tired of talking about whether the Red Sox will turn it around. So it’s nice that some people from the larger world of entertainment are picking up the slack.
First comes a guy who I wouldn’t have guessed would have an ESPN column someday, former Guns ‘N Roses bassist Duff McKagan:
But before any of us gets a little too far ahead of ourselves, let’s just remember that we are only 10 games into the season. Before we state that the Cleveland Indians are going all of the way, or that the Red Sox are already out of it, let us remember how small of a fraction this first 10 games is to the rest of the season.
Actually, McKagan’s column is a lot better than what a lot of full-time sports columnists pass off. Which is the dirty little secret of sports writing, even if it shouldn’t be a secret: all you really need is to (a) know sports; and (b) be able to write. There aren’t some other magical requirements. And in no case do having other such magical requirements make up for not knowing sports and not knowing how to write. So if you want to be a sports writer, just get in the ring. It’s so easy!
More troubling are the comments of one Charlie Sheen. Who has a long and established track record of knowing baseball, but who has become something less than a reliable analyst on a host of matters in recent months. What say you about the Bosox, Charlie?
“I’d tell everybody to shut up, that they’ll bounce back. It’s a long season and there’s a ton of talent there and a really bitchin’ hitter’s park they play in. Relax.”
In other words, the Red Sox are totally screwed.
Now, I’m off to see what Kirk Cameron and Mr. T. have to say about John Lackey’s velocity.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.
Mariners’ right-hander Arquimedes Caminero is nearing a deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. The club has reportedly agreed to sell the 29-year-old’s contract, Dutton writes, though no official move has been announced by either team yet. Caminero is under club control through 2020 and currently ineligible for arbitration.
The right-hander began the 2016 season with the Pirates but was sent to the Mariners in a trade for Seattle minor leaguers Jake Brentz and Pedro Vasquez in order to clear space in the Bucs’ bullpen. With the Mariners, Caminero produced a 3.66 ERA and 8.2 K/9 through 19 2/3 innings in the second half of the year. Although he boasts an electric fastball, one which consistently averaged 98.7 m.p.h. in 2016, his success rate has been tempered by poor control throughout his major league career. According to Dutton, the Mariners’ willingness to sell Caminero’s contract was a strong indication that they did not see him as a viable contender for their 2017 bullpen or as a potential trade chip further down the line.
Should the deal go through, the right-hander will be the second former Mariner to sign with a Japanese club for the 2017 season. Per Dutton’s report, outfielder Stefen Romero also picked up a contract with the Orix Buffaloes of NPB in late November.