Things you may have missed while observing your seven year-old daughter silently putting the pieces together of the highly implausible Easter Bunny story but then — almost certainly — deciding not to tell you that she knows because she’s worried that if she does so there will be no more jelly beans for her:
- Tony La Russa fooled Dusty Baker. Eh, I don’t consider it much of a scam if it can be thwarted by the mark simply turning on a weather report.
- I sort of think this Jeff Wilpon story makes him seem funny and almost likable, but I can’t get past the fact that every picture I’ve ever seen of Wilpon makes him look like the smarmy secondary bad guy from some 80s movie. I’m thinking Paul Reiser in “Aliens.“
- Felipe Lopez is wearing out his welcome someplace? Why, I never.
- Neftali Feliz has shoulder inflammation and is on the DL. I was going to hold off judgment on this because it’s not like I have any medical knowledge or, really, any specialized knowledge about wear and tear on pitchers. I will note, however, that during last night’s Cards-Reds game, Orel Hershisher and Bobby Valentine both talked about how, pitch counts aside, a less durable arm may be better served as a starter than a reliever because it won’t be used as often in a starting role. This was in connection to Aroldis Chapman, but it makes me wonder if a set routine and less frequent outings may be a better call for Feliz.
- I’ve heard tell of this “Chase Utley,” but I figured he was more myth than man. Now some say we’ll see him come late May.
- Franklin Gutierrez has something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
- Dice-K continues to dominate. Last week I suggested this was a case of kidnapping or mistaken identity. Now I’m convinced that it’s more of a Robert-Johnson-at-the-Crossroads situation.
- Russell Martin is dominating too. With him I’m more inclined to believe that it’s just a matter of health, fitness, friendlier ballparks and a hot streak.
No, I’m not sure what Mookie’s stance is on Santa.
Jon Morosi hears that the Marlins are “willing to engage with other teams” on a possible Giancarlo Stanton trade.
As we noted yesterday, Stanton has cleared revocable waivers, so he’s eligible to be dealt to any club. The price for Stanton is likely to be high given that he’s enjoying a career year, batting .285/.376/.646 with a league-leading 44 home runs and 94 RBI in 116 games this season. He’s also, obviously, the cornerstone of the franchise.
You also have to assume that anyone looking to acquire Stanton would want the Marlins to chip in money on his $285 million contract. If not, someone might’ve simply claimed him on waivers with the hope that the Marlins would simply let him walk, right? Which suggests that any negotiation over Stanton would be a long and difficult one. It might also involve Stanton agreeing to restructure his deal, which currently gives him an opt-out after the 2020 season. That would likely involve the MLBPA as well, which just makes it all the more complicated.
I think it’s a long shot that the Marlins would trade Stanton in-season, but it’s not hard to imagine him being traded this winter.
Jered Weaver, a 12-year big league veteran and a three-time All-Star, has announced his retirement.
Weaver was struggling mightily with the Padres this year, going 0-5 in nine starts and posting a 7.44 ERA,, a 2.6 BB/9 and 4.9 K/9 ratio over 42.1 innings. He hadn’t posted a sub-4.00 ERA since 2014 and his velocity had, quite famously, sunk into the low 80s and even high 70s at times in recent seasons. A spate of physical setbacks contributed to that, with a hip inflammation ailing him this season and nerve issues in his neck and back afflicting him for the past few years.
But even if his recent seasons have been less-than-memorable, it’s worth remembering that he was, for a time, one of baseball’s best pitchers. He posted a record of 131-69 with a 3.28 ERA in his first 9 seasons, leading the American League in strikeouts in 2010 and leading the circuit in wins in 2012 and 2014. He likewise led the league in WHIP and hits allowed per nine innings in 2012.
He finishes his career with a record of 150-98, an ERA of 3.63 (ERA+ of 111) and a K/BB ratio of 1,621/551 in 2,067.1 innings. He pitched in four American League Division Series and the 2009 ALCS, posting a 2.67 ERA in seven playoff games pitched.
Happy trails, Jered. A first-ballot induction into the Hall of He Was Really Dang Good, Even if We Forgot About It For A While is in your future.