Russ Adams

Former first-round pick Russ Adams retires

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J.P. Ricciardi’s first draft pick in his stint as the Toronto Blue Jays GM retired Thursday, as Triple-A Buffalo’s Russ Adams called it a career.

Adams was the 14th overall pick in the 2002 draft.  After three steady seasons in the minors, he debuted with the Blue Jays in 2004, hitting .306/.359/.528 with four homers in 78 at-bats.  That earned him a starting job in 2005.  He went on to hit a respectable .256/.325/.383 with eight homers and 63 RBI.  However, the Blue Jays soured on him defensively as the year went on.

As it turned out, those 139 major league games he played in as a rookie were more than he’d play in the rest of his career combined.  The Blue Jays completely gave up on him as a shortstop after a 2006 season in which he hit .219/.282/.319 in 90 games, and since he didn’t really impress at second or third either, he was unable to carve out a career as a utilityman.  He was last seen in the majors in eight games with the Jays in 2009.

This year was his second with the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate.  He hit a solid .264/.444/.473 with 16 homers last year, but he was off to a poor .180/.296/.246 start in 72 at-bats this season.

Matt Wieters is close to signing with the Washington Nationals

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02: Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles connects on a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 2, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.

Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.

Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.

Sergio Romo experienced some difficulty in the past couple of years

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 11:  Sergio Romo #54 of the San Francisco Giants walks off the mound after allowing an RBI double in the ninth inning of Game Four of the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs at AT&T Park on October 11, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.

There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.