Scott Engel of RotoExperts has an exclusive story in which he interviewed a guy Lenny Dykstra hired to drive him around New York for a few days. That sounds like it might be a rather attenuated account of the Life of Dykstra, but the details in there paint a highly depressing picture that, in many ways, captures the fall-from-grace story of Nails in ways that the news reports to date haven’t:
Jerry finally spoke to Dykstra’s assistant on Sunday afternoon, and was informed that Dykstra was living on the streets and had not eaten in three days. The hotel staff did not even want him in their lounge. Dykstra spent the weekend on the streets, sleeping twice in a Kinko’s print shop.
Jerry informed his wife of the situation, and they made him a plate of leftovers from their Sunday family dinner. “When I saw him that night, he was wearing the same clothes from three days ago, and he ate the food like a ravaged animal. He scarfed everything down.”
The Red Sox signed catcher Christian Vazquez to a three-year, $13.55 million extension, per a team announcement on Saturday. The agreement will keep Vazquez under contract through the 2021 season and covers two years of arbitration eligibility and the catcher’s first year of free agency. It comes with a $7 million club option (and $250,000 buyout) for 2022 that could get bumped up to $8 million if he reaches 502 plate appearances in both 2020 and 2021. Vazquez has also volunteered to make an annual donation to the Red Sox Foundation as part of his new arrangement with the club.
The 27-year-old backstop is entering his fourth year with the Red Sox in 2018. He’s been a steady defender behind the dish over the last three years and was ranked fifth-best in defense among all American League catchers at the end of the 2017 season. He also enjoyed a breakout performance at the plate, slashing a career-best .290/.330/.404 with five home runs and a .735 OPS in 345 plate appearances.
Come Opening Day, Vazquez is expected to be the Red Sox’ primary option behind the plate, with veteran Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart poised to start in backup roles. Swihart is out of options, but has been groomed for a utility role this spring and could take a few reps in the left field and the infield corners if need be, as it doesn’t appear the club is prepared to trade him just yet.