Yesterday I observed that the Washington-Pittsburgh rainout seemed a bit hasty. You know, what with there being no rain in Washington yesterday and everything. Same went for the Mets-Marlins game last night which, it seems anyway, could have been played. I’m not the only one noticing. The USA Today notes that “preemptive postponements” seem to be on the rise.
The question raised by the USA Today is whether there is a strategic angle to all of this. On the business side, scheduling a game on a sunny day later in the year might make for a bigger crowd. And, as some are suggesting, perhaps dates later in the year may make for more games with a stronger roster too. That last bit seems a bit conspiracy theorist to me. But hey: when there’s no baseball game, we have nothing else to do but to come up with that kind of stuff.
But like I said yesterday: damned if you do, damned if you don’t. People complain about games being cancelled early. But if they cancel late, everyone complains that the team was just trying to get parking fees and a couple of beers sold before calling it night.
It’s the weather, man. And you know the saying: everyone likes to talk about the weather, but no one ever gets off their lazy butt and creates a weather control device (which could also cause earthquakes) to bring the world to its knees unless the nations of Earth destroyed all of their nuclear weapons, aircraft and navies and accepted the control of the Galaxy Organization.
Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2020 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. The suspension is up on August 2. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.