Petco Park

Bud Black: “there’s room to talk” about moving the fences in at Petco Park

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I’m hesitant to say that Padres manager Bud Black would like the fences to be moved in, because it seems from the article that the subject was brought up by reporters — and has been so brought up multiple times recently — and that Black was trying to be a bit coy with respect to his true feelings.

But hey, when has my hesitation to say anything stopped me before? It sounds like Bud Black wants the fences moved in at Petco Park:

On Monday, Bud Black was asked what his stance was on moving in the PETCO Park fences.

“I think there’s room for discussion,” Black said, choosing his words carefully before taking a long pause and repeating himself. “I just think there’s room to talk about it in our park.”

Black didn’t expand on what he said, but he hasn’t been one to typically discuss the park’s dimensions, even to that extent.

This kind of talk always depresses me.  The park is the park and both the home team and the visiting team have to play in it.  It if depresses offense, hey, it helps pitching, and that’s something that has benefited the Padres in recent years. And, as has been mentioned before, the benefits could be more than merely turning a few bad pitches into fly outs instead of homers. It could help San Diego on the business side as they are able to court pitchers in need of a career rejuvenation to relatively low-dollar one-year deals that a lot of teams would love. Jon Garland anyone? Aaron Harang?

For the rest of us: variety is the spice of life. There were so many small parks built in the past 20 years that it’s nice to have a couple that play big.  Leave Petco alone!

Cubs sign Brett Anderson to a $3.5 million deal

Brett Anderson
AP Photo/J Pat Carter
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.

Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.

When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Duane Burleson/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.