Anyone can sit back and say how much of a classless, low-rent jerk Brian Sabean was in his comments about Scott Cousins last night. I mean, when a high level executive of a major league baseball team fans the flames of a situation in which the player in question is already getting death threats — and when his family actually lives in the city whence the threats presumably hail — it’s pretty easy to say something like “Sabean is a jackass.” See, I just said it!
But it’s also worth noting — as Wezen-Ball’s Larry Granillo does in exceedingly clear terms in this wonderful post over at Baseball Prospectus — that Sabean, in addition to being a jerk, is being outrageously inconsistent. Seems he’s never had a problem with catcher collisions before. It’s only now, when his superstar is on the wrong end of things that he’s so animated about it. Check out Larry’s rundown and then, if you have the ear of Brian Sabean, feel free to ask him about it. I’d love to hear his answer.
Of course, Sabean has a track record of wanting there to be different rules for his superstars, so this is no surprise.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.