Before hiring an 80-year-old as their new manager the Marlins made a different surprising move last week by demoting former Rookie of the Year and Opening Day center fielder Chris Coghlan to Triple-A, but the transaction has been voided because Coghlan informed the team of a knee injury and has instead been placed on the disabled list.
That may not seem like a big distinction, particularly since Coghlan will surely head out on a minor-league rehab assignment once healthy, but in the meantime he’ll collect an MLB salary and accrue MLB service time. In other words, it’s a big difference for his wallet and for the timing of his arbitration eligibility and (eventually) free agency.
Coghlan hit just .230 with five homers and a .668 OPS in 65 games, but based on their respective track records replacements Emilio Bonifacio and DeWayne Wise don’t figure to be any better offensively. Wise has drawn all three starts since Coghlan lost the job, but he’s a 33-year-old journeyman with a .222 batting average and .640 OPS in 379 games.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.