David Ortiz

“David Ortiz is not a baseball player”

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Remember that John Steigerwald guy who blamed Bryan Stow’s beating on the fact that he wore a Giants jersey to Dodger Stadium? Yeah, that was some first class poop-stirring.

This bit he wrote about David Ortiz over the weekend doesn’t approach that state of sublimity, but it’s pretty good poop-stirring all the same.

The inspiration: the fact that Ortiz, by virtue of the Red Sox playing a weekend series in a National League park, had only three plate appearances all weekend. And the fact that, coming into the weekend, Terry Francona complained to a local radio station that he couldn’t use his best lineup because of that:

Francona told 93.7 The Fan that it wasn’t fair he had to keep one of his most dangerous hitters and highest paid players out of the game. He also said his batting order is built around Ortiz.

How pathetic is it that Ortiz is either so fat or uncoordinated that his manager can’t find a place for him to play? … He’s such a clod that he risks injuring himself simply by stepping on the field without a bat? Sorry, if that’s the case, David Ortiz is not a baseball player.

As I said a week or two ago, the old DH wars are, well, old.  That said, I am growing weary of hearing American League managers complain about not being able to use their DH in NL parks during interleague games.

Suck it up and either stop complaining or else put your guy in the field somewhere. Your team has been going to NL parks for several years now. Your boss constructed a roster knowing full well that, for a handful of games, you’d have some lineup challenges.  You don’t hear NL managers complaining that they, unlike their AL opponents, don’t have some offense-only player they can use at DH while on the road during interleague play, do you?

Fair? Not necessarily. But neither is rain on a weekend when you planned a picnic, and no one wants to hear you complaining about that either.

(link via BTF)

Report: Padres trade Matt Kemp to the Braves for Hector Olivera

SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 06:  Matt Kemp #27 of the San Diego Padres talks in the dugout prior to the start of the game against the Atlanta Braves at PETCO Park on June 6, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images)
Kent Horner/Getty Images
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Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.

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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.

Athletics trade Billy Burns to the Royals for Brett Eibner

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 13: Billy Burns #1 of the Oakland Athletics waits on deck to bat during the fourth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 13, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Brian Blanco/Getty Images
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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.