We’re slowly learning more details about Francisco Rodriguez’s 10-team no-trade list.
While Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the no-trade list was written into his original three-year contract and doesn’t change on an annual basis, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal reveals that the Yankees are not one of the teams on his list.
Here are some more interesting tidbits from Costa:
When K-Rod chose the teams, the person said, he did so based on which teams he wouldn’t want to play for, even if those teams would be unlikely to trade for him anyway. The list includes some small-market teams that would not be in the market for him, the person said, but it also includes a few that have expressed interest in trading for him recently.
This is actually a contrast with what we’ve seen with more recent no-trade lists, as players often include large-market teams for potential leverage. For example, Royals closer Joakim Soria has the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies on his six-team no-trade list.
Costa wrote earlier this afternoon that K-Rod’s new agent Scott Boras has “strongly indicated” that he will not accept a deal to a team on his no-trade list in order to be a set-up man, but there’s nothing contractual standing in the way of a potential match with the Yankees. A team that could need some help setting up Mariano Rivera, by the way. Joba Chamberlain underwent Tommy John surgery last month, Pedro Feliciano is currently shut down with a torn shoulder capsule and Rafael Soriano is rehabbing a sore right elbow.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that starter Clay Buchholz is at Citizens Bank Park for Wednesday night’s game against the Marlins. The right-hander recently underwent surgery to repair a partial tear of his flexor pronator mass. The timetable for his recovery is three to five months, but most are expecting him to miss the rest of the season since the Phillies aren’t legitimate contenders.
According to Zolecki, Buchholz apologized to GM Matt Klentak “and others” — presumably other front office staff and/or his teammates — for getting injured. Buchholz hopes to return to pitch in September.
It’s saddening to me, and indicative of the general anti-labor culture in sports, that a player feels obligated to apologize for getting injured on the job. Injuries are nothing new for Buchholz, which might have factored into his decision to apologize. Red Sox fans got on his case quite a bit over the years for his propensity to land on the disabled list. But it wasn’t like Buchholz was taking unnecessary risks; he simply did his job, which entails doing a lot of unhealthy movement with his arm. Buchholz owes no one an apology.
Buchholz isn’t the only player to have apologized for getting injured. Outfielder Hideki Matsui apologized to the Yankees in 2006. Starter Masahiro Tanaka apologized in 2014. Twins reliever Glen Perkins apologized last year. Even Madison Bumgarner sort of apologized for suffering injuries riding a dirt bike on an off-day, saying “It’s definitely not the most responsible decision I’ve made.” Because god forbid an athlete has interests and hobbies outside of his vocation.
Players are brought up in a sports culture that allows exorbitantly wealthy owners to bilk the players — laborers — at every possible turn. They’re mostly underpaid and poorly taken care of in the minors. If and when they reach the major leagues, their salaries are intentionally depressed for six years and their service time is toyed with (just ask Kris Bryant). Buchholz endured that and then endured the criticism that comes with having been a hyped prospect who mostly failed to live up to expectations. He’s gone above and beyond what he needed to do to have a successful career as a professional baseball player, even if it wasn’t as much as fans or front office personnel would have liked.
Update (5:22 PM ET): Thames is dealing with left hamstring tightness. Manager Craig Counsell says it’s “not a big deal,” Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Brewers first baseman Eric Thames left Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Reds in the top of the eighth inning with an apparent injury. Thames took his position to start the inning, but was replaced by Jesus Aguilar. Thames had flied out weakly to center field to end the previous inning, so perhaps something happened while he ran that out.
The Brewers should provide an update shortly on the exact nature of Thames’ early exit. Needless to say, losing Thames to the disabled list would be a huge blow to the 11-11 Brewers, as he entered Wednesday leading all of baseball in runs (25), home runs (11), slugging percentage (.929), and OPS (1.411). Thames was 1-for-3 with a single, a pair of walks, and two runs scored before leaving.