The bizarro theme of “Pittsburgh Pirates: trade deadline buyers” continues. Building on their alleged contacts with the Oakland A’s regarding Josh Willingham, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports today that they’re aiming higher than that: they’re scouring the Astros’ Hunter Pence.
It strikes me as unlikely that anything could come of that. Not too long ago Ken Rosenthal reported that the Astros were unlikely to trade Pence unless Jim Crane took over the team before the deadline — which is unlikely — and ordered such a deal. Add onto that the rumors that Ed Wade seems to be asking for way too much for Wandy Rodriguez, and you have to figure that he’d probably be asking too much for Pence too. Assuming that his current position — sort of a lame duck GM, waiting for a new boss — even inspires him to make a deal.
So this is fun from a “hmm, what could help Pittsburgh continue to contend” perspective, but I’d be rather shocked to see anything real come of this.
Welp, it was probably worth the gamble given that the Angels were paying most of his salary. But the Rangers’ gamble on Josh Hamilton failed and now Josh Hamilton is a free agent. The club has given him unconditional release waivers.
Hamilton underwent surgery to repair lateral and meniscus cartilage in his left knee back in June. During surgery it was discovered that he had an ACL injury as well, which required reconstruction. This whole season was lost and, while Hamilton has one year remaining on his contract, the Rangers are clearly able to compete without him and could use the roster spot over the small chance that he could be an everyday player again.
Hamilton will earn $30 million next season, $26.41 million of which is being paid for by the Angels. Last year in 182 plate appearances with the Rangers, Hamilton hit .253/.291/.441 with eight home runs and 25 RBI. At age 35, it’s not hard to imagine that his major league career is effectively over.
With the continuing caveat that it is really weird and likely as uncomfortable as hell for all of those involved for this to be playing out so publicly, here is the latest news on the Doc Gooden/Daryl Strawberry/possible cocaine relapse story. From the Daily News:
Dwight (Doc) Gooden is insisting publicly that he doesn’t have a drug problem, yet more and more people want to help him — none more significant than the Yankees, who have reached out to say they’ll pay for any treatment he would consider getting.
That’s admirable of the Yankees, as is their refusal to comment on it further (the Daily News got this info from Strawberry). The Yankees, of course, gave both Strawberry and Gooden second chances in the 1990s when their addiction problems threatened their careers.