UPDATE: It’s not often that Ken Rosenthal misfires — he is, in my view, the best at this rumor business — but he misfired here. Almost immediately after his report that the Padres had traded Heath Bell to the Rangers, multiple reports came in that it was not Bell, but rather, Mike Adams who is going to Texas. And the word is now that it is official.
In return the Padres will get prospects Joe Wieland and Robert Erlin. Not a small price, as both of them are great looking prospects. Wieland threw a no-hitter the other day for Double-A Frisco and is 10-3 with a 1.80 ERA and a 132/15 K/BB ratio in 129.2 innings across Single-A and Double-A ball this year. Erlin has a slightly higher ERA but a similar BB/K ratio as Wieland across the same two divisions.
A tall price to pay for a setup guy, but clearly the Rangers are thinking “win now.”
2:29 PM: Padres asleep at the wheel? Nah, they’re just waking up. Pacific time, you know.
We don’t have details yet, but Ken Rosenthal just tweeted that the Texas Rangers have traded for Padres’ closer Heath Bell. Moments before that tweet, it was reported that Bell was called into Bud Black’s office in San Diego.
The Rangers have been talking to the Padres about Bell for some time, but many figured that the interest had died out once they acquired Koji Uehara yesterday. Now they have three relievers in Bell, Uehara and, oh yeah, Neftali Feliz who could close ballgames if need be and, in any event, can shut down hitters in the late innings.
The Rangers have slowly started to pull away in the AL West these past few weeks. Now it looks like they’re making moves to to mount a formidable run in the playoffs.
Alex Rodriguez’s transition into retirement has featured a serious move into the business world. He has gone back to school, worked seriously on investments and has started his own corporation. Yes, he’s set for life after making more money than any baseball player in history, but even if his bank account wasn’t fat, you get the sense that he’d be OK given what we’ve seen of his work ethic and savvy in recent years.
He’s going to be getting another paycheck soon, though. For hosting a reality show featuring athletes who are not in as good a financial shape as A-Rod is:
Interesting. Hopefully, like so many other reality shows featuring the formerly rich and famous, this one is not exploitative. Not gonna hold my breath because that’s what that genre is all about, unfortunately, but here’s hoping A-Rod can help some folks with this.
Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a Hall of Fame voter. In the past he has voted for players who used PEDs, but he’s never been totally happy with it, seeing the whole PED mess as a dilemma for voters.
On the one hand he doesn’t like voting for users and doesn’t like harming those who were clean by shifting votes away from them, but on the other hand, he doesn’t want to pretend history didn’t happen and that baseball hasn’t been filled with cheaters forever. What to do?
This year he decided to abstain altogether. A fair and noble act if one is as conflicted as Livingston happens to be. Except . . . he didn’t actually abstain:
Major league baseball will confer bronzed immortality on a few players Wednesday when the results of the national baseball writers’ balloting for the Hall of Fame will be announced.
I had a 2017 ballot. I returned it signed, but blank, with an explanatory note.
A blank ballot, signed and submitted, is not an abstention. It’s counted as a vote for no one. Each “no” vote increases the denominator in the calculation of whether or not a candidate has received 75% of the vote and has gained induction. An abstention, however, would not. So, in effect, Livingston has voted against all of the players on the ballot, both PED-tainted and clean, even though it appears that that was not his intention.
This is the second time in three years a Cleveland writer has had . . . issues with his Hall of Fame ballot. In the 2014-15 voting period, Paul Hoynes simply lost his ballot. Now Livingston misunderstood how to abstain.
I worry quite often that Ohio is gonna mess up a major election. I guess I’m just worrying about the wrong election.