When the Angels fired longtime scouting director Eddie Bane back in October the reason given was an unhappiness with the team’s recent drafts.
That seemed somewhat difficult to believe given that, among other solid prospects, stud outfielder Mike Trout was a product of the 2009 draft after 24 other teams passed on him.
And sure enough Bane, who now works for the Tigers, told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that he believes the actual reason behind his firing was a poor relationship with general manager Tony Reagins:
Tony and I don’t like each other. I don’t think that’s a reason to get fired. Personality clashes are never any fun. I don’t blame him for thinking I’m not the greatest guy in the world. He’s not a guy I would want to hang out with. I’m sure he feels the same way about me. He told me, “I’m not happy with the last three drafts.” That’s ludicrous.
In addition to Trout “the last three drafts” also produced Tyler Chatwood, who’s in the Angels’ rotation, Garrett Richards, who was just called up to join the Angels’ rotation, and Tyler Skaggs, who was part of the package that went to Arizona for Dan Haren.
In other words, Bane (or Reagins) must have been extremely tough to get along with, because he was a pretty solid scouting director.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.