I’m not sure anyone anywhere really thinks Alex Rodriguez playing high-stakes poker is a big deal, but with MLB repeatedly telling him to stop gambling and his involvement in Hollywood home games making headlines recently you’d think he might at least give it a rest for a while.
Instead the New York Post reports that Rodriguez “was spotted last Monday in a high-stakes gaming room at the Mohegan Sun Casino in the Poconos” while rehabbing his surgically repaired knee with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre team at Triple-A.
That’s perfectly legal, of course, and Rodriguez is surely far from the only MLB player to gamble for high stakes in a casino, but that tells you how little he cares about MLB’s warnings.
When asked about the Post‘s report Rodriguez denied that he played poker, calling it “laughable” and “completely false.” And that might be true, as the high-stakes room he reportedly spent a couple hours in is mostly used for blackjack and slot machines. Either way, Bud Selig and company probably aren’t too happy and Rodriguez clearly couldn’t care less.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”
Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are close to acquiring pitcher Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Ryan Moseley.
Nuno, 29, went to the Dodgers from the Mariners in the Carlos Ruiz trade this past November. He and the Dodgers avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $1.125 million salary for the 2017 season. The left-hander finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.53 ERA and a 51/11 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings spanning one start and 54 relief appearances.
Nuno will provide the Orioles starting pitching depth and could serve as a valuable left-handed option out of the bullpen.
Moseley, 22, played his first season of professional baseball in the New York Penn League last year. In 12 relief appearances, he put up a 3.20 ERA and an 18/9 K/BB ratio across 19 2/3 innings. The Orioles selected him in the eighth round of the 2016 draft.