I think half the time I write that as “Weekend Wrapup” and half the time I write it as “Weekend Wrap.” Eh, consistency is overrated.
- That A.J. Burnett-Joe Girardi business from Saturday night. True Fact: I landed in New York at about 9:30 AM yesterday morning. My cab driver, however, already had detailed inside information about all of this from “a guy who knows a guy who [he] used to work for who works for the Yankees now.” From nine hours earlier. When the Yankees were in Minnesota. He says the media got it all wrong and that “there’s a whole f**kin’ bigger story there that the Yankees ain’t gonna tell nobody.” But my cab driver knew it. OK.
- Chipper Jones is coming back next year. Bloggers: set your macros for “day-to-day with ____ soreness.”
- K-Rod is open to returning to the Mets next year. The Mets could not be reached for comment because they knocked their phones off the hook while convulsing from the most violent laughing fit in recorded history.
- Brian Cashman doesn’t want to be the Cubs’ GM. Or the Orioles or anyone else’s for that matter. Because while he appreciates that folks like to write stories about him going various places, he is not, in fact, certifiably insane.
- The Yankees could maybe be interested in Rich Harden. I suppose “Harden beating the Red Sox in Game four of the ALCS after the Sox passed on him due to his medicals back in July” would make for interesting off-season fodder in Boston.
- I can’t decide if 2011 will be known as the “The Year of Appendectomies” or “The Year of Oblique Strains.”
- Give ’em enough rope …
Jeff Jered Weaver signed a big contract extension. Some folks are saying that he cost himself many millions by signing now instead of when he hits free agency after 2012. That’s probably true. It’s also true that to get those extra millions he’d likely have to at least entertain the notion of going to New York, the city that helped chew up and spit out his older brother, and to bypass the chance to stay in beautiful Southern California and the pitcher-friendly AL West for a sum that will set him and his descendants up for several generations. So no, I’m not gonna get on the guy for this.
- The Pirates locked up young talent. Kind of a new approach for them. No, not the spending money part. The having young talent part.
Into the week we go. And if I seem more chipper than usual this week, realize that my kids go back to school tomorrow. And, for the first time they’re both gone all day, five days a week. Don’t get me wrong — I love my kids and love havin’ ’em around — but now I can blog pants-free while listening to The Dead Kennedys cranked up to 11. At least until about 3:45pm when they get off the bus.
The kids I mean. Not the Dead Kennedys. They would have no business riding a school bus in my neighborhood.
Jenrry Mejia appeared in just seven games this past season due to a pair of suspensions for performance-enhancing drugs, but Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the Mets are expected to tender him a contract for 2016.
While the Mets were vocal about their disappointment in Mejia’s actions, it makes sense to keep him around as an option. Had he played a full season in 2015, he would have earned $2.595 million. He’s arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter and figures to receive a contract similar to his 2015 figure, but he’ll only be paid for the games he plays. He still has 100 games to serve on his second PED suspension, which means that he’ll only be paid for 62 games in 2016. This likely puts his salary closer to $1 million, which is a small price to pay for someone who could prove useful during the second half and beyond. He also won’t count toward the team’s 40-man roster until he’s active.
Mejia, who turned 26 in October, owns a 3.68 ERA in the majors and saved 28 games for the Mets in 2014. He’s currently pitching as a starter in the Dominican Winter League.
UPDATE: The deal is official. Bowman adds that Johnson will make $2.5 million in 2016.
6:11 p.m. ET: Jim Johnson enjoyed some success out of the Braves’ bullpen in 2015 until a midseason trade to the Dodgers and Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that he has returned to Atlanta on a one-year contract. No word yet on the terms involved.
After an awful 2014 between the Athletics and Tigers, Johnson signed a one-year deal with the Braves last winter and bounced back to the tune of a 2.25 ERA and 33/14 K/BB ratio over 48 innings. He also saved nine games. However, things went south for him after a trade to the Dodgers in late July, as he put up an ugly 10.13 ERA in 23 appearances. He was left off the team’s roster for the NLDS against the Mets.
It’s unclear what role the Braves have in mind for Johnson, as Arodys Vizcaino finished the season as the closer, but they have made upgrading their bullpen a priority this winter.
This shouldn’t cause any controversy, lead to a lot of people saying dumb things or provide fodder for jokes at all. Nope, none whatsoever:
In what promises to be a bombshell move, if executed, all-time great slugger Barry Bonds is under consideration to become Marlins hitting coach.
Team higherups have quietly been discussing this possibility for weeks.
That’s Jon Heyman, who reminds us that Bonds has worked with the Giants in the spring in recent years. And who, no matter what else you can say about him, was one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen. Also worth remembering that despite his controversial past, that greatness came not just from physical gifts, naturally or artificially bestowed. It came from his approach, preparation and strategy at the plate. No one can teach a hitter to hit like Barry Bonds, but you’d think that hitters could be taught to try to approach an at bat the way Barry Bonds would. And who better to do it than Barry Bonds?
That is, if Bonds is willing to drop his seemingly ideal retired life in San Francisco, move to Miami and work for Jeff Loria for nine months a year. Which, eh, who knows? But the possibility of it is pretty fascinating to think about.
Veteran catcher Brayan Pena has agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract with the Cardinals, who’re investing much more than usual in their backup for Yadier Molina.
After bouncing around for a decade without getting even 250 plate appearances in a season Pena signed with the Reds and topped 350 plate appearances in both 2014 and 2015. His production didn’t improve any, as Pena hit .263 with five homers and a .652 OPS in 223 games as a regular.
Pena’s best skill is rarely striking out, which enables him to hit for a decent batting average, but he has very little power and swings at everything. He struggled to control the running game this season at age 33, but has a decent throw-out rate for his career.
Making a multi-year commitment to Pena suggests the Cardinals are no longer counting on Molina being the same type of workhorse behind the plate, which certainly makes sense given his age and injury history. Pena will replace Tony Cruz, who’s been Molina’s understudy since 2011 while hitting just .220 with five homers and a .572 OPS in 259 games.