According to KGO-TV in San Francisco, Robin O’Connor, a former payroll manager with the Giants, was arrested on federal charges associated with embezzling more than $1.5 million from player accounts.
O’Connor, who worked in the Giants’ front office for four years, received an annual salary of $80,000. An FBI affidavit says the 41-year-old mother-of-two embezzled $1,513,836.28 from the Giants’ payroll between June 2010 and June 2011. She was formally charged with wire fraud and fraud in connection with a computer.
The scheme blew up when O’Connor applied for a loan from Bank of America to buy a home in San Diego. She allegedly forged a letter from the Giants’ HR manager, explaining that the large deposits in her account were due to her “outstanding contributions … that assisted us in accomplishing our goal of winning the 2010 World Series.” That’s right. Who needs the likes of Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Buster Posey, Juan Uribe, Cody Ross, Edgar Renteria and Brian Wilson when you have O’Connor? She was clearly the key to their title run. Anyway, when Bank of America sent a letter back to the Giants for confirmation, she was toast.
O’Connor has been released on $500,000 bond and is scheduled for arraignment in a month. While it’s too bad that some of the players were the victims in this featherbrained scheme, she may have saved Brian Sabean from spending $1.5 million on yet another ancient shortstop. Perspective, people.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that third baseman Jose Ramirez is finalizing a four-year extension with the Indians. The deal is said to be worth north of $30 million, and may crest $50 million if all options are exercised. While the extension won’t take effect until the 2018 season, it guarantees Ramirez a $26 million sum with two options worth $11 and $13 million and will give the Indians control of the infielder through the 2023 season.
Ramirez, 24, is entering his fifth season in the Indians’ organization. He posted career-high numbers during his first full season in the majors, slashing .312/.363/.461 with 11 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 4.8 fWAR in 2016. He’s projected to have a strong follow-up season at the plate and will likely see some time at second base as Jason Kipnis works his way back from a shoulder injury.
Although 2016 only showcased the beginning of Ramirez’s success with the club, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says it’s a standard move for Cleveland to “sign their stars early,” and indicates that Ramirez was rumored to want the deal. Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors adds that the extension will keep Ramirez under club control through three arbitration-eligible years and one year of potential free agency.