In what should come as a surprise to no one, the Giants weren’t able to trade Aaron Rowand or Miguel Tejada after designating both for assignment. The pair were placed on release waivers Thursday, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman reports.
Both players figure to become free agents Monday, allowing them to sign with teams. There may not be any demand for Tejada at all, but Rowand is sure to get several calls. That’s partly because Rowand will merely have to be paid the minimum next year, with the Giants on the hook for the remaining $11.6 million of his $12 million salary.
There’s already been some speculation that the Phillies will bring Rowand back. They could use a true backup center fielder, and Rowand has warm memories from his time in Philly. However, Rowand might be able to find a bigger role. The Phillies already have a fine fourth outfielder for this year and next in John Mayberry Jr., and Rowand would really only be useful to the team when Shane Victorino is hurt.
Of course, neither player will be eligible for the postseason this season. The Giants saw to that when they waited as long as they did to cut bait.
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.
If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”
[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.
While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.
Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.
This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.
The club’s full complaint can be found here.