San Francisco Giants owner Bill Neukom speaks to the fans at a rally after his team's World Series victory parade in San Francisco

Bill Neukom out as Giants CEO; new guy says payroll, priorities staying the same

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As was reported last night, Bill Neukom was forced out as the Giants CEO and he was replaced today by Larry Baer.  There was a press conference about all of this earlier this afternoon and Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com was there to cover it.  The highlights:

  • Although the original reports of the ownership group’s displeasure with Neukom (that he didn’t communicate well with the other owners and that they learned about stuff in the newspaper first) were downplayed, they weren’t denied, either.  No one said Neukom was “forced out,” but no one said he wasn’t either (Neukom quibbled with that characterization). Which, if you’ve been around business people for any amount of time in your life means that (a) there were communication problems; and (b) he was forced out;
  • Payroll is not going to go down.  This doesn’t mean it will go up, but it’s not going down; and
  • There will be no change in the Giants’ views about the A’s in San Jose. Meaning: the Giants still don’t want the A’s in San Jose.
  • Neukom is divesting his ownership interest. Which is sort of what happens when a guy gets shoved aside by his partners.

As a whole, this sounds like a primarily internal thing. It doesn’t sound like the ownership group had grave issues with what Neukom was doing in any way that will affect the fan experience.

Diamondbacks sign Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million deal

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Jeff Mathis #6 of the Miami Marlins hits a grand slam during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.

Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.

The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.

Jimmy Rollins wants to play in 2017

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 10:  Jimmy Rollins #7 of the Chicago White Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 10, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.

Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.

Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.