UPDATE: ESPN has apparently taken down the post. I’m assuming this means that Brad Mills is no longer on the hot seat. Thanks for the quick edit, guys. Everyone screws up sometimes. A quick fix is the way to go. Except for you commenters. You still get no edit function.
8:49 AM: I was rather shocked this morning when I saw ESPN’s Rumor Central site write the following about managers on the hot seat:
The hottest seat belongs to Brad Mills, who has presided over the first 100-loss season in Houston Astros history. His contract is up at the end of the season and the Astros’ ownership group, which is still Drayton McLane at this point, show little inclination of exercising an option for 2012.
Shocked mostly because the Astros picked up Mills’ 2012 option almost a year ago, and even added an option for 2013. Picked it up because even the Astros realize that for as crappy a team they have at the moment, it’s certainly not Mills’ fault. Unless of course he was responsible for the Astros’ poor drafting and years of procrastinating on a necessary rebuilding job.
But even if they hadn’t picked up the option, how anyone can say that what has happened in Houston is Mills’ responsibility is a bit bewildering to me.
Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.
While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.
Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.
Cooperstown, here he comes.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.
Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.