Last week impending free agent Mark Buehrle talked about how switching to the NL might be appealing after 12 seasons in the AL, but yesterday his agent chimed in to say “we’re not going to eliminate any team from consideration.”
Buehrle needs multiple teams bidding for his services to get the largest possible contract, so saying he wants to re-sign with the White Sox or sign with the hometown Cardinals or switch to the NL … well, all that stuff would just limit his market. Or at least that’s probably his agent’s thinking.
For his part Buehrle told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that he’d sign quickly “if the right deal is there” rather than waiting around to see what happens with fellow left-hander C.J. Wilson (and possibly CC Sabathia as well).
Buehrle is coming off a four-year, $56 million contract and both his health and performance have remained stable, so at age 32 a similar deal seems reasonable.
Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.
Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.
How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.
As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.
The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.
Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.