I was too busy recovering from shock to have seen this Buster Olney item from yesterday, but I’m sane today and … it’s probably going to send me back into insanity if there are any legs to it:
The Braves need power production out of right field. Now there is some sentiment within the organization that Atlanta might be better off dealing Heyward and taking advantage of his value or, at the very least, considering alternatives as they wait for him to develop.
Whoever in the organization is harboring such sentiment should have their head examined. Heyward is 22. He had a bad-for-him year, but was still the Braves’ best outfielder. Faint praise, but it’s true.
More to the point, he’s 22-years-old and has excelled at every level of baseball going back to little league. He had some health problems and some adjustment issues in 2011. Classic recipe for a sophomore slump. But that doesn’t change the fact that he is a fantastic ballplayer with outstanding promise. And it’s not like the Braves have a ton of those whose primary job is to hit the ball a long way.
I’m going to choose to believe that someone with the Braves is simply messing with Olney. If there is any more to this, however, the Braves and I are going to have a long conversation about the state of our relationship.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.
The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.
He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.