Jose Valverde was named Major League Baseball’s Delivery Man of the Year today. It’s a fan vote, so take it for what it’s worth. And from where I’m sitting, it’s not worth a heck of a lot. Here’s part of that:
Other relievers receiving votes from the MLB panel this year included John Axford of the Milwaukee Brewers (2-2, 1.95 ERA, 46 SV), rookie Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves (4-3, 2.10 ERA, 46 SV) and Joel Hanrahan of the Pittsburgh Pirates (1-4, 1.83 ERA, 40 SV).
Note anyone missing there? Anyone who, you know, saved 44 games with a 1.91 ERA and a WHIP of 0.897 and was better than Valverde in just about every category apart from saves? Really, unless Mariano Rivera pulled a John Laraquette and removed himself from consideration due to the unfairness of the competition — or unless dancing around like a loon after a save became a critical component to the award — I’m gonna have a hard time taking this award all that seriously.
The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.
With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.
Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.