Look, I don’t have anything against Michael Young. Fine player. For all I know he’s a nice guy. But the level of adoration he gets from the baseball press has always vexed me.
It’s been some time since he was the best player on his team, yet he is treated as though he is. He has been involved in the sorts of little clubhouse and front office controversies that get most players branded “difficult,” yet they instantly become part of his legend, with Young “putting such adversity behind him” despite the fact that he created the adversity in the first place. Again, this doesn’t make him a bad guy. He’s human just like anyone else. But why he gets such great press when no one else who has performed, who has behaved or who has been paid like him gets the same treatment is beyond me.
He’s back in the World Series and the Michael Young love-fest begins anew. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.com had a feature on him over the weekend. There’s another in the New York Times today. I’m guessing we’ll see many more in the coming days. I’m assuming we’ll see more stories about Young than we will about Adrian Beltre, Mike Napoli and the rest of the Rangers roster combined.
The Brewers have signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year, $5.35 million contract. There are some performance incentives in the deal that could push it to $6.85 million. Feliz will likely open the 2017 season as the Brewers’ closer.
The 28-year-old righty is coming off of an impressive season with the Pirates. His hits allowed per nine innings were WAY down and his WHIP dipped sharply as well, despite the fact that he walked a few more dudes. That was offset by a big spike in his strikeout rate: from 7.3/9IP in 2015 to 10.2 last year. A blemish: he missed the last month of the season after suffering a bout of arm soreness, though no structural problem was ever uncovered, he’ll likely be good to go next month.
The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.
For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.
Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.
A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.