Ron Washington and Derek Holland provided two of my favorite moments from last night’s game.
The first came when Washington took Holland by the shoulders and gave him a dugout pep talk moments before taking the mound in the first inning, trying to motivate the young left-hander who’d struggled in his previous two starts.
Holland shared some of the pep talk details with Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas:
The big thing was he was talking to me, motivating me more than anything. He said, “I know what your game plan is and you’re going to go in to hitters. Just don’t be hitting anybody.” He was telling me to stay in control, be relaxed and I’d be fine.
Injured reliever Darren O’Day noted afterward that Washington “does that a lot with Holland” and last night it certainly worked, as the second caught-on-camera moment came when the manager went out to the mound in the ninth inning to chat with Holland before eventually deciding to end his bid for a complete-game shutout in favor of Neftali Feliz.
Holland recapped that chat as well:
He’s like, “Nope, you ain’t going out there son.” I said, “Come on, Wash. You got to let me go. I can get this. I’m going to try to get a double play and do everything I can.” He said, “Nope, you ain’t getting out there. Just watch the crowd reaction when you get out of here, son.” I said, “All right, I’ll see you later Wash. Thanks.”
That’s a lot of “son” mentions in a relatively short chat and if Holland really ended things with “I’ll see you later Wash” he’s my new favorite player.
Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2020 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. The suspension is up on August 2. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.