As it turns out, Mike Matheny needed the Cardinals managerial job a lot more than Terry Francona did.
St. Louis’s new hire lost his 17-room house in Missouri and may yet owe more than $4 million due to bad real estate deals, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Saturday.
Jack Wagman presents a very well researched and detailed account of how Matheny and his business partners suffered during the real estate downturn, costing Matheny both of his homes. Matheny currently lists his in-laws’ home as his address.
Matheny is expected to be one of the game’s lowest-paid managers, at something less than $750,000 annually, after replacing Tony La Russa, so he may remain in debt for the foreseeable future, depending on how the lawsuit goes. The Cardinals, though, knew all about these dealing when they hired him and still believed he was the right man for the job.
As for Matheny’s home, it’s currently listed online with a $2 million asking price. It has seven bedrooms, 10 baths, a practice baseball field and an indoor batting cage on 11 acres.
The Diamondbacks have signed free agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Sunday. The contract includes an invitation to spring training. Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com adds that De La Rosa stands to make $2.25 million if he secures a spot on the major league roster, with up to $600,000 in incentives if he pitches out of the bullpen and up to $1 million in incentives if he pitches out of the starting rotation.
The 35-year-old is expected to compete for a bullpen role after spending the better part of a decade in the Rockies’ rotation. He capped a nine-year run with Colorado in 2016, finishing the year with a 5.51 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 over 134 innings. Despite his struggles out of the rotation, he found limited success in a three-game stint in the bullpen, striking out 10 of 26 batters and holding the opposition to just three hits and one earned run in eight innings.
The veteran lefty is set to join a bullpen comprised of right-handers Randall Delgado, Jake Barrett and Fernando Rodney, along with a number of unproven candidates on similar minor league contracts. His age and command issues may be off-putting, but the promise he showed as a reliever should give the Diamondbacks some upside as they attempt to redeem a league-worst bullpen in 2017.
Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson is expected to miss up to three weeks with a right calf strain, reports John Lott. Donaldson reportedly felt some discomfort in his calf during sprinting drills on Friday and was diagnosed with what looked like a mild strain after undergoing an MRI on Saturday. According to Lott, the 31-year-old is on crutches for the next few days and will likely miss 2-3 weeks of spring training.
Donaldson had a similar scare at the start of the 2016 season, when he limped out of the batter’s box during the Blue Jays’ first regular season road trip with a right calf strain. He returned to DH two days later, however, and was back on the field in less than a week’s time. Blue Jays’ GM Ross Atkins told MLB.com’s Corey Long that the two calf injuries are unrelated, and expects that Donaldson will recover in similar fashion this spring — well before Opening Day comes around.