UPDATE: Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that it’s a done deal, with the Padres assuming “most” of Street’s contract and sending the Rockies a player to be named later in exchange.
UPDATE: According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post the Rockies are eating $1 million of Street’s salary.
Colorado is having “extensive talks” with San Diego about reliever Huston Street, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post has repeatedly reported that the Rockies are looking to trade Street and might even be willing to eat the majority of his contract to get a decent prospect in return for the former closer.
Olney describes the talks as “ongoing” and Street has been linked to several other teams at various points this month, with the Rockies now preferring Rafael Betancourt in the ninth inning.
He’s pricey at $7.5 million with a $9 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2013, but Street is still just 28 years old with a 3.11 career ERA that includes a 3.50 ERA and outstanding 170/33 K/BB ratio in 167 innings for the Rockies. Toss in the fact that going from Coors Field to Petco Park would solve his issues keeping the ball in the ballpark and Street could really thrive in San Diego as Heath Bell’s replacement.
Craig covered the bulk of Rob Manfred’s quotes from earlier. The commissioner was asked about robot umpires and he’s not a fan. Via Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
Manfred was wrong to blame the player’s union’s “lack of cooperation” on proposed rule changes, but he’s right about robot umps and the strike zone. The obvious point is that robot umps cannot yet call balls and strikes with greater accuracy than umpires. Those strike zone Twitter accounts, such as this, are sometimes hilariously wrong. Even the strike zone graphics used on television are incorrect and unfortunate percentage of the time.
The first issue to consider about robot umps is taking jobs away from people. There are 99 umps and more in the minors. If robot umpiring was adopted in collegiate baseball, as well as the independent leagues, that’s even more umpires out of work. Is it worth it for an extra one or two percent improvement in accuracy?
Personally, the fallibility of the umpires adds more intrigue to baseball games. There’s strategy involved, as each umpire has tendencies which teams can strategize against. For instance, an umpire with a more generous-than-average strike zone on the outer portion of the plate might entice a pitcher to pepper that area with more sliders than he would otherwise throw. Hitters, knowing an umpire with a smaller strike zone is behind the dish, may take more pitches in an attempt to draw a walk. Or, knowing that information, a hitter may swing for the fences on a 3-0 pitch knowing the pitcher has to throw in a very specific area to guarantee a strike call or else give up a walk.
The umpires make their mistakes in random fashion, so it adds a chaotic, unpredictable element to the game as well. It feels bad when one of those calls goes against your team, but fans often forget the myriad calls that previously went in their teams’ favor. The mistakes will mostly even out in the end.
I haven’t had the opportunity to say this often, but Rob Manfred is right in this instance.
ESPN’s Howard Bryant is reporting that Major League Baseball has approved a rule allowing for a dugout signal for an intentional walk. In other words, baseball is allowing automatic intentional walks. Bryant adds that this rule will be effective for the 2017 season.
MLB has been trying, particularly this month, to improve the pace of play. Getting rid of the formality of throwing four pitches wide of the strike zone will save a minute or two for each intentional walk. There were 932 of them across 2,428 games last season, an average of one intentional walk every 2.6 games. It’s not the biggest improvement, but it’s something at least.
Earlier, Commissioner Rob Manfred was upset with the players’ union’s “lack of cooperation.” Perhaps his public criticism was the catalyst for getting this rule passed.
Unfortunately, getting rid of the intentional walk formality will eradicate the chance of seeing any more moments like this: