Yesterday we heard that the Toronto Blue Jays came really close to the Rangers’ $51.7 million bid for Yu Darvish. As the day wore on into night, however, multiple reports surfaced suggesting that, no, the Jays didn’t bid that high and that in fact no team came anywhere close to what the Rangers’ bid.
I’ll accept that, I suppose. But I also can’t help but wonder if it serves a team’s interest to say such a thing after the fact, even if it isn’t true. Bid close and lose on a guy like Darvish and someone may accuse you of not having the guts to go the extra mile. Of miscalculating or something. Put the word out there that you were nowhere near the Rangers’ bid, however, and maybe a narrative is created in which the Rangers clearly overbid and, my, aren’t we wise for not being so silly with our money.
I’m not married to that explanation. I can see that it may cut in a couple of different directions. I just think it’s always smart to be somewhat critical when multiple reports related to information we can’t possibly know from other sources comes out. For every leak, there’s an agenda, even if it’s a small and benign one.
Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.
Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.
How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.
As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.
The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.
Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.