Did you all have a good Chirstmas? I hope so. Hope you got what you wanted.
Anyway, the week between Christmas and New Years is the deadest of the dead in baseball circles. The only thing you get a lot of are Hall of Fame columns because ballots are due by December 31. And they really are the gift that keeps on giving. Mostly because of stuff like this from Ron Chimelis, who has a Hall of Fame vote:
- “The Crime Dog is tied with Lou Gehrig in home runs with 493. Lou Gehrig!”
- “Tim Raines. My first instinct was to vote for Raines, who ranks fifth all-time in steals with 808. Unlike saves, steals have been been meaningful for 140 years. Raines had six straight 70-steal seasons … But if Raines gets in because he is fifth in steals, what about Vince Coleman, who is sixth? That’s why I talked myself out of it.”
I don’t think it requires being a super saber stat nerd to point out that comparing McGriff and Gehrig based on their home run totals and Raines and Coleman based on their stolen base totals is less than illuminating. Unless of course you believe that Ted Williams shouldn’t have made it because he had fewer hits than Johnny Damon.
I know. It’s gonna be a long week. Just drink lots of fluids and stuff. We’ll get through this. Together.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.
With the Braves on the cusp of formalizing their one-year deal with Kurt Suzuki, the market for free agent catcher Matt Wieters is dwindling. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick references an inside source that lists the Angels, Rockies and Reds as potential suitors for the 30-year-old’s services.
Wieters is coming off of an eight-year career with the Orioles. In 2016, he played through his first full year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014 and batted .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and a .711 OPS in 464 PA. A return to Baltimore in 2017 isn’t out of the question, Crasnick writes, citing some within the team that would be open to Wieters stepping into a DH role and catching platoon with Wellington Castillo. However, he also points out that the front office appears divided on the veteran catcher, and sees the Orioles as a long shot for the foreseeable future.
The Angels have already been tied to Wieters this offseason, while the Rockies and Reds don’t appear to have made any formal inquiries so far. Both could use a veteran presence behind the dish, as the Rockies are planning to platoon rookie catcher Tom Murphy with 24-year-old Tony Wolters in the spring. The Reds, meanwhile, are banking on a quick recovery for 28-year-old Devin Mesoraco, who missed most of the 2016 season after undergoing shoulder and hip surgery and forced the club to rely almost exclusively on back-up backstop Tucker Barnhart.