By adding Albert Pujols to a roster already well-stocked with first basemen and corner outfielders the Angels created a logjam that seemingly pointed to a trade.
Speculation centered on Mark Trumbo, because he’s 25 years old and the Rookie of the Year runner-up, but yesterday general manager Jerry Dipoto indicated that the Angels aren’t shopping him … or anyone for that matter.
“I don’t think we’re in position to move anybody,” Dipoto told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “In the American League, you’re able to get at-bats a number of ways–DH, the corner spots in the infield and the outfield. … Mark has an opportunity to make an impact on our club for years.”
Trumbo is also recovering from a broken foot and his timetable has already been pushed back twice, so getting maximum value for him in a trade would be tough right now anyway. Beyond that Kendrys Morales’ health status remains uncertain two years after his broken leg, so the Angels’ logjam is more like a potential logjam if everyone is healthy.
And of course they’re still holding out some hope that Trumbo can move to third base on at least a part-time basis, which would make it a lot easier to divvy up the at-bats. However, he’s never seen any time at the position as a professional and very few people outside the Angels front office seem to think he’s capable of being anything more than significantly below average there defensively.
Once stud prospect Mike Trout is ready to stick in the majors for good and/or Morales is ready to play again it’s tough to imagine the Angels not making a move, but those issues may not be forced by Opening Day.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.