This is pretty neat. Not as neat as the fact that Richie Hebner used to work as a grave digger in the offseason, but neat in the sense that ballplayers never actually work real jobs anymore, so it’s cool to see one who does.
It’s Michael Taylor of the Oakland A’s, who spent the offseason as an intern for KNBR radio in San Francisco. And, at least based on the video segment from MLB Network on it, it appears as though it was real work that he and the employer took seriously, not just some “let the jock come in and hang out” kind of thing.
Not that he’s doing it to pay the bills. It’s a no-pay gig, and he says that he wants to try to get in the media biz, so this is obviously a stepping stone thing. But given how many ex-jocks just show up on TV or radio for the simple reason that they’re ex-jocks, it’s nice to see someone taking the time to actually, you know, understand the business.
Not that being a tall, almost annoyingly handsome Stanford grad is gonna hurt.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.