We’ve seen Nyjer Morgan cross-check major league catchers in the past, but he’ll have a chance to go back to his roots tomorrow. According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, the outspoken outfielder will suit up to practice with his hometown San Jose Sharks.
“I’m really excited to get on the ice with the team,” said Morgan. “I’ve been a diehard fan since the team came to San Jose in 1991. I will never forget the George Kingston and Patty Falloon days. I’m not sure the guys are ready for me!”
Morgan gave up hockey about a decade ago in order to focus on baseball, but he did play with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League in 1999-2000. You can watch him on the ice here. He scored two goals in seven games and wouldn’t you know it, he also logged 20 penalty minutes.
Zack Greinke began last season on the disabled list after breaking his rib in a pickup basketball game prior to spring training, so some minor trepidation on the Brewers’ part would be understandable, but GM Doug Melvin told McCalvy that they aren’t concerned given Morgan’s previous experience as a hockey player. The Brewers and Morgan avoided arbitration earlier this month by agreeing to a one-year, $2.35 million contract, but the deal is not guaranteed.
Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.
Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).
The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.
Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.
As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:
Great to know that the Nats’ baseball operations budget is dictated by its capital expenditures. Maybe they shoulda been smart like the Braves and suckered — er, I mean negotiated the local government to pay more for it? GO BRAVES!
Anyway, Bryce Harper had a response to that:
I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.