Danys Baez, who was released by the Phillies in the middle of last season, is retiring following a 10-year career, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Baez defected from Cuba in 1999 and had a few standout seasons for the Indians and Rays early in his career, but was a bust for the Orioles after signing a three-year, $19 million deal and also didn’t provide much value for the Phillies during a two-year, $5.25 million contract.
He pitched 10 total seasons for six different teams, compiling a 3.69 ERA from 2001-2005 and a 5.16 ERA from 2006-2011. Baez definitely hung around longer and made more money than his late-career performance warranted. All of which is how a reliever with one All-Star appearance and a 4.25 ERA in 697 career innings earned $43 million.
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.