A.J. Burnett had a 4.97 ERA in three seasons with the Yankees, so his biggest contribution may have been the tradition of hitting teammates in the face with shaving cream pies after they delivered walk-off hits.
Joe Girardi was asked which player was most likely to take over that role following Burnett’s trade to the Pirates and the manager named Nick Swisher, who predictably would be very happy to oblige.
Swisher told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com that Burnett “was a good buddy of mine” and “a good buddy of all the guys in here” before explaining that “we’re going to have to keep something going, man, because people in New York want pie! You know, let’s just keep it going.”
That has to be the most Nick Swisher quote in the history of Nick Swisher quotes, although his “can you pie yourself?” question in response to Hoch asking what would happen if he’s the one who delivers the walk-off hit is up there on the list too.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.