VelocityGames: they’re not just for Michael Pineda and Roy Halladay anymore! Would you believe, Ubaldo Jimenez? From the Akron Beacon-Journal:
A scout employed by an opposing team who watched Ubaldo Jimenez struggle against the Reds on Saturday almost couldn’t believe his radar gun. “His fastball was 89-91 [mph],” the scout said. “He might have touched 92 once or twice, but his slider was flat. He also looked like his mind was somewhere else. I haven’t seen him like that in two years.”
He was up in the mid-90s two years ago. Last year he was down in the low 90s. Yes, IIOSTSLNMABDAVYOK,* but if he can’t even sustain that, Jiminez is gonna get hammered.
*It is only spring training so let’s not make a big deal about velocity yet, ok?
This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.
For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.