Zack Greinke dropped his agent in December and said in February that there was “no reason” for him to hire a new one, but the Brewers right-hander has done just that by hiring Casey Close of Excel Sports Management.
Close previously worked for Creative Artists Agency, which is the representation that Greinke left in December.
Greinke is an impending free agent and the timing is especially interesting after Matt Cain signed a $112.5 million extension with the Giants earlier this week rather than potentially hit the open market alongside Greinke and Cole Hamels.
Greinke was coy with reporters when asked how the Cain deal could impact his situation and it’s possible his various quirks could limit the number of teams interested, but if healthy he seems destined for a contract in excess of $100 million. In other words, Close just snagged himself one helluva commission.
General manager Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he plans to speak with Close tomorrow, but it’s unclear if Greinke is interested in negotiating a deal at this point.
Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.
While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.
Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.
It’s been a slow start to the season for Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner, who entered Saturday’s matinee against the Orioles with a .188/.316/.234 batting line, three doubles and five stolen bases in his first 76 PA of the year. That all changed in the first inning of Saturday’s game, when Gardner skied a leadoff home run to right field:
Orioles’ right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t find his footing against the Yankees in the second inning, either. Gardner returned for his second home run of the season, a three-run shot to lift New York 5-0 over Baltimore:
Measured at 411 feet in the right field bullpen, the left fielder’s blast marked the seventh home run hit by a Yankee this series. According to the club’s PR department, it’s also the first multi-home run game Gardner has recorded since September 2015. The Yankees currently lead the Orioles 7-0 through four innings.