Mike Gonzalez is still out there as a free agent after failing to latch on with a team this winter, but his agent Scott Boras told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com this afternoon that the veteran left-hander “should sign in the next ten days.”
Boras, who was in Arlington today for Ivan Rodriguez’s retirement ceremony, also said that Gonzalez is almost completely recovered from offseason surgery on his left knee and is throwing bullpen sessions for potential suitors. Gonzalez auditioned for the Reds about a month ago, though it’s not clear if they still have interest. The Red Sox were also dabbling and given that their bullpen has a major-league worst 8.44 ERA, they can’t dismissed as option.
Gonzalez, 33, posted a 4.39 ERA and 51/21 K/BB ratio over 53 1/3 innings between the Orioles and Rangers last year while holding left-handed batters to a .214/.264/.311 batting line and a .574 OPS. He turned down a non-guaranteed minor-league contract from the Rangers in the early part of spring training.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.