Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has been hit with a fine in an undisclosed amount for his comments about Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels following L’Affaire Old School the other day.
If you don’t recall — and that would be understandable given how little attention we’ve devoted to this since Sunday — the comments included calling Hamels “classless,” “gutless,” “chickens**t” and “fake tough.”
I bet what really brought the fine, however, was the comment about how Hamels “doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.” Which could be construed as a threat. Well, that and the fact that I really don’t think baseball wants its top executives out there talking smack on general principles.
Rizzo has commented on the fine:
“I think I’ve said probably enough about Cole Hamels. I’m going to stand by my statement and just move on.”
This ends the matter in official channels. Whether it’s truly over as an on-the-field matter won’t be answered until May 21, when the Nationals come to Philadelphia. Which should be all kinds of fun.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.
Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.
If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.