Bobby Valentine was ejected for the 38th time in his managerial career last night and for the first time as Red Sox skipper. And it was super awkward.
Valentine came out to argue after Marlon Byrd hit a grounder up the middle and Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins threw him out in a close play at first for the second out in the top of the ninth inning. Bobby V tried to state his case to first base umpire Gary Darling that Ty Wigginton came off the first base bag before catching the throw from Rollins. After Valentine made multiple hops into the air to emphasize his point, this happened. A true gift from the GIF gods.
Yes, Darling’s gum fell out of his mouth and hit Valentine in the chest. You can watch the full video of the ejection here. Bobby V deserves a lot of credit for keeping his composure long enough to wish a pox upon Darling’s house while walking back to the dugout.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.