Brian Banks was a football player. He may be again if things break just right. But there’s also a chance his athletic career ended before it could even begin because he spent several years in prison serving time on a rape charge he didn’t commit.
If the multiple invitations for tryouts with NFL teams he has received don’t pan out, however, he could have himself a job with the Arizona Diamondbacks:
Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall is willing to wait for Brian Banks. Hall, in fact, hopes he has to. He would prefer not to hire Banks just yet. That is for an NFL team to do. But if circumstances present themselves in the future, count the D-backs among those who would welcome him with open arms.
Banks, a former star high school football player with NFL potential, last week was exonerated after losing 10 years of his life for a crime he did not commit. Hall was so taken by Banks’ composure and professionalism during a television interview afterward that he obtained Banks’ email address and fired off a job offer. If the time comes, they’ll find a fit.
“I just thought, ‘This guy needs a fresh start,’” Hall said.
There’s no way to replace the ten years of his life that were taken from him, but it looks now at least that Banks will be able to land on his feet even if the NFL doesn’t work out for him.
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.