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.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”