The fallout from Friday’s Yasmani Grandal promotion has come: the Padres designated Jeff Suppan for assignment prior to their game against the Diamondbacks.
The 37-year-old Suppan started off with two surprisingly strong starts for the Padres, but he was 0-3 in four outings since. Plus, the appearances were getting worse. From first start to last, here’s his earned run count: 0, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6.
Suppan also managed just seven strikeouts in his 30 2/3 innings for San Diego. Even in Petco Park, that’s not going to cut it. He averaged 2.05 strikeouts per nine innings this season. For comparison’s sake, Jamie Moyer was averaging 6.03 K/9 IP for the Rockies before he was cut this week.
Suppan will probably clear waivers, and he could opt to stay with the Padres and report to Triple-A. He’d have a better shot of returning to the majors with them than he would just about anywhere else, even though he’ll likely drop behind the newly signed Jason Marquis in the pecking order.
Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.
Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”
Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.
The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.