Jeremy Guthrie has been a mess for the Rockies with a 7.02 ERA and league-high 15 homers allowed in 13 starts after they acquired him from the Orioles in February, and Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that they’re “aggressively trying to trade” the veteran right-hander.
According to Renck the Blue Jays are among the teams interested and are willing to take on most of Guthrie’s bloated $8.2 million salary while giving up an undisclosed prospect. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com names Double-A first baseman Mike McDade as a possibility.
Guthrie was a decent enough mid-rotation starter in Baltimore, throwing 983 innings with a 4.12 ERA in five seasons, but between his $8.2 million salary and tendency to serve up tons of homers he was an odd fit for the Rockies and Coors Field.
To make matters worse the Rockies traded Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom to get Guthrie. Lindstrom has been on the disabled list for a month, but Hammel has come out of nowhere to rank among the top starters in the league with a 2.87 ERA and 77/29 K/BB ratio in 82 innings.
Toronto has lost Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, and Drew Hutchison to injuries this month, so the Blue Jays’ interest in Guthrie as an innings-eating rotation reinforcement makes some sense even if their reported willingness to pay $5 million and a decent prospect for a guy with a 7.02 ERA doesn’t.
When he’s not throwing baseballs, Twins pitcher Trevor May is an active gamer. He streams on Twitch, a very popular video game streaming site, fairly regularly and now he’s officially on an eSports team. Luminosity Gaming announced the organization added May last Friday. It appears he’ll be streaming and commentating on Overwatch, a multiplayer first-person shooter made by Blizzard Entertainment.
May is the only current athlete to be an active member of an eSports team. Former NBA player Rick Fox owns Echo Fox, an eSports team that sports players in games including League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Street Fighter V, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Mortal Kombat X. Jazz forward Gordon Hayward is also a known advocate of eSports.
The NBA in particular has been very active on the eSports front. Kings co-owners Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov launched NRG eSports in November 2015. Shortly thereafter, Grizzlies co-owner Stephen Kaplan invested in the Immortals eSports team. Almost a year later, the 76ers acquired controlling stakes in Team Dignitas and Team Apex. The same month, the Wizards’ and Warriors’ owners launched a group called Axiomatic, which purchased a controlling stake in Team Liquid, a long-time Starcraft: Brood War website which has since branched out into other games. And also in September 2016, Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko bought team Renegades, moving them to a group house in Detroit. In December 2016, the Bucks submitted a deal to Riot Games in order to purchase Cloud9’s Challenger league spot for $2.5 million. The Rockets that month hired someone specifically for eSports development, focusing on strategy and investment. Last month, the Heat acquired a controlling stake in team Misfits.
Once an afterthought, eSports has grown considerably in recent years and now it should be considered a competitor to traditional sports. League of Legends, in particular, is quite popular, reaching nearly 15 million concurrent viewers at its peak in the most recent League of Legends World Championship. That championship featured a prize purse of $6.7 million with $2 million of it being split among winner SK Telecom T1’s members.
The Orioles have re-signed outfielder Michael Bourn to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.
Bourn, 34, joined the Orioles last year in a trade from the Diamondbacks on August 31. Though he compiled a meager .669 OPS with the Diamondbacks, Bourn hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with the O’s through the end of the season.
Bourn, a non-roster invitee to camp, will try to play his way onto the Orioles’ 25-man roster. If he does make the roster, Bourn will receive a $2 million salary, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports points out.