There’s something to be said for letting a kid play through some growing pains, but this has gotten absurd.
Twins shortstop Brian Dozier just committed his 11th error of the season, letting a routine grounder roll right between his legs to give the White Sox a run in the first inning. Even though he wasn’t even called up until May 6, he now has three more errors than any American League shortstop.
To put it nicely, his hitting has been no great shakes either. He entered the day with a .225/.249/.306 though 173 at-bats. Of the 210 players with at least 180 plate appearances this season, he ranks 206th with his .555 OPS. He’s struck out 33 times versus just six walks, and he’s even been thrown out on two of his four steal attempts.
So, if Dozier hasn’t been baseball’s worst player since his callup seven weeks ago, he’s almost certainly in the bottom five. It’s past time for the Twins to send him down for more seasoning. It’s not only in their best interests, but it’s probably in his as well, given that he can’t have much confidence left after struggling for so long.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.