The Rockies just announced that they have traded Marco Scutaro and cash considerations to the Giants for infielder Charlie Culberson. Yes, Brian Sabean loves his veteran middle infielders.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post notes that Scutaro is owed $2.2 million for the rest of the season before hitting free agency, but it’s not known how much of his remaining salary the Rockies are covering.
Scutaro, 36, is hitting .271/.324/.361 with four homers, 30 RBI, seven stolen bases and a .684 OPS in 94 games played this year. Coming into play tonight, he had a .794 OPS at home compared to a lowly .570 OPS on the road. He figures to be worked into the mix at either second base or shortstop. It’s even possible he could play some third base if Pablo Sandoval is placed on the disabled list, though he hasn’t played there since 2008 with the Blue Jays.
Culberson was a supplemental first-round pick of the Giants back in 2007. The 23-year-old second baseman had his first cup of the coffee in the big leagues earlier this season and is a .258/.309/.379 hitter over parts of six seasons in the minors. He was ranked as the organization’s No. 11 prospect by Baseball America during the offseason.
Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.
Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.
Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.
Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.
Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.
As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.
You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.