Steve Gilbert of MLB.com shared an interesting scene from the Diamondbacks clubhouse, where manager Kirk Gibson learned about Melky Cabrera’s suspension for testosterone and told reporters that the Giants outfielder got off easy with a 50-game ban:
He’s had a huge impact against us. My understanding is he admitted to taking it and knew what he took and that’s just not right. If you do something like that, in my mind, it should be much more severe. Part of me says that, enough already. We’ve made a commitment to stopping that kind of activity and we still from time to time find that people are still trying to fool the system.
Maybe they should consider a much stricter penalty. It’s just bull. I would say the majority of the people who are in this game care about the integrity of the game. We’re all committed to that and cleaning it up. Obviously there’s not a big enough deterrent if it continues so I think the penalty needs to be much more severe.
Gibson told Gilbert that he’d be in favor of a one-year suspension, followed by a lifetime ban for a second positive test.
And he’s right about Cabrera having “a huge impact against us.” He hit .452 with two homers and three doubles in eight games versus Arizona this season. Oh, and Cabrera’s second-place team is five games ahead of Gibson’s third-place team in the NL West standings.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.