According to Jeff Sanders of the North County Times, the Padres have requested unconditional release waivers on shortstop Jason Bartlett.
The Padres signed Bartlett to a two-year, $11 million contract with an option for 2013 in December of 2010 after acquiring him from the Rays, but he ended up being quite the disappointment, batting just .245/.308/.307 with a .607 OPS last year and .133 (11-for-83) in 29 games this year prior to hitting the disabled list in mid-May with a strained right knee. He hasn’t played a game since.
Bartlett’s $5.5 million option for 2013 would have become guaranteed if he reached 432 plate appearances this year. While the Padres were fortunate that didn’t happen, they’ll still be on the hook for a $1.5 million buyout to turn the page.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.