Jon Heyman reports that Shin-Soo Choo is going to be on the market this winter. Why?
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said they have tried to extend Choo “multiple times” over the past few years, to no avail. Antonetti was asked how much reception he’s gotten to the possibility of a multiyear deal, and the GM answered candidly, “None.”
Choo is a Boras client, he hits free agency after 2013 and there is no way in hell that a Boras client who is appealing to multiple other teams, as Choo no doubt is, would sign a multi-year deal with a team that has zero recent history of free agent largess. He’s as good as gone, either this winter or by the deadline next season.
After stumbling in 2011 due to injury and personal problems, Choo is hitting .286/.369/.489 with 15 homers, 49 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 118 games. That’s not the stuff of nine-figure deals, obviously, but he’s definitely going to have suitors.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.