I thought it was pretty nifty that Kevin Goldstein got hired by the Astros last week. The woman who runs The Astros Dugout is not so hot on the idea, however:
In the news – Luhnow has hired Steven Goldstein, who is a BLOGGER. Yes friends and neighbors and 2 dozen remaining Astros fans, you read that right. He first worked for Baseball America talkin bout prospects, then moved to Baseball Prospectus, doing the same thing. He has been given the job as head of pro scouting – meaning, I guess, that the Astros want the same dishy stuff on other teams prospects that he’s been writing up for BPro. All my statty friends are all agog. We’re like Billy Beane 10 years later, I guess, only without Hudson, Mulder and Zito.
1. Maybe she actually likes that Kevin Goldstein was hired but is really concerned about this “Steven Goldstein” character. I would be too. Sounds kinda sketchy to me.
2. Probably worth noting that unless I’m missing something, Kevin Goldstein was never a blogger. He’s an analyst, a scouting news dude, constant tweeter and a writer of longer form pieces. He’s also a podcaster. But I’ve never known him to blog. Which, pet peeve of mine: not everyone who writes on the internet is a blogger. Only people who blog are bloggers. It’s sorta like how people who climb mountains aren’t skiers, just because they happen to be on the same object. Verbs and nouns matter!
3. I realize it’s hard to be a fan of a team that has had as much recent success as the Astros have, only to see them trying new things. How scary it must be that the legacy of Ed Wade and all he created in Houston over the past couple of seasons is being cast aside!
At any rate, I do legitimately fear that Goldstein will be absolutely insufferable down in the bar at the winter meetings if he helps turn the Astros into a World Series champ in the next few seasons — just a feeling I have about that guy — but it’s something I’d personally be willing to risk if I was an Astros fan.
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.