We dealt with this last month, but Jeff Miller of the OC Register goes there anyway. After lamenting that the Angels and Dodgers were victimized by the A’s and Giants due to the latters’ employment of Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera, Miller thinks that something more needs to be done:
The NCAA certainly wouldn’t permit this sort of thing. Officials already would have limited contact with free agents, stripped TV money and given the A’s and Giants the sort of probation usually reserved for the truly offensive, like Lindsay Lohan. Seriously, shouldn’t the A’s and Giants, for at least the rest of the regular season, be forced to wear ankle weights or something? Shouldn’t they be handicapped in some way?
They directly benefitted from performance-enhancing drugs, reached their lofty perches in part through fraud, and the only price they’ve paid is the loss of the offending player? Hardly seems right.
So Miller goes to FanGraphs, reads Melky and Colon’s WAR for the year and suggests that MLB dock the Giants and A’s 4.5 and 2.3 wins a piece. Because (a) the NCAA is obviously a great example to follow when it comes to sensible justice; and (b) it’s totally workable to simply deduct wins from a major league baseball team’s totals.
But that’s not my favorite point he makes. No, my favorite point is the one in which, after suggesting extreme measures be taken to level and uneven playing field, he says this:
Doesn’t seem fair, does it? The A’s and Giants received a boost in the standings. The Angels and Dodgers continue to receive a kick in the teeth.
I’m not for salary caps or the selective legalization of PED use, but two Southern California teams that can and do so thoroughly outspend their rivals in the Bay Area are probably not the first ones anyone wants to hear complain about things not being fair.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.