Not only was Evan Meek designated for assignment last week by the Pirates just two years after being an All-Star, the 29-year-old reliever passed through waivers unclaimed.
And it wasn’t because he has some kind of huge contract, because a) he’s only making $875,000 this year, and b) any team claiming him would only be on the hook for a few weeks of salary anyway. Instead he’ll remain with the Pirates at Triple-A, but is no longer on the 40-man roster.
Meek spent most of this season at Triple-A, posting a nice-looking 2.74 ERA in 46 innings despite a not-so-nice 41/26 K/BB ratio. He has a 3.34 ERA in 173 career innings as a big leaguer, but has logged a total of just 33 innings for the Pirates since being named to the 2010 All-Star team.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.