Buster Olney makes the following observation about the post-firing Bobby Valentine:
Rival officials believe that Bobby Valentine’s relatively muted response to his firing may be tied to some kind of financial incentive, which is not uncommon in the sport. In other words, people are sometimes paid to not criticize.
Yes, non-disparagement clauses are common. Of course, given that Valentine is under contract through next year already, the Sox would have had to give him something else in exchange for a gag order. Unless of course the non-disparagement clause was in his original deal in the first place. Or maybe Valentine is just taking the high road here.
And, actually, given how most of the disparagement surrounding Boston managers in the past couple of years has been about them and from anonymous front office sources, one hopes that Valentine gets a little financial kicker whenever the inevitable Boston Globe story comes out this fall airing all of the dirty laundry from the 2012 season in a manner that reflects poorly on everyone except ownership.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.