I’m gonna be sick to death of this stuff by January, but man, I forgot how much I loved the scuttlebutt, rumors, slanders, lies, hyperbole and general silliness of the hot stove season. And it hasn’t truly begun until you start hearing things about Scott Boras clients, be it stuff from Boras himself or from people who are speculating about what his clients are demanding.
Up next: Michael Bourn, who CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury has heard is seeking a contract of around $100 million.
Before you say anything, let’s remember something about how offseasons work. (1) people sign big contracts; (2) everyone mocks the contracts as silly and crazy and oh my god they’re going to bust the team; and (3) within a couple of years most of them don’t look too terribly bad and even the real clunkers end up being more annoying than team-killing. Hell, even Barry Zito got some redemption this year. Add into that the fact that so many teams have so much more money now due to the big TV deals dropping and you’ll quickly realize that we’re entering a different world.
With that large caveat aside, if Bourn does get $100 million, we certainly are entering a much different financial world than the one we currently know. He’s a good player. Great on defense, can steal some bases and is in the lineup every day. But he sported a 274/.348/.391 batting line in his walk year and that’s better than his career line. He’s a 90 OPS+ guy. Dave Roberts without the legendary playoff steal.
Which is really nice, actually. But that skill set has not previously garnered anyone $100 million, and it’s hard to see how it might now, even in this brave new world.
After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”
Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.
Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.
Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.