The first really public strife involving Bobby Valentine and the Sox last year came when Dustin Pedroia called him out in the media for making disparaging comments about Kevin Youkilis (“that’s not how we go about our stuff here”). In light of that — and in light of other rumored issues between Pedroia and Valentine — you’d think that maybe Pedroia would pile on Valentine now like David Ortiz did yesterday.
Nope. He’s rather philosophical about it all, actually:
“I had a meeting with him after I made those comments,” Pedroia said. “We had a team meeting and I went in there and talked to him and kind of expressed how I felt. He expressed things about me, and we were great, man … After they made the decision to fire him, I texted Bobby and told him thank you for the year and sorry that we didn’t accomplish our goals, but I just wanted to tell him I appreciated the things he said to me to make me a better player.”
Gosh, way to spoil a storyline, Pedroia. Quick: get another Red Sox player on the line. We need more “Bobby be CRAZY” talk.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.