Jim_Deshaies

Jim Deshaies leaving Astros to become Cubs announcer

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Cubs announcers Bob Brenly and Len Kasper were one of my favorite MLB broadcasting duos, so I was sad to see Brenly take the same job with the Diamondbacks six weeks ago.

Luckily for Cubs fans they’ve found a really good replacement for him in Astros television analyst Jim Deshaies, who’s leaving Houston for Chicago to work alongside Kasper.

It’s a tough loss for Astros fans, because Deshaies is really good–seriously, he’s definitely the most underrated local announcer in baseball–but the Kasper-Deshaies duo should be absolutely fantastic.

Prior to becoming an announcer Deshaies pitched 12 seasons in the big leagues, seven of them with the Astros. He had a 4.14 ERA in 1,525 innings, making 253 starts, and retired following the 1995 season.

Diamondbacks sign Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million deal

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Jeff Mathis #6 of the Miami Marlins hits a grand slam during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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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.

As the D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.

Jimmy Rollins wants to play in 2017

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 10:  Jimmy Rollins #7 of the Chicago White Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 10, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.

Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.

Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.