UPDATE: Schwimer’s agent, Jeff Borris, tells Salisbury that no grievance has been filed against the Phillies. However, he did ask the MLBPA to investigate the matter. It’s still possible a grievance could be filed.
“I believed Michael could have been sent down while he was hurt so I turned the matter over to the union to investigate whether a potential grievance was there,” agent Jeff Borris said. “I haven’t heard anything since.”
Bob Lenaghan, assistant general counsel for the MLBPA, says the investigation is ongoing.
8:38 PM: Some of you may remember that there was a little bit of drama between the Phillies and right-hander Michael Schwimer earlier this summer after he claimed that he should have been placed on the disabled list with elbow soreness rather than sent to the minors. He eventually reported to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and finished the season there, but the issue isn’t completely in the rear-view mirror.
According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the MLBPA has filed a grievance against the Phillies on behalf of Schwimer. Assuming it is successful, Schwimer could potentially be compensated for what he would have earned had he been on the disabled list.
Schwimer, who turns 27 in February, posted a 4.46 ERA and 36/16 K/BB ratio over 34 1/3 innings this past season. He is healthy now and remains on the Phillies’ 40-man roster.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.