Last year I participated in my friend Michael Clair’s Charity Blogathon over at Old Time Family Baseball. I will be doing so again this year, and I hope you check it out and help Michael as he raises money for Doctors Without Borders.
The specifics: this Saturday, January 19th, Michael will be posting every half hour for 24 hours to support Doctors Without Borders. As he did last year, all of the posts will be freshly written (i.e. he won’t be pre-writing stuff and setting it to post later). The fundraising page is here, and I’d humbly ask that you consider donating to what is an outrageously worthy cause. Every donation — even if it’s just a buck — enters you into a raffle for a number of baseball prizes including books, movies, baseball cards, video games and such. Some of the prizes can be seen here.
The next day — Sunday, January 20 — Michael will understandably rest. In his stead, he has asked multiple guest bloggers to write posts for him. I am one of the guest bloggers, and at some point a post I wrote will go live over there. I’ll give you the heads up to it once it goes live. I think it’s pretty good.
So, if you’re willing and able, please consider helping Michael and Old Time Family Baseball help Doctors Without Borders. And even if you can’t do that, go read his posts during the blogathon. I bet they get good and loopy by hour 17 or 18.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.