Milt Bolling, who spent seven years in the big leagues in the 1950s and afterwards worked for the Red Sox for 30 years, passed away Saturday in Alabama at the age of 82.
Frank Bolling, Milt’s brother and a former MLB All-Star, told al.com’s Mark Inabinett that Milt’s health had been in decline following open-heart surgery three months ago.
Milt Bolling came up with the Red Sox in 1952 and became the team’s primary shortstop a year later. He had his best season in 1954, hitting .249/.337/.358 with six homers in 370 at-bats. However, he suffered a broken elbow the following spring and missed most of the 1955 season. Primarily a part-timer after that, he was traded to the Senators in 1957. In 1958, he briefly played with little brother Frank in Detroit, appearing in 24 games for the Tigers.
“We played against each other in the big leagues, and then he came over to Detroit in 1958, and we played together as a double-play combination,” Frank said, “with me at second base and him at shortstop. We have some great tales. We had a lot of good times.”
According to Wikipedia, Bolling later served with the Red Sox as an executive assistant to owner Tom Yawkey and as an area scout based in Alabama.
Milt Bolling is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joanne, as well as four children and nine grandchildren.
Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2020 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. The suspension is up on August 2. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.