Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle has an amusing look at what Erik Bedard did to stay in shape while spending the offseason at home in Ontario, Canada and waiting for what became a minor-league contract from the Astros:
Bedard walked to a plastic pitching mound inside his 70-foot heated garage, waited for his 30-year-old brother Mark to get off work at 4 p.m., and finally started hurling. By the end of Bedard’s garage run, it was minus-20 degrees in Ottawa.
Bedard has earned around $30 million playing baseball and even his minor-league deal with the Astros will pay what is in the non-baseball world a huge amount of money if he makes the team. Given that there’s an argument to be made for Bedard hiring someone–a professional catcher, a pitching coach, whatever–to work with him during the offseason or at least paying his brother enough so that the throwing schedule doesn’t revolve around his work hours.
But that wouldn’t be as fun, probably.
The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.
Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.
The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.
While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.
Update (7:05 PM EST): The Rays and Dodgers have both announced the trade.
Update (6:57 PM EST): That was fast. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports the two sides have agreed to the trade. Forsythe for De Leon. An announcement is expected shortly.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Dodgers and Rays are “deep into discussions” on a trade involving second baseman Logan Forsythe. Passan adds that the two sides have discussed pitcher Jose De Leon — the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect — as part of the return for Forsythe, but it’s unclear if he’s in the deal currently being discussed.
Forsythe, 30, hit a productive .264/.333/.444 with 20 home runs and 52 RBI in 567 plate appearances in 2016. He was even better the year before, finishing with an .804 OPS. Forsythe can fill the Dodgers’ obvious need at second base, but he also has experience playing third base, first base, shortstop, and corner outfield.
Forsythe is entering the second year of his two-year, $10.25 million contract extension with the Rays. He’ll earn $5.75 million in 2017 and his controlling team has an $8.5 million club option with a $1 million buyout for the 2018 season.