David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News has a really good article about Vance Worley, who was traded from the Phillies to the Twins for Ben Revere this offseason.
It begins with the amusing story of how Worley learned about the trade from Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. while waiting to pick up an engagement ring and then tells the even more interesting story about how he met his fiancee in the first place:
In September 2011, Worley was scheduled for an autograph signing in Aston, Pa. Vivas’ brother knew she was a big fan of Worley’s, so he joked that she should travel from Roxborough “to see her boyfriend.” She did, getting Worley’s autograph and snapping a picture with him.
Later, via Twitter, she sent the pitcher a link to the picture. Around that same time, Hunter Pence went on Twitter asking if any of his followers wanted a date with fellow Phillies outfielder John Mayberry Jr., who had recently been featured in a New York Post gossip item that said Mayberry was trying to get a date with a model/actress who appeared in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.
Vivas responded to Pence. “She said, ‘I want a date with Vance Worley,’ ” the righthander said with a rueful smile.
They went on a date and hit it off, Worley met her family, and the rest is history.
I’ve been on Twitter for like three years now and not a single woman has contacted Calcaterra in an effort to ask me out. Also, we actually covered the above story about John Mayberry Jr. trying to get a date back in September of 2011. Because of course we did.
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.
Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.
The Blue Jays and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $29 million contract, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.
Donaldson was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He filed for $11.8 million and was offered $11.35 million by the Blue Jays when figures were exchanged last month. It wasn’t a big gap, but since the Blue Jays are a “file and trial” team, they bring these cases to an arbitration hearing unless a multi-year deal can be worked out. As opposed to last winter, they were able to avoid a hearing this time around. Donaldson was originally a Super Two player, so he’ll still have one year of arbitration-eligibility once this two-year deal is completed.
The 30-year-old Donaldson is coming off a monster first season in Toronto where he batted .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers while leading the American League with 123 RBI.
Brandon Belt filed for $7.5 million and was offered $5.3 million by the Giants when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That’s a pretty sizable gap. While there’s still a chance that an agreement will be worked out at the last minute, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
The Giants haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when they lost to catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Schulman hears from one person involved that because of the gap between Belt and the Giants, there’s a real chance this will break that string and require a hearing.
Belt batted .280/.356/.478 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI over 137 games in 2015, but he dealt with concussion symptoms for the second straight season. An arbitration hearing could bring some unpleasant conversation to the surface.
The Padres have inked veteran utility player Skip Schumaker to a minor league contract, per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Schumaker, who turned 36 last week, has spent the last two seasons with the Reds. He batted .242/.306/.336 with one home run and 21 RBI over 131 games last season while making starts between all three outfield spots and second base. Cincinnati cut ties with him in November after declining a $2.5 million club option for 2016.
While Schumaker had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal here, it would be no surprise to see him land a bench job with the Padres come Opening Day.