Jose Canseco is still playing baseball. At least as long as someone pays him an appearance fee to show up. The latest someone: the Texas Winter League, where Canseco went 3-for-20 in six games in three days down in Harlingen, Texas over the weekend.
Adam Lawson of the Valley Morning Star spent a day in the dugout with Canseco and captured the essence of this Lion in Winter. It’s, predictably, not the prettiest sight.
But you know what? It’s at least real. What’s not real these days: Canseco’s once so-bad-it’s-good Twitter account. It used to quite clearly be Canseco writing things that were at turns funny, at turns sad. Now, much of the time, it is pretty clearly given over to writers who are either being paid to make Canseco a “character” or else they’re doing it for him pro bono. Which, frankly, is sadder than his old real stuff about wanting to play baseball again.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.