Bill Bray was signed to compete for a spot in the Nationals’ bullpen, but the left-hander has already been reassigned to minor league camp and figures to begin the season at Triple-A.
And he might be there for a while, because James Wagner of the Washington Post dug into the details of Bray’s contract and found that he has an opt-out clause in June. That’s much later than the typical opt-out clause and means the Nationals can get a long look at Bray in the minors before deciding whether he fits into their plans.
Bray was hurt for most of last season and has a long history of injuries, but when healthy he’s been an effective setup man and posted a 3.40 ERA with 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings in 114 appearances between 2010 and 2011.
Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.
Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.
The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com just tweeted that the Cubs will soon announce a five-year contract extension for president Theo Epstein. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that it’s worth in excess of $50 million.
He’s earned it. When he took over the Cubs in October, 2011 the Cubs were a last place team with an aging roster and a front office that was several years behind the state of the art in every conceivable way. Last year the Cubs made the playoffs and this year they are baseball’s best team by a large margin and the franchise looks poised to continue its success for some time.
So, yeah, I’d say locking Theo up is a good idea.