Outfielder Donavan Tate, the Padres’ 2009 first-round pick taken third overall, did not show up at Minor League camp. Via the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Tate, the outfielder signed by the Padres for $6.5 million as the No. 3 overall pick of 2009, informed the club that he will not be reporting on time with the rest of the minor league position players on Friday. Tate’s reason for not showing in Peoria was described by the club as “personal.”
Tate hit just .226 overall between Single-A Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore, stealing 21 bases but with a disappointing 60 percent success rate. His career has been besieged by injuries and suspensions — most memorably, he was suspended in June 2011 for his second positive test for a drug of abuse (i.e. not performance-enhancers).
22 years old without even a taste of Double-A, and now a no-show at Padres camp, Tate’s career takes an even more disappointing turn. Padres VP Randy Smith suggested that Tate needs to work on being a better person before he can become a better ballplayer.
The two players taken ahead of Tate in the 2009 draft, Stephen Strasburg and Dustin Ackley, have enjoyed at least a modicum of success at the Major League level.
Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.
This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.
So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.
The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.
As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.
The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.
Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.
Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.