Jamie Moyer lasted only 10 starts with the Rockies last season after returning from Tommy John elbow surgery and spent the rest of the year trying unsuccessfully to pitch himself back to the big leagues at Triple-A, but he still hasn’t given up on another comeback.
Moyer, who’s now 50 years old, was in Seattle last night to throw out the first pitch at the Mariners-Astros games and spoke to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times about his status:
I haven’t closed that door yet. I don’t know when I would make a decision. I really haven’t put a lot of thought into it. I’m enjoying my time at home at this point. I’ve got a college senior playing baseball. A college freshman starting at Pepperdine, playing baseball. I’ve got a daughter graduating from high school, going to college. Another daughter that’s going to be a junior next year. And then I have two fourth graders and two first graders.
So, I’m enjoying my time. And I’ve got a garden growing. I’ve got lettuce I’m eating now and micro-gardens. I’m excited about that. I’ve got some fruit trees going in. I’ve got a puppy. So, I’m doing some things I haven’t done in a long time.
First of all, that’s a lot of kids. Second of all, Moyer did admit that he’s basically stopped throwing and has “just kind of let my body kind of amp itself down.” So obviously while he hasn’t officially announced anything, he’s all but retired. It was a helluva run. And congrats on the garden.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.