Before this season Nationals center fielder Denard Span played his entire five-year career in the American League with the Twins, so he wasn’t quite up to speed on National League rules.
In fact, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes that Span was confused about being removed from yesterday’s game as part of a standard double-switch and initially thought he was being benched by manager Davey Johnson:
“I’m like, ‘Did I not hustle? What did I do?’ ” Span said afterward. “I didn’t know what was going on. I’ve never been pulled out of the game like that. I’m still learning. Honestly, I’m starting to kind of understand it, but I still don’t fully understand it. I understand what’s going on, obviously. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”
Even after a gentle explanation, Span still wasn’t quite sure of the whole double-switch thing. … “If I ever become a manager,” Span said, “it’s going to be in the American League.”
Not quite as bad as Donovan McNabb not knowing the rules to NFL overtimes a few years ago, but still kind of weird. The good news for Span is that by the time he becomes a manager there’s a decent chance both leagues will be using the designated hitter anyway.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.
The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.
He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.