From Brewers director of media relations Mike Vassallo comes word that the Brewers have reached agreement on a minor league contract with free agent right-hander Francisco Rodriguez.
K-Rod passed his pre-signing physical on Wednesday morning at the Brewers’ spring training complex in Maryvale, Arizona.
The 31-year-old posted a rough 4.38 ERA across 72 innings last season for the Brew Crew and failed to attract many offers on the open market this winter. But the Brewers’ bullpen has been awful in the early going and they’re suddenly desperate for depth.
Rodriguez will probably spend a few weeks at extended spring training, but he could eventually be tried at closer in Milwaukee if John Axford is unable to get on track and Jim Henderson can’t handle the job either. K-Rod owns a 2.70 career ERA, a 1.18 career WHIP and 294 career saves in 11 major league seasons.
The paint company Sherwin Williams created a neat promotion at Angel Stadium. There’s a giant paint can with the brand name in left-center field. If a player hits a ball into the can, Sherwin Williams will donate $1 million to the Angels Baseball Foundation, the Angels’ charity for kids.
Angels outfielder Justin Upton appeared to trigger that charitable contribution when he hit a solo home run to left-center field against Indians closer Cody Allen on Tuesday night. The ball bounced in front of the can and then went in on a hop.
ESPN reports that Sherwin Williams is using a technicality to try and get out of the obligation. Because Upton’s home run didn’t land in the can on the fly, Sherwin Williams is saying they’re not obliged to make the $1 million donation. In 2014, Frazee Paint and the Angels agreed to the paint can promotion and indeed the press release says, “…if an Angels player hits a home run that lands in the can on the fly, the company will make a $1 million donation to benefit the Foundation’s efforts to improve the lives of children in the community.” Frazee Paint is now owned by Sherwin Williams.
According to Forbes, Sherwin Williams is worth $29.2 billion, ranking at 724 on the Global 2000. One would imagine ponying up the relatively minuscule sum of $1 million would be worth it rather than taking the P.R. hit from the dozens of articles that have been and will continue to be written about the company’s pedantry over a charitable donation to needy children.
MLB is currently not allowing the video to be embedded so here’s the link if you want to watch it.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge homered again on Wednesday, inching closer to Mark McGwire’s single-season rookie record of 49. Judge drilled a 0-2 fastball from Twins starter Bartolo Colon down the right field line for a two-run home run, cutting the Yankees’ deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the third inning. They would go on to win 11-3.
It’s the 45th home run of the year for Judge and he now has 101 RBI to go along with it. He’s also slashing .276/.412/.586 with 119 runs scored in 638 plate appearances.
Judge is one of 13 rookies since 1901 to hit at least 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs. Albert Pujols (2001, 37/130) and Jose Abreu (2014, 36/107) are the only ones to do it this millennium. Judge and McGwire, obviously, are the only ones with 40/100 rookie seasons.