Fun Fact: my lady friend and I stayed overnight in Detroit on Saturday night. Yesterday morning we were leaving our room to go out and get some breakfast and who should be waiting for the elevator on our floor but John Kruk. Yes: I spent the night on the same hotel floor as John Kruk. There aren’t enough showers in the world.
Anyway, the lady friend noticed that Kruk didn’t look so good, like maybe he had a bad night sleep or something. I dunno. He looked just like John Kruk to me, though I did wonder if some tossing and turning would have him off his game 12 hours later when he had to do color commentary for the ESPN broadcast. Nope, seems he was all good. Even called Miguel Cabrera’s three-run homer just before he hit it:
Not bad. Much harder than calling something like, say, “this Braves hitter is about to strike out in ugly fashion,” which is something he could have said every at bat for the whole Tigers series and still had a pretty good prediction average.
Anyway, dirty secret: I kinda like John Kruk as booth guy so far. Like, way more than I thought I would.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.