This is a short article in the Pioneer Press, but two nuggets from it:
- Justin Morneau is pretty ambivalent about autographs because he knows most of the people trying to get them are memorabilia guys who are going to turn around and sell it; and
- His autographs are very legible because Harmon Killebrew told him he needed to write his name clearly when he signs.
To sum up: Harmon Killebrew > baseball memorabilia guys. As if you expected anything else.
That aside, I’m totally with Morneau here. Every time I see an autograph scrum I see a handful of kids who legitimately want an autograph from a player they root for and admire and a bunch of seedy-looking dudes with bad sunglasses and gross mustaches, carrying briefcases full of cards and pictures which you know they’re going to sell later. Just kinda sad.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.