Donovan Tate, the third overall pick in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft, was a no-show this spring at Padres camp due to what was described by club officials as a personal matter. Now more than four months later, that personal matter has apparently been resolved.
Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that Tate finally arrived at the Padres’ spring training complex in Peoria, Arizona on Monday to begin working his way back into baseball shape. He spoke with reporters Tuesday: “I left baseball in order to gain a grasp on some personal issues in my life,” said Tate. “It’s been the same kind of things that I’ve been dealing with in my life for a long time. I’ve been very blessed to be part of the Padres. They’ve been very supportive of everything I’ve gone through and haven’t given up on me.”
Tate, who received a $6.25 million signing bonus soon after being drafted, was suspended 50 games in June 2011 following a second positive test for a drug of abuse (not a performance-enhancer). The athletic outfielder is a .241/.358/.320 career hitter in the minor leagues and will turn 23 years old in September.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.