ESPN the Magazine’s answer to the SI Swimsuit issue is its annual “Body Issue.” Which is at least more honest than the Swimsuit Issue is in its intentions of giving you nude pictures of athletes. It’s not pretending to be something it isn’t. Here’s Jose Bautista from it last year. True to life but for the uniform and the complaining about the call on the imaginary pitch he’s swinging at.
They really do try to please everyone with this, giving us more or less tasteful nude men, women and athletes of all different sports. At least the good-looking ones. I don’t think John Daly is making this bad boy, but within the realm of the fit athletes, they do give a pretty fair representation of the sporting world.
This year’s baseball entrant: Matt Harvey. Who already has a sexy curveball. Guess we’ll see if there’s anything else sexy about him when the issue hits the stands next month.
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.