Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is one of five finalists for the National League All-Star final vote. So, too, is teammate and outfielder Yasiel Puig. Despite logging more than 200 fewer at-bats, Puig leads Gonzalez in Wins Above Replacement, 2.4 to 1.9, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs has Puig leading Gonzalez 1.9 to 1.5.
For ostensibly altruistic and not statistical reasons, Gonzalez is supporting Puig for the Final Vote.
Via MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick:
“For me, personally, I want Puig to go,” said Gonzalez, a four-time All-Star. “I’m voting for Puig.”
“That’s what the fans want to see,” said Gonzalez, who was wearing a Puig 66 shirt while being interviewed. “It’s from the heart.”
Gonzalez admits he would feel differently if he had never been an All-Star.
“No, then I’d want to go,” he said. “But that’s why I want him to go.”
Said manager Don Mattingly: “I’m voting for both.”
Puig has taken the baseball world by storm since making his Major League debut on June 3. After going 2-for-4 in this afternoon’s victory over the Giants, Puig is hitting .409 with 17 extra-base hits (eight of which are home runs) and five stolen bases.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.
With the Braves on the cusp of formalizing their one-year deal with Kurt Suzuki, the market for free agent catcher Matt Wieters is dwindling. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick references an inside source that lists the Angels, Rockies and Reds as potential suitors for the 30-year-old’s services.
Wieters is coming off of an eight-year career with the Orioles. In 2016, he played through his first full year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014 and batted .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and a .711 OPS in 464 PA. A return to Baltimore in 2017 isn’t out of the question, Crasnick writes, citing some within the team that would be open to Wieters stepping into a DH role and catching platoon with Wellington Castillo. However, he also points out that the front office appears divided on the veteran catcher, and sees the Orioles as a long shot for the foreseeable future.
The Angels have already been tied to Wieters this offseason, while the Rockies and Reds don’t appear to have made any formal inquiries so far. Both could use a veteran presence behind the dish, as the Rockies are planning to platoon rookie catcher Tom Murphy with 24-year-old Tony Wolters in the spring. The Reds, meanwhile, are banking on a quick recovery for 28-year-old Devin Mesoraco, who missed most of the 2016 season after undergoing shoulder and hip surgery and forced the club to rely almost exclusively on back-up backstop Tucker Barnhart.