You’ve heard me blather for two days now — my favorite hate comment so far was one calling me “calcaterr-ible” — so this is more of a links thing. Two good ones.
First: Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel talking about the decision making, such as he can determine it, into the length of Ryan Braun’s suspension. It puts to rest the notion — floated by some scribes on Twitter yesterday — that Braun was suspended “50 games for the violation, 15 games for being an a**hole.” Which is hilarious if it were true, but sadly isn’t.
But the notion that it was 65 days because “it just happened to be 65 games left [in the season]. If he had gotten back to them a day later, it would have been 64 games” is a bit curious. If A-Rod delays a week, does he get less of a suspension? Is MLB just trying to put an end-cap on all discipline happening this season?
The other worthy link is from Tim Marchman over at Deadspin, who actually put the question of where the 65 games came from to both MLB and MLBPA. The answers are … less than illuminating.
None of which makes the discipline bad policy or bad form in any way. It just would be nice to know what standards the league is applying and how it’s coming to these decisions. Maybe that’s for after all of the Biogenesis discipline is done. But it should come at some point.
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.