Nelson Cruz

Is Nelson Cruz “selfish” for not appealing is suspension?

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A quick talking point coming out in the wake of Nelson Cruz deciding not to appeal his suspension is that he is being selfish:

Go search for “Cruz selfish” on Twitter to see hundreds of other similar comments.

As I mentioned before, yes, there is self-interest at play here. But are we really going to go down the “Nelson Cruz is selfish” rabbit hole here as a character judgment as opposed to merely a descriptor of motivations? I mean, you can go there if you want — it’s a free country — but I feel like doing so is likely to tie a person in knots.

A-Rod is appealing, as far as we know. He’s been widely described as selfish (among other things). Now Cruz is not appealing and he’s selfish too. Ryan Braun didn’t appeal his discipline and he’s … what, exactly? Before you answer, note that he’s been described as evil incarnate for appealing his positive PED test last year.

It’s almost like people are going to call these guys names no matter what they do. And sure, maybe they deserve some name-calling since they are rule-breakers. But let us not pretend that you weren’t gonna call them names before they chose what they were going to do with their appeal, OK?

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.

Padres sign Trevor Cahill

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Trevor Cahill (53) during the seventh inning of Game 3 in baseball's National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.

He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.