Former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra spoke at length with Jesse Spector of Sporting News. One of the big topics they touched on was the inclusion of players proven or implicated to have used performance-enhancing drugs getting into the Hall of Fame. Nomar thinks they should be booted out if they have been proven to have cheated.
From Spector’s column:
For me, I don’t understand why you can’t go back. If you find that out and you find out the truth — you can’t go off assumptions, but when you find out the truth, why can’t you take a person out of the Hall of Fame if you found out he was taking PEDs? I don’t see why that’s so horrible to do. Or, if they had an award, I know they do it in the Olympics, they take away gold medals and things when they later find out. I don’t see why that’s so hard. I mean, they took away the Heisman Trophy, as well. There’s a lot of different ways people can go about it and say that it can still be done.
Using an eraser on baseball history opens up a pandora’s box. Once you get the steroid cheaters out, is that it, or do you go after amphetamine users? Spitballers? What about other morally-questionable inductees — the wife-beaters, the racists, the drunks? By itself, Garciaparra’s wish certainly makes sense, but unfortunately it raises more questions than it answers.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.