You may remember Teddy Kremer, the Reds bat boy who, back in April, told Todd Frazier to hit a home run. After which Todd Frazier hit a home run. After that Teddy got a lot of media exposure. Maybe because he’s better than Dusty Baker is at getting Todd Frazier to do things. I don’t know.
Anyway, Teddy, who has Down Syndrome, has continued to stay in the public eye. As this report from WKNU public radio notes, he has become a fan favorite — people lined up for his autograph recently — has been offered a job with the Reds in fan accommodations and has an ESPN documentary crew following him around. It’s a great story, and the report talks to his parents and others in his life, giving us a fuller picture of the guy who told Todd Frazier to hit a home run.
I still don’t know why he likes LaRosa’s pizza — he’s all about a Reds promotion that gives fans free LaRosa’s if Reds pitchers strike out 11 batters — but I suppose even popular people can have bad taste.
Correction: the photo which ran with this post earlier was taken by Jeff Swinger of the Cincinnati Enquirer. I had mistakenly thought it was an AP photo. Apologies.
Per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Jake Arrieta‘s agent Scott Boras says they’ll discuss a potential contract extension with the Cubs when they meet in January to hammer out arbitration figures.
Arrieta, 30, is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility after earning $10.7 million in 2016. The right-hander followed up his Cy Young Award-winning 2015 campaign by going 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA and a 190/76 K/BB ratio in 197 1/3 innings during the regular season. Arrieta pitched well in the postseason, helping the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908.
While Boras clients tend to go to free agency, it’s not always the case. Stephen Strasburg inked a seven-year, $175 million extension with the Nationals earlier this year.
Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports, citing a source as well as Nikkan Sports, that reliever Koji Uehara is close to signing a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Cubs.
Uehara, 41, finished the 2016 season with a 3.45 ERA and a 63/11 K/BB ratio over 47 innings. He missed some time in the second half with a strained right pectoral muscle. When Uehara returned from the disabled list on September 7, he tossed 11 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts and two walks through the end of the regular season. So there’s at least some evidence, albeit in a very small sample size, that Uehara has stuff left in the tank.
The Cubs recently acquired closer Wade Davis from the Royals. Uehara would join Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards, Jr., Justin Grimm, and Mike Montgomery in what is once again a very deep bullpen.