I wasn’t going to write about this, but since Phil Ervin of FOXSportsNorth.com just “reported” on it … why not?
The rain delay at Target Field on Saturday night lasted exactly two hours and four minutes. Plenty of time for the Twins’ closer to express his gratitude toward a group of fans for riding it out.
At some point during a respite that drove many fans away from an already-thin contingent–Minnesota trailed the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 after 3 ½ innings when the tarps first came out–Glen Perkins bought a round of drinks for some folks on a pub crawl.
I went on/co-organized an all-day light rail pub crawl Saturday in which 100 of us ended up at the Twins-Rays game at Target Field, except it rained for basically the entire night. I assessed the situation and chose not to go into the ballpark right away, staying a couple blocks away to continue bar-hopping, but about half of the pub crawl crew was already in Target Field and killed time at Kent Hrbek’s bar.
At some point during the delay Twins reliever Glen Perkins, who in addition to being one of the league’s best closers is also a native Minnesotan and very active on Twitter, sent his credit card over to Hrbek’s and bought a round of beers for everyone in the group. I finally made my way into Target Field a couple hours later and a bunch of us were going to thank him by yelling stuff at Perkins while he warmed up in the bullpen, but then everyone got creeped out by the whole “distracting someone while they’re technically working” vibe.
So, yeah: Thanks for beers, Glen.
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.