It turns out sometimes a ballplayer getting into The Best Shape Of His Life isn’t such a good thing, as Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes about Josh Hamilton:
Last offseason, he started a natural-juice diet–or “lifestyle change,” as he calls it–and entered at an estimated 227 pounds, roughly 20 pounds lighter than normal. For next year, he’s scrapping that. His goal is to enter at his traditional 245 pounds again.
“I’m going to try to put some weight on, but do it the right way–by doing a lot of the things I’m doing now, but adding more calories, things like that,” Hamilton said. “Because this year, I haven’t been weaker than I have–I’m just as strong in the weight room as I’ve ever been–but I think there’s something to say about having a little extra butt on you.”
“There’s something to say about having a little extra butt on you” is a pretty good motto, just for life in general. And oddly enough, on my podcast this week we spent a solid 15 minutes discussing the all-time best butts in Twins history.
Incidentally, while his overall numbers are awful and the Angels are no doubt regretting his $125 million contract in a huge way, Hamilton has hit .329 with five homers and a .916 OPS in his last 40 games.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.