Peter Gammons has a good take on Jhonny Peralta’s presence on the Tigers’ playoff roster. The easy part, which others have observed: he served his time and is eligible, so what’s the problem? The part fewer people acknowledge: There are jobs and careers on the line based on how a team that is expected to win does, so there is a huge incentive for the Tigers to play Peralta no matter what people think about it.
But this nugget — passed off casually in the way that only someone with Gammons’ access can pull off — just makes me shake my head:
There are several Red Sox players who have complained privately that Peralta is allowed to play. They wonder what remains in his body.
Call me crazy, but I question whether they’d be complaining privately if it was their teammate who had come off a suspension.
People talked a bit after the Biogenesis suspensions — and the agreement of most players to not appeal — about how it might weaken the union. I doubt that. It made a lot of sense for most of those guys not to appeal. But one thing that can weaken the union is players themselves questioning the legitimacy of the drug testing and punishment system. And when you complain about a player who has done his time coming back, you are questioning the system’s legitimacy.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.