UPDATE: Jerome Williams hopes to be non-tendered by Angels

Leave a comment

UPDATE: Williams’ agent has clarified his comments, saying that his client would be happy to accept any role the Angels give him, but feels confident that he would have appeal as a starting pitcher if he is non-tendered and hits free agency.

1:55 p.m ET: Monday is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players on their 40-man rosters. And Angels right-hander Jerome Williams is one player who hopes to get a chance to test the open market. Or at least that’s what his agent is saying.

Williams, who turns 32 next week, had a 4.57 ERA and 107/55 K/BB ratio in 169 1/3 innings over 25 starts and 12 relief appearances this past season. MLB Trade Rumors estimates that his salary will rise to $3.9 million for his second year of arbitration, which could be a little too rich for the Angels if they merely see him as a swingman/long reliever. Williams has been more effective in relief, but his agent understandably wants to market him as a starter.

Tommy Hanson is also a non-tender candidate for the Angels after he was knocked around to the tune of a 5.42 ERA over 13 starts and two relief appearances this year. Like Williams, MLB Trade Rumors has him projected to make $3.9 million in 2014.

The Cubs live for another day, but death will come soon

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Cubs had a nice night last night. Javier Baez finally broke his hitless streak with not one but two homers. Willson Contreras hit a nearly 500-foot homer. Jake Arrieta, possibly pitching for the last time as a Cub, dug down for a gutsy performance, pitching into the seventh inning, working around some walks to allow only one run while striking out nine.

After the game, Cubs players sounded hopeful notes about believing in themselves, taking them one game at a time, getting the series back to L.A. for a Game 6 and Game 7. They’re professional athletes who know better than any of us that to achieve a thing you have to believe you can achieve that thing, so it’d be dumb to expect anything else from them in this situation. Ballplayers, quite admirably, don’t sound a note of defeat until they are actually defeated.

But let’s be realistic there: they’re still a dead team walking.

  • They’re dead because, as we have been reminded oh so many times, only once in 35 tries has a team come back to win a seven game series in which they’ve found themselves down 0-3. That team did so because Dave Roberts worked some magic. Dave Roberts is working for the other team now.
  • They’re dead because their biggest weakness this postseason — their bullpen — is not going to have its best pitcher, Wade Davis, available today in Game 5 after throwing 48 pitches in Game 4.
  • They’re dead because while the Dodgers used five relievers last night, none of them were worked particularly hard and neither Brandon Morrow nor Kenley Jansen were used at all, allowing them to come in and work hard and heavy tonight if need be.
  • They’re dead because the man on the mound to start tonight’s game is Clayton Edward Kershaw. Yes, he has had some less-than-glory-filled moments in the postseason in recent years, but all of those have come at the tail end of starts, when his managers have left him in perhaps an inning too long. See the above bullet point — and Dave Roberts’ early hook in Game 1 — if you think that’ll be a problem tonight.

The Dodgers lost last night, yes, but it was their first loss in the postseason. All teams have lost at least one postseason game since it went to the three-round format, so it was likely inevitable that L.A. would drop one. Heck, maybe they’ll drop two before the NLCS is over, but they’re not going to drop the next three in a row.

Last night’s Cubs win was nice for them, but it only delayed the inevitable.