Andrew Bailey

2013 Non-tender Tracker

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We’ll be writing up the non-tenders as they come in prior to Monday’s midnight deadline. These players immediately become free agents.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Angels – RHP Juan Gutierrez, RHP Tommy Hanson, INF Chris Nelson, RHP Jerome Williams

All of these were expected. Hanson and Williams would have cost upwards of $4 million apiece. Williams is worth at least $2 million-$3 million anyway for his value as a swingman, but $4 million is a bit steep. Hanson is likely looking at a cheap one-year deal to battle for a rotation spot on a non-contender.

Blue Jays – C J.P. Arencibia

The Jays worked all day to find a trade partner for Arencibia after signing Dioner Navarro, but couldn’t find anyone willing to give up a prospect and spent $2.5 million-$3 million on his services. Arencibia could yet land a starting job with a thrifty team.

Indians – OF Matt Carson, RHP Tyler Cloyd, C Lou Marson

Carson and Cloyd could be re-signed to minor league deals. The Indians decided not to spend a million or so to retain Marson after he missed most of the year with a neck injury following a collision with Desmond Jennings, but he’s a decent enough backup catcher when healthy.

Orioles – RHP Eddie Gamboa, OF Jason Pridie

Rays – OF Sam Fuld, LHP Wesley Wright

As a true fifth outfielder, Fuld belongs in the NL. He’s too limited to eat up one of the four (or sometimes just three) bench spots on an AL roster. Wright had a nice showing after coming over from the Astros in August, posting a 15/3 K/BB ratio in 12 1/3 innings. The Rays didn’t want to be on the hook for $1.5 million or so, but he should get similar cash elsewhere.

Red Sox – RHP Andrew Bailey, OF Ryan Kalish

The rumor all day was that the Red Sox would work something out with Bailey, even though that would have meant paying him $4 million to spend at least half of next season rehabbing following shoulder surgery. Cutting him makes more sense, and he could yet be re-signed for a cheaper sum. Kalish, a once-promising outfield prospect done in by injuries, will be offered the chance to stay on a minor league contract.

Royals – 2B Chris Getz

After four years and 332 games of replacement level play, Getz is finally gone from Kansas City. He doesn’t have the bat to be a decent starting second baseman or the versatility to carve out a career as a utilityman, so he might be essentially done as a major leaguer.

White Sox – RHP Dylan Axelrod

A fringy swingman, Axelrod had gone 7-13 with a 5.36 ERA in 30 starts and 18 relief appearances for the White Sox the last three seasons. A different ballpark could help him, but he’ll have to battle for a spot in spring training.

Yankees – INF David Adams, RHP Matt Daley, INF Jayson Nix

This according to Brian Cashman. The oft-injured Adams got a look at third last year because of injuries, but he hit just .193/.252/.286 with 43 strikeouts in 140 at-bats. There was no longer any room for Nix after the Brendan Ryan signing. but he should get a utility gig elsewhere after his strong showing defensively at shortstop last season. 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Braves – SS Paul Janish, INF Elliot Johnson, RHP Cristhian Martinez

Janish, 31, hit .171/.222/.220 in 45 plate appearances this year at the major league level, and Johnson, 29, batted .209/.255/.283 in 275 plate appearances. Janish, at least, offers quality defense at shortstop, if nothing else. Martinez is on his way back from major shoulder surgery and isn’t expected to be ready for Opening Day.

Brewers – none

Cardinals – RHP John Axford

Thanks to his $5 million salary, Axford was essentially marked for non-tendering after losing his closer gig in Milwaukee in April. He pitched pretty well from then on, and he’s definitely worth $4 million or so the right team. The Cardinals, though, can do without him. 

Cubs – RHP Daniel Bard, 1B-3B Mat Gamel, RHP Chang-Yong Lim

Bard fell apart in 2012 and couldn’t right the ship in 2013. In fact, things have gotten even worse of late: he walked nine while getting just one out in three appearances in the Puerto Rican Winter League. The right-hander posted a 2.88 ERA and 9.7 K/9 over his first 197 major league innings (2009-2011), but he’ll likely have to settle for a minor league contract for 2014. Bard turns 29 next June. … The 37-year-old Lim was given a two-year, minor league deal to sign out of Korea as he was rehabbing following Tommy John surgery last winter. He gave up three runs in five innings after a September callup.

Diamondbacks – RHP Daniel Hudson

While still rehabbing after the first, Hudson needed a second Tommy John surgery in June. The smart play might be for him to sit out the entire 2014 season, but he’ll probably aim for a return after the All-Star break instead. He’s still a very intriguing long-term property. It doesn’t look like the Diamondbacks have given up on bringing him back.

Dodgers – RHP Ronald Belisario

Belisario is a decent enough setup man, but the Dodgers are going to upgrade there, which might not be a bad idea given that their two best defensive infielders are free agents and Hanley Ramirez may stay at shortstop. A strikeout guy could help them more.

Giants – OF Francisco Peguero, RHP Sandy Rosario

The Giants are so loaded in the pen that they could non-tender a guy in Rosario who had a 3.02 ERA in 41 2/3 innings last season and makes nothing (he won’t even be eligible for arbitration for two years). They’ll probably just plug prospect Heath Hembree into his spot.

Marlins – OF Chris Coghlan, RHP Ryan Webb

The former Rookie of the Year is the name here, but Webb is the much bigger loss. The Marlins are giving away a perfectly fine reliever just because he’ll make $1.5 million-$1.8 million next year. The sinkerballing Webb had a 2.91 ERA in 80 1/3 innings last season, and he still seems to be getting better as he enters his age-28 campaign. Unless there’s some sort of injury here that we don’t know about, letting him go for nothing is the height of foolishness.

Mets – RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Jeremy Hefner,  INF Omar Quintanilla, INF Justin Turner, 2B-OF Jordany Valdespin

Atchison and Quintanilla were non-tendered by other teams last year, so they know how it works. Atchison likely would have undergone elbow surgery a year ago if he had been 26 rather than 36. He managed to get through 51 appearances for the Mets, but a late swoon left him with a 4.37 ERA. Quintanilla spent too much of the year as the Mets’ starting shortstop, hitting .222/.306/.283 in 315 at-bats. He’s a 25th man at best. Valdespin’s latest off-field transgression was a Biogenesis tie, but he’ll attract offers from other teams because of his age (26 on December 23) and past flashes of promising minor league production. … Hefner and Turner were late additions to the list. Hefner will miss most or all of next season following Tommy John surgery, but since he would have cost a mere $500,000 to keep around, it’s surprising the Mets didn’t ante up.

Pirates – 1B Garrett Jones, C Michael McKenry, RHP Kyle McPherson

All of these guys had already been designated for assignment. This just officially wipes them from the books. The Pirates did opt to keep outfielder Travis Snider, who was thought to be on the borderline.

Reds – OF Xavier Paul, OF Derrick Robinson

NL teams are always looking for pinch-hitting types, and Paul hit .273 with three homers in 33 at-bats in that role last season, which should serve to keep him employed. Robinson was DFA’d previously.

Rockies – RHP Mitchell Boggs

Boggs wasn’t the same disaster in his September callup with the Rockies (3 R in 8 2/3 IP) that he was with the Cardinals earlier in the season (18 ER in 14 2/3 IP), but neither did he show his 2010-12 form. Another pitching coach will get to take him on as a project.

Must-Click Link: Big Brother is Watching Ballplayers

Big Brother
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Over at Vice Rian Watt has a great story about how technology is changing baseball. No, it’s not about sabermetrics or statistical analysis. At least not as you all know and understand those things. It’s about how the players themselves are now becoming the data. About how wearables — little devices which monitor everything about an athlete’s behavior — and analysis of that behavior is changing clubs’ understanding of what makes baseball players excel.

Which is fine if you approach it solely from a technological standpoint and do that usual “gee, what a world we live in” stuff that such articles typically inspire. Watt, however, talks about the larger implications of turning players into data: the blurring of their professional and personal lives:

Welcome to the next frontier in baseball’s analytic revolution. Many of this revolution’s tenets will be familiar to anyone who works for a living—the ever-growing digitization and quantification of things never-before measured and tracked, for instance, or the ever-expanding workplace, the blurring distinction between the professional and the personal, and the cult of self-improvement for self-improvement’s sake. These broader trends are colliding with baseball tradition on backfields and in training facilities around the major leagues, and those collisions have raised questions about privacy, security, and what employees owe their employers.

Players already accept drug testing and rules about personal behavior. But can a club, armed with knowledge about how it affects a player’s performance, make rules about how he sleeps? What kind of shoes he wears off the field? Everything he eats?

I’m the last person to fall for slippery slope fallacies. In most instances there are lines that can be drawn when it comes to regulating the behavior of others and making new rules. But in order to draw those lines you have to ask questions about what is and what is not acceptable. You also have to acknowledge that it’s really easy for technology to get ahead of our ability to comprehend its ethical implications.

Vin Scully recites the “People will come” speech from “Field of Dreams”

James
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You all probably know my thing about “Field of Dreams.” Specifically, that I hate it. Maybe my least favorite baseball movie ever. And I have sat through “The Slugger’s Wife” at least twice. That’s really saying something. At some point I’ll watch it again and liveblog the experience to explain my position on this — I know all of you think I’m nuts for not liking it — but just accept that I don’t like it for now, OK?

But just because a movie stinks doesn’t mean every aspect of it is bad. I loved Burt Lancaster in everything he did and he did an excellent job in “Field of Dreams.” Same with James Earl Jones for the most part. I thought he did a great job playing a character which, at times, didn’t have as much to work with as he could’ve had. No, there are good elements of “Field of Dreams.” If there weren’t — if it were just a total turkey — it wouldn’t inspire the feelings I have about it. If it were an unmitigated disaster, I’d occasionally re-watch it on a so-bad-it’s-good theory.

The “People will come” speech is good. Not necessarily for its content — there’s some hokeyness to it — but because James Earl Jones does a great job delivering it. He could read the dang phone book and make it compelling

Yesterday Major League Baseball launched a partnership thingie with the Field of Dreams site in Iowa. Part of that effort involved having Vin Scully recite the “People will come” speech over some baseball footage. Watch and listen:

Personally, I’d prefer Vin to tell some kooky story about an opposing player actually being a part time flautist or what have you. He’s had many monumental moments, but Scully is Scully for the way he makes the workaday and the mundane sound poetic, not because he takes the already poetic and elevates it further.

Still, this is good. Even to a hater like me. And I’m sure a lot of you will love it.

The Yankees release former prospect Slade Heathcott

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 27:  Slade Heathcott #71 of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait on February 27, 2016 at George M Steinbrenner Stadium  in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Yankees announced last night that they have given an unconditional release to outfielder Slade Heathcott. They needed room on the 40-man roster and he was seen as expendable. There is no indication that they’re going to try to re-sign him or anything. He’s just gone.

Heathcott was the 29th overall pick in the 2009 draft and at one time was considered the second best prospect in the Yankees’ system. Injuries and decreased production as he climbed the minor league ladder took the shine off this particular apple, however. He had a nice little cup of coffee with New York last season, but he’s hitting a mere .230/.271/.310 at Triple-A this year in his second go-around.

Heathcott can play center field and has good tools, but he’s going to have to use them working for another organization.

Pete Rose says no one ever told him not to gamble on baseball anymore

Former Cincinnati Reds player and manager Pete Rose poses while taping a segment for Miami Television News on the campus of Miami University, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Oxford, Ohio. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Associated Press
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Pete Rose will soon be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame and have his number retired and all of that jazz. To mark the occasion, Cincinnati Magazine interviewed the Hit King. And, for, like, the 4.256th straight time, Rose shows that he’s in complete denial about why he was banned in 1989 and why he was not reinstated last year when Rob Manfred agreed to review his case:

In this time of limbo after the ban, did you worry about your legacy? I normally don’t ever worry about anything that I’m not in control of. I wasn’t in control of anything in that situation. I went through a period when I got suspended where I didn’t even go to the ballpark. It’s not because I didn’t want to. There were so many restrictions on me, I just didn’t want to put people through that. It didn’t feel good to me.

Sure he wasn’t in control of anything. He was a tiny boat, cast out onto the waves, left to drift in a sea of uncertainty and powerlessness.

But it gets better. Rose was asked about how he changed his life after his ban:

But you still bet on baseball, albeit legally. It seems like the commissioner’s office has taken issue with that fact. Have you considered not betting on baseball anymore? That’s a good point. You remember reading about Bart Giamatti telling me to reconfigure my life? OK, no one has ever told me—including Manfred, including Selig—what does that mean? I guess my point is, just tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it. I’m in control. Just tell me. If I want to bet on Monday Night Football, and that’s the way I enjoy my life, why is everybody so worried about that? I’m 75 years old, I have to be able to have some form of entertainment. I’m not betting out of my means. It’s not illegal. If you don’t want me to bet on baseball or anything else, just tell me.

If they told you that— I’d do it. Absolutely. But no one has ever explained “reconfigure your life.” I have taken responsibility for it. I have apologized for it. I have shown I’m sorry. But there again, no matter how many times you say you’re sorry, not everybody’s going to hear you. All I can do is imagine what they meant when they said reconfigure my life. And evidently, no one’s willing to tell me what that means.

So it was all a big misunderstanding. A man who was in his late 40s was banned for gambling on baseball and was told to straighten up yet he had no idea, for 26 years, that maybe it’d be a good idea for him to not gamble on baseball anymore in order to get back into the good graces of the folks who banned him. Damn, why did they pose such impossible riddles to him! If only he had a clue as to what sort of behavior would have improved his chances!

But really, guys: Rose is ready to stop betting on baseball. All you have to do is tell him. If he had known before now, well, we’d be having a TOTALLY different conversation, I’m sure.