According MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo, Jonathan Sanchez has narrowed his potential list of employers to three teams after seven or eight indicated interest. Cotillo’s source indicates there are multiple offers on the table.
Sanchez started the 2013 season with the Pirates, but was released in May after posting an 11.85 ERA in 13.2 innings across four starts and a relief appearance. The Dodgers picked him up a week later, using him as rotation depth. However, he simply spent the rest of the season with Triple-A Albuquerque, posting a 5.13 ERA in 66.2 innings over 14 starts.
Sanchez is 31 years old and, while he had shown promise at times thanks to a great ability to miss bats, it seems unlikely that he will ever fully overcome his control issues. In 179.2 innings since the start of 2011, Sanchez has averaged 6.4 walks per nine innings. A move to the bullpen might be beneficial — it certainly helped Oliver Perez, whose career was on a similar track as Sanchez’s but was corrected after becoming a full-time reliever.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
It’s not known yet what kind of contract the two sides are negotiating. It could be a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, a non-guaranteed major league contract, or a guaranteed major league contract.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.