Chris Denorfia, OF, Padres — While the Red Sox don’t believe they can carry another outfielder, they have expressed some interest in Denorfia, a righthanded bat with a little power who can play center field. The Red Sox might be able to swing a move like this if they deal [Mike] Carp or Daniel Nava somewhere.
Denorfia, 33, has hit .285/.340/.419 with 18 home runs, 40 doubles and 24 stolen bases over his last 274 games for the Padres and he is owed just $2.25 million in 2014. He has logged 155 career starts in center field and the Red Sox want somebody who can provide insurance behind Jackie Bradley, who is tasked with having to replace Jacoby Ellsbury.
Nava registered an outstanding .303/.385/.445 batting line in 2013, but he’s limited to playing first base and corner outfield. Carp also hit well last year for the Red Sox, but his defensive profile is much the same.
David Ortiz did one of those “Undercover Lyft” spots for, well, Lyft, in which famous people disguise themselves while driving passengers around. Yes, they’re ads, but they’re still pretty funny. At least this one was.
Best parts: (1) the woman who says she has two David Ortiz shirts to which Undercover Ortiz responds, “actually, all my shirts are his shirts”; and (2) when Ortiz agrees with someone that baseball games are “so loooong.” Oh, and at one point he tells a woman who said she was going to the Red Sox game that night that he was too. After he unmasked himself, she explains his own joke to him. Which, ooohhkay.
In other news, people who take Lyfts in Boston either don’t watch much baseball, because Ortiz’s costume is NOT very concealing, or else they simply don’t look at their Lyft driver while in the car, at all.
Scouting in Venezuela: “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time”
Ben Badler of Baseball America has a story about how major league scouts who cover Venezuela are unhappy with the rules imposed upon them by the league. Rules, they say, which unreasonably prohibit them from scouting Venezuelan players in centralized, team-controlled locations or, alternatively, flying them to team facilities in the Dominican Republic or elsewhere.
The result: international scouts are forced to travel all over Venezuela to evaluate prospect. And, given how destabilized and dangerous Venezuela has become, they believe their safety is at risk:
“MLB’s rules that limit our ability to travel a Venezuelan guy to the Dominican Republic, that limit our ability to get them in a complex at different ages, all these rules are solely contributing to the risks that all of us are taking traveling from complex to complex, facility to facility in the streets,” said one international director. “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time, and it’s on MLB when it happens, because they’re the ones who created these rules.”
As Badler notes, Major League Baseball itself has moved its annual national showcase out of the country due to safety concerns. It will not, however, relax scouting rules — which seem arbitrary on their surface in the first place — in order to make the job of international scouts safer.
It seems that Rob Manfred and the league owe their employees better than this. Or at the very least owe them an explanation why they don’t think they do.