Peter Gammons tweets that the Twins and Red Sox have shown interest in 27-year-old Korean free agent pitcher Suk-Min Yoon, and suggests the Giants would be a good fit for the right-hander as well. The Twins’ interest in Yoon, represented by Scott Boras, is interesting given that they have already spent a lot of money signing Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, and Mike Pelfrey. The interest from the Red Sox makes a bit more sense.
Just about all of the foreign free agent focus has been on Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. Yoon isn’t of Tanaka’s caliber, but could be a relatively cheap and productive option for teams low on enthusiasm with the remaining free agents and low on interest in getting involved in the nine-figure Tanaka sweepstakes. Yoon, who was the MVP in 2011 in the Korean Baseball Organization, has pitched both as a starter and as a reliever, but he has been and will continue to be marketed as a starter.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
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.
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.