UPDATE: Adam McCalvy of MLB.com hears that the holdup is not related to medical concerns and that it’s just taking some time to wrap up the deal. It’s still a weird situation, as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Garza took his physical today and the Brewers were prepared to introduce him at a news conference.
7:26 p.m. ET: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported earlier this afternoon that the Brewers and right-hander Matt Garza had agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract, but this mysterious Tweet from the team suggests that there could be a hitch in the plan:
It’s very unusual to see an announcement like this. Usually teams will not confirm or deny reports of signings until a physical is completed. As Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel speculates, this could be a sign that some physical issue has come up. For what it’s worth, Garza has dealt with elbow and lat issues in recent years. According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, Brewers general manager declined to comment when asked if there was a red flag during the physical.
Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.
This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.
So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.
The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.
As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.
The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.
Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.
Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.