Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mets have checked in with free agent reliever Fernando Rodney as well as many other relievers, hoping that prices had fallen “way down”. An executive Sherman spoke to said that he wouldn’t classify anything as “hot”.
The Mets’ bullpen is comprised of a lot of young arms, including 29-year-old closer Bobby Parnell. However, Parnell is recovering from a herniated disk his neck which knocked him out of the final two months of the 2013 season. He underwent surgery in September, but recent reports have indicated that the right-hander looks “great”. Still, it’s always good to have another option in the event Parnell can’t stay on the field or has lost effectiveness.
Rodney, who turns 37 years old on March 18, is coming off of two great seasons with the Rays. In 2012, he wound up fifth in AL Cy Young voting after he finished with a 0.60 ERA and 48 saves in 74 2/3 innings of work. Last year, he finished at 3.38 with 37 saves in 66 2/3 innings. Rodney’s strikeout rates in each of the past two seasons (27%, 28%) have both been the highest of his career.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.