Free agent starter Bronson Arroyo expressed frustration last week about the lack of legitimate offers he’s been made this winter. But it seems as though his market is now developing rather quickly.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Dodgers are “very interested” in signing the veteran right-hander and that the only hang-up is Arroyo’s desire for a three-year deal. The Diamondbacks are similarly interested; they also won’t go three years.
One of the most durable pitchers in baseball, Arroyo registered a steady 3.79 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 32 starts last year for the Reds. He has totaled more than 199 innings in each of the last nine seasons.
Los Angeles would appear to have a full rotation with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dan Haren and Josh Beckett all locked in for 2014, but Haren has battled chronic back issues and Beckett is coming off surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome — the same condition that ended Chris Carpenter’s career.
Josh Hamilton is not and never was a key part of the 2017 Texas Rangers plans. He was in camp and under contract and had at least a chance to make the team, but the Rangers fate as a ballclub did not depend on him. It would merely be nice for them if he revealed that he had a bit left in the tank and if he could, like a lot of other superstars in baseball history, give them one last season of decent production in part time play as a matter of depth and flexibility.
As such, this development is more unfortunate for Josh Hamilton and those who root for him than it is for the Rangers as a club, but it is unfortunate all the same:
That’s the fourth surgery he’s had on that knee in less than two years and the 11th knee surgery he’s had overall in his baseball career. It’s sad to say but safe to say that Hamilton’s days in baseball are numbered if not over completely. At some point an athlete’s body can only take so much.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.