Confirming recent speculation from Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times hears that the Rays are likely to sign veteran left-hander Erik Bedard to a minor league contract.
Bedard made 26 starts with the Astros last season, his most since 2007 with the Orioles. However, while he managed to stay mostly healthy for a change, he posted a 4.59 ERA over 151 innings while averaging 4.5 BB/9. The 34-year-old has averaged just above 89 mph on his fastball over the past two seasons, so his velocity isn’t what it once was.
The Rays will be without right-hander Jeremy Hellickson until May following elbow surgery, so the additional rotation depth can’t hurt. As of now, Jake Odorizzi is considered the favorite to replace Hellickson in the rotation.
After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”
Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.
Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.
Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.