Brandon Phillips made headlines back in August for calling a local beat reporter a “fat mother******” (among other things) and now he’s decided to simply stop talking to the media altogether.
John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Phillips “refused to speak to the media on the day position players reported to camp” and issued a statement through a team spokesperson saying simply “I’m just here to play.”
In addition to the August squabble with a specific reporter–which took place in then-manager Dusty Baker’s office–Fay notes that Phillips was also upset with the media earlier this offseason when trade rumors were circulating.
Generally the whole “not talking to the media” thing never goes particularly well for the player, although I suppose if Phillips can recover from angrily berating someone in his manager’s office anything is possible.
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.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.