Themed road trips have become a regular things for the Rays and the latest one is pretty interesting. Manager Joe Maddon has everyone dressing up like they’re going to the original Woodstock concert in 1969, even though he was only 15 years old at the time and most of the players don’t even know much about it.
Maddon explained his interest to Joey Johnston of the Tampa Tribune:
But I have the documentary on my iPad right now. I didn’t realize Richie Havens started it up and how good he was. He was fantastic. I think Crosby, Stills and Nash said it was their second or third gig ever. I mean, this was absolutely amazing stuff. I’d love for our guys to know more about it.
I can’t imagine anyone ever surpassing Maddon as the coolest manager in baseball. Also: Richie Havens was amazing. I play his version of “Here Comes The Sun” to celebrate Opening Day each season and it never ceases to get me hyped up.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.