Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics could lose the Sacramento River Cats, their Triple-A affiliate, to the Giants after the season. The Athletics’ affiliate agreement with Sacramento expires after the season, coinciding with the Giants’ deal with the Fresno Grizzlies, their Triple-A affiliate, expiring as well.
Slusser notes that Sacramento is considered one of the better minor league cities to play in and the River Cats play in one of the best stadiums in the minors. It would certainly hurt the Athletics’ ability to reign in free agents looking to make it back to the big leagues. The Giants are comparatively a more attractive partner given the market in which they play.
The Giants and A’s have some recent history with each other, as the Giants blocked the Athletics’ attempt to move to San Jose. The River Cats joining forces with the Giants would just be more salt in the wound for the Athletics.
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.