Carlos Gonzalez

Carlos Gonzalez is struggling to play through knee problems

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Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez continues to play through knee tendinitis that has bothered him all season and it’s starting to show in his performance.

Gonzalez is hitting .275 with seven homers and an .803 OPS, which would be very good for most players. However, that would be his lowest batting average in a full season by 20 points and his lowest OPS in a full season by 78 points. Beyond that he’s also attempted just two stolen bases in 42 games after stealing 21, 20, 20, and 26 bases in the previous four years.

Here’s what Gonzalez told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post about the status of his knee:

I feel a little better; still fighting with that knee. I think it’s showing in stolen bases. It’s kind of slowed down a lot. But I continue to get treatment every day and hopefully it gets better and I can bring that speed back to the club. …

Sometimes, thinking about my hitting mechanics, and sometimes it bothers me (there) too. To have the leg kick and sit on that knee. When I’m having that pain, even without trying, my reaction is to just get (off) of that knee and jump out front. It’s causing me problems in the batter’s box. But like I said, I’m fighting with that, trying to do anything possible to stay in the lineup every day.

Gonzalez has played in 42 of 45 games for the Rockies, but based on those quotes at some point you’ve got to figure a little extra time off might help him stay productive all season long.

Cubs sign Brett Anderson to a $3.5 million deal

Brett Anderson
AP Photo/J Pat Carter
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.

Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.

When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.