Huston Street

Angels acquire All-Star closer Huston Street from Padres

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UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com says it’s a done deal, with the Padres sending Street and an undisclosed minor leaguer to the Angels for a four-prospect package headlined by Triple-A infielder Taylor Lindsey.

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Padres closer Huston Street has been linked to the Angels for a while now and Jim Bowden of ESPN.com reports that the two sides are “close to finalizing a deal” for the All-Star right-hander.

Bullpen problems have plagued the Angels, who recently traded former closers with the Pirates by swapping Ernesto Friero for Jason Grilli and have also used longtime setup man Joe Smith in the closer role.

By getting Street they’d been leaving no question about the ninth-inning role, as he’s saved 258 games since debuting for the A’s in 2005, including 23 saves with a 1.09 ERA for the Padres this season.

Street has never been particularly durable and occasionally has trouble keeping the ball in the ballpark, but he’s never had an ERA above 4.00, boasts a 2.87 ERA in 565 career innings, and has a 2.03 mark with a 127/32 K/BB ratio in 129 innings for the Padres since 2012.

Street is making $7 million this season and his contract contains a $7 team option for 2015 that the Angels would almost surely be interested in exercising following a trade for the 30-year-old.

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.

Spring training will be slightly shortened in 2018

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 15:  General view of action between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants during the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The A's defeated the Giants 8-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.

Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.

The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.

While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.