Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has the story …
Rays GM Andrew Friedman is going to make the most interesting call of the next two days: Whether or not to trade David Price.
Colleagues suggest Friedman has the guts to deal Price when the team has rallied from nowhere to the cusp of the AL pennant race. A few even suggest that he may prefer to pull the trigger.
“We are talking and willing,” a Rays-connected source told Heyman for his column. “[We’ll] see if any teams have the desire.”
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale wrote Tuesday that the Cardinals could present a package of outfielder Oscar Taveras, starting pitcher Shelby Miller, and their competitive-balance pick (right after the first round) in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft. And Heyman heard from rival executives that the offer has “some merit.”
The Dodgers are also thought to be heavily-interested in Price and have the prospects to pull off a deal.
Price, who is under contractual control through 2015, boasts a 3.08 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 183/21 K/BB ratio through 163 2/3 innings this season. The 28-year-old is scheduled to start for Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.