For that I am quoting Rays Index, which quotes Peter Gammons on MLB Network regarding the Pirates alleged offer to the Rays for David Price:
“Most people thought the Pirates offer, which was all about prospects and minor leaguers, might have been greater in terms of talent and that the Pirates were much closer to getting Price than we realize. But the way that the Rays look at it in Franklin and in Smyly, they get two current Major League players who are under control for a long time [and] cost efficient.”
To which I say the same thing, more or less, I said about the Red Sox’ return for Jon Lester yesterday: it makes total sense if you assume, as the Rays likely assume, that they have a good chance to contend in 2015. The AL East is fluid, the Rays will be getting some of their injured starters back next year and, while keeping David Price would be both an expensive and very short term proposition for them, there is no reason for the Rays to assume the next time they reach the playoffs will be years from now. Smyly and Franklin will help next year.
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.