Zach Hample — famous for snagging baseballs at ballparks across the country — is the guy who caught the homer that was Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th career hit. At the time he said he was keeping the ball. Now he’s reconsidering.
Sports Illustrated spoke to Hample, who is prepared to work out a deal:
“I am planning on meeting again with the Yankees soon,” Hample said. “And I am contemplating a scenario where they and A-Rod could get this ball back involving a large donation to my favorite charity.”
The charity: Pitch In for Baseball, which provides new and gently used baseballs and softball equipment for kids who lack equipment to play baseball.
Hample didn’t come off too well on Friday after catching the baseball. Seems now he’s at least trying to make something good come out of this.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”