There’s been quite a bit of back and forth between Mark Trumbo and the Orioles this month, and Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports that the team’s best offer is on the table. Previous reports indicate that it’s the same four-year, $52-55 million deal the Orioles tried to push several weeks ago, which fell short of the $75-80 million Trumbo’s team was said to be seeking.
Trumbo doesn’t appear to have made his final decision just yet, but it’s not for lack of interest. The veteran slugger batted a cool .256/.316/.533 during 2016, contributing a league- and career-best 47 home runs in his first season with Baltimore. The Mariners, Rockies and Indians are among those reportedly in talks with the 30-year-old, though no competing offers have been publicized so far this offseason.
The Orioles have options, too, and Kubatko suggests that the club could make an effort to re-sign Pedro Alvarez or stash Trey Mancini in the DH spot if they can’t reach an agreement with Trumbo. According to a quote from Alvarez’s agent, Scott Boras, the 29-year-old is using the offseason to expand his “defensive resume,” with the intention of sharpening his skills at first base and in the outfield as he tries to net a contract before the 2017 season begins. He split his time between DH and third base with the Orioles in 2016, producing a .249/.322/.504 line and 22 homers in 376 PA.
The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.
This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.
Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.
Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.
“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”
The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.
Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.