Barry Zito is trying to resurrect his career with the A’s and the 36-year-old former Cy Young winner told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that he regrets sitting out last season as part of what was supposed to be retirement:
I think hanging it up is going to be harder for guys than they realize, after being out of it for a year. You feel like you’re in control of the game, and then you’re not in it, and you want to be back in that game so bad.
We’ve got a long way to go in life once we get out of this thing. That’s not a factor for you when you’re in it. You say, “Ah, I’ve had enough.” But it’s a difficult decision.
All of which is sort of depressing within the context of Zito’s seemingly poor odds of actually cracking the Opening Day roster. In other words, a month from now he might be back in retirement except this time it won’t be by choice.
Now that the Brewers have re-signed Francisco Rodriguez they’re presumably no longer interested in Jonathan Papelbon, but there’s still speculation that the Blue Jays remain in the mix.
Papelbon was asked about Toronto today by Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com and replied:
Yes, Toronto, interests me–if it interests [general manager] Ruben [Amaro Jr.]. I know some of the guys on their coaching staff. They’re a good team. If Ruben can do a deal with them, I’d be interested.
Papelbon has the ability to veto trades, but he’s made it pretty clear that he’d rather pitch for a contender. However, when asked if he’d force any team acquiring him to pick up his $13 million vesting option for 2016 to approve a deal, Papelbon said:
I can’t say. I’d have to discuss it with my agent.
Funny how that works.
Cardinals fans can breathe a sigh of relief.
Adam Wainwright left spring training and traveled to St. Louis to have an abdominal injury examined by a specialist and today general manager John Mozeliak told reporters the result is the “best news we could have gotten.”
Wainwright has been diagnosed with an abdominal strain and has been told to rest for a couple weeks, leaving him plenty of time to get ready for Opening Day.
He can continue to do some throwing, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, but he’ll certainly be limited overall as Wainwright tries to show that he’s healthy following elbow surgery.
Early in the offseason there was speculation that Wily Mo Pena could be headed back to MLB after turning his career around in Japan, but now MLB Trade Rumors reports that he’s agreed to a one-year deal with the Rakuten Eagles.
Pena once looked like a potential star for the Reds and Red Sox, but then washed out by age 26. Last season, at age 32, he hit .255 with 32 homers in 140 games for the Orix Buffaloes in Japan.
Despite plenty of teams being hungry for right-handed power, apparently none felt Pena was worth investing a guaranteed contract and a 40-man roster spot.
As of three weeks ago the Diamondbacks were saying $68.5 million Cuban rookie Yasmany Tomas looked good in the early stages of his transition to third base, but a funny thing tends to happen once outside observers actually get a look at players.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes:
Perhaps in the days and games ahead, he will look entirely capable of adequately handling the position. But on Wednesday Tomas looked like someone with work to do if he hopes to avoid being shifted to the outfield. … Tomas was rough around the edges. He bobbled some balls, misplayed others and at times did not appear to have proper technique.
It’s very early, of course, but Tomas was primarily an outfielder in Cuba and plenty of people were surprised when the Diamondbacks announced he’d get an extended look at third base.