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.
Two weeks ago Francisco Rodriguez was said to be holding out for a two-year contract, which seemed like wishful thinking considering how many other veteran relievers have been settling for cheap one-year deals and even minor-league deals lately.
But sure enough Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Rodriguez has agreed to return to the Brewers on a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com says it’s worth $13 million.
Rodriguez has been a good fit with the Brewers, who traded for him once, traded him away once, and have now re-signed him multiple times. Overall in parts of four seasons with Milwaukee he’s got a 3.11 ERA and 204 strikeouts in 168 innings, including 44 saves with a 3.04 ERA last season.
He figures to resume racking up saves this year, with Jonathan Broxton as his primary setup man.