Aaron Gleeman

Farhan Zaidi

Dodgers’ new GM Farhan Zaidi has a good sense of humor


Earlier this week Los Angeles Times writer Steve Dilbeck posted an article about the Dodgers’ new-look front office that was full of cliched, hack jokes about “geeks” and “nerds” and statistics and all the crap the baseball world seemingly moved past years ago.

Here was one of his lame references:

The Dodgers have formed their very own Geek Squad. Not exactly sure how much baseball wherewithal they actually have, but I know where I’m taking my laptop the next time it has a virus.

And so today, when new general manager Farhan Zaidi met with the media during his introductory press conference, he started by saying this:

Smart, respected within baseball, and funny. Or at least funnier than Dilbeck, which admittedly isn’t saying much.

Peter Bourjos undergoes hip surgery

Peter Bourjos Cardinals

Cardinals center fielder Peter Bourjos underwent surgery for a hip impingement, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.

Bourjos started the season in a time-share with Jon Jay, but ended up mostly on the bench as he hit .231 with a .643 OPS and Jay hit .303 with a .750 OPS.

Langosch reports that he’s expected to be ready for spring training, although even before the surgery news it was unclear how Bourjos fit into the Cardinals’ plans. He’s a great defensive center fielder and has occasionally shown some decent offensive ability, but he’s also getting expensive via arbitration and isn’t going to unseat Jay.

Yankees re-sign Andrew Bailey

Andrew Bailey

Andrew Bailey missed all of this season after signing a minor-league contract with the Yankees, who declined his 2015 option. And now Chad Jennings of the New York Journal News reports that they’ve re-signed the former A’s and Red Sox closer to a new minor-league deal.

Bailey hasn’t pitched since mid-2013 because of shoulder surgery and had multiple setbacks this year, but the Yankees still think the former Rookie of the Year winner has some upside at age 30.

Bailey posted a sub-2.00 ERA in each of his first two seasons while making the All-Star team both years, but he’s thrown a total of just 86 innings in the past four seasons and hasn’t really been healthy and effective at the same time since 2011.

Cubs “rolled out the red carpet” for Russell Martin

Russell Martin

Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reported previously that the Cubs planned to make a run at Russell Martin and now he writes that they “rolled out the red carpet” in meeting with the free agent catcher yesterday.

Levine says the Cubs are one of at least four teams in serious talks with Martin, who hit .290 with a .402 on-base percentage and .832 OPS in 111 games for the Pirates this season and will turn down the $15.3 million qualifying offer in search of a bigger deal.

Chicago’s current starting catcher, Welington Castillo, hit just .237 with a .686 OPS this season after back-to-back solid years in 2012 and 2013. And because the Cubs’ first-round draft pick is protected, they’d give up a second-rounder to sign Martin.

Will the Reds trade Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos?

Johnny Cueto

There’s been speculation about the Reds trading one or both of Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos, but veteran beat reporter John Fay, who covers the Reds for the Cincinnati Enquirer, doesn’t see it happening.

Here’s what Fay told WEEI radio in Boston:

I don’t see either one getting traded, Johnny Cueto because he’s coming off such a good year. I think the Reds think their best chance to win is with him. In Mat Latos’ case, he’s had three separate injuries that put him on the disabled list last year, so I don’t think the market for him is as great as it once was.

Now if the Reds struggle out of the gate, and they decide to sell around the trade deadline, you could see one or both of them go, but my guess is that you’ll see them start the season with both of them. I think you’ve got to look at the mindset of the owner. They have the All-Star Game next year. He thinks this is a big chance to sell some season tickets and to make a run, and they think their best chance is with those guys.

Trades surprise people all the time, of course, but something to keep in mind amid all the rumors swirling.