The Blue Jays just announced that they have claimed Jesus Montero off waivers from the Mariners.
Interesting move, I suppose. Montero, 26, struggled in spring training. He had a disappointing 2012-15 as well, at least at the big league level. Still, in baseball, if you were a prospect once it’s hard for people not to think that you’re just a tweak or two away from regaining your form or fulfilling your potential. Ask Dontrelle Willis how that works. Same goes for Montero who, once upon a time, looked like a can’t-miss prospect. Today Dave Cameron offered some smart words about him and so-called “cant-miss prospects” that are well worth remembering, but people always forget it anyway.
It’s hard to see where Montero fits on the Blue Jays, but they’ve taken on reclamation projects in the past that have worked out well for them. They’ll likely send him to the minors to see if they can’t fix him and have him available for depth going forward. If he can hit like he did at Tacoma last year — .355/.398/.569 with 18 home runs and 85 RBI in 430 plate appearances — he should get his usual brief tour of the big leagues in 2016 as well.
It’s been a bad day for guys who are allegedly in The Best Shape of Their Lives. First Nick Swisher was cut by the Braves, a mere month or so after claiming to be in the BSOHL, bro. Now Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton has been sent down to Tacoma.
What? You don’t remember Paxton claiming to be in the Best Shape of His Life? Or some coach or his agent claiming it for him? Understandable. Because the claim wasn’t made until today. As he was being sent down. Here’s his manager, Scott Servais:
“He has not had a great spring — he will be the first to admit it. I tip my hat to him — he worked his tail off this off-season, probably got in the best shape of his life. I thought his stuff in yesterday’s game in the first inning, he was getting after it. He just wasn’t getting the results and this is a results-driven league.’’
It’s tough out there. Even for our greatest physical specimens.
The Atlanta Braves have announced that they have given Nick Swisher his unconditional release.
This is not a shocker. Indeed, you saw this was coming the second the Braves signed Jeff Francoeur who fills the same general niche as Swisher (i.e. past his sell-date outfielder/bench bat) but who is not as versatile. Or as popular, for whatever that is worth. As it was, the Braves have Michael Bourn and Nick Markakis hanging around and certainly plan on starting Ender Inciarte and Hector Olivera. Emilio Bonafacio — who can handle some infield in a pinch — is in the mix too. There really was no room for Swisher.
Swisher — who showed up in camp claiming to be in The Best Shape of His Life — was 10-for-38 with three doubles and eight walks this spring. He also has some bad wheels and had a hefty 2017 option in play this year. There was little chance he was going to get a lot of playing time with Atlanta as a result. Now where he goes is anyone’s guess.