Earlier this week it was reported that the Yankees were “intrigued” by Elvis Andrus. They will likely continue to be intrigued from afar, because they ain’t gonna get him, says Andrew Marchand:
Andrus is only 26, but he is owed $120 million over the next eight seasons and his production has declined in each of the last two years. Seems like no one you really want to give up much of anything for, and I’d assume the Rangers aren’t too interested in getting nothing in return for the guy they run out to shortstop 150+ times a year.
Major League Baseball today unveiled the first step in an initiative aimed at reducing pitcher injuries. It’s called “Pitch Smart” and it’s designed to educate youth players, parents and coaches about how to better avoid arm injuries. This is important because, as Dr. James Andrews noted last spring when a rash of Tommy John surgeries hit Major League Baseball, the cake on arm injuries is often baked back when the pitcher is young, not when he is already a professional.
The website sets forth best practices, guidelines and identifies risk factors for young baseball players. Stuff like this:
As Jeff Passan of Yahoo notes, this is but a first step, and later steps will involve reaching out to and working with youth leagues to help set standards. Which is easier said than done given the number of leagues and governing bodies and the incentives in place that don’t always put a players’ health at the top of the list.
It’s good to see baseball wading into an area where they could, if they so chose, simply say “we can’t control that” and turn a blind eye.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington met with the representatives for free agent left-hander Jon Lester on Tuesday night “for an extended period of time.”
Dad: Now, son, your mother and I went on a date last night. And I know that may be confusing to you since we separated last year. It’s sometimes confusing to us, too.
Son: So are you getting back together? Or —
Dad: I don’t know.
Son: OK. Whatever. I’m going up to my room to play video games. Maybe don’t talk to me about this sort of stuff unless you have something real to tell me. God.
I can’t help but think this is just Lester’s agent’s first of many stops. There are a lot of teams who could be interested in Lester, including teams who haven’t made a recent habit of asking for injury clauses and other things that shift the risk on to the pitcher as opposed to the team.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today has a story about how, increasingly, front offices are no longer led by a GM and his employees. There are presidents of baseball operations and vice presidents and two and three-headed monsters like we’re seeing in Chicago and Los Angeles and Miami. And whatever weirdness is going on in Atlanta where there is a president and a vice president of baseball ops, but no GM.
Nightengale talks of the potential confusion this all may cause — Dave Stewart has a good quote about how, if he wanted to make a trade with the Dodgers, he’s not sure who he’d call — but this just seems more like evolution to me.
We didn’t have bench coaches before, now we do. Most teams now have assistant hitting coaches. Entire new departments devoted to analytics exist. It just makes sense that as everything in operations becomes more complicated and granular, management will be require more resources and people as well. A mom and pop store — which some baseball teams still vaguely resembled as late as the 1980s — can be run by one person. A complex corporation really can’t.
In December we’ll hear older guys talking about the days when GMs met in the bar at the Winter Meetings and did deals on the back of napkins. Part of the reason that can’t happen anymore is that GMs, by themselves, don’t make deals nearly as often as they used to. It’s a team effort, and if members of your team become more important, they will become recognized and earn recognition in the form of titles, higher salary and a media profile. That’s all that’s going on here, really.