Craig Calcaterra

Garrett Jones Yankees
Associated Press

Garret Jones signs with the Yomiuri Giants


Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that Garret Jones, late of the Yankees, Marlins and Pirates, has signed to play for the Yomiuri Giants of NPB. He will make $2.8 million in 2016, with incentives on top of that.

Jones is 34. He was a late-bloomer, getting his first MLB action at age 26 with the Twins, but not really sticking until his age 28 season with the Pirates. His calling card has always been power, with three 20+ home run seasons and a career slugging percentage of .445. Which, of course, isn’t so good that it can carry him as a regular in MLB unless he’s having a hit-lucky year like he had in 2009 and 2012. In 2015 he struggled in 57 games for the Yankees, hitting .215/.257/.351 with five homers. Lefties have also always been an issue for him.

A nearly $3 million payday for Jones at this point is a pretty good deal for him given that he’d be a minor league deal/camp-invite kind of guy if he stayed in the states.

Jonathan Papelbon has a TON of teams on his no-trade list

Jonathan Papelbon

The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, wants the Washington Nationals to trade Jonathan Papelbon. Like so much else in Washington, saying it is much easier than doing it.

Why? Because Jerry Crasnick reports that Papelbon has the following teams on his no-trade list: Athletics, Blue Jays, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Marlins, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates, Rangers, Rockies, Tigers, Twins, White Sox and Yankees.

That’s 17 teams he doesn’t want to be traded to. No word on how many teams have Papelbon on their “we don’t want to trade for HIM” list, but it’s probably more than 17. Which makes this whole “the Nats want to trade Papelbon” notion that has been gaining steam since the end of the season pretty darn difficult, one assumes.

Pete Rose holds a press conference. There were no surprises.


A day after Rob Manfred declined to reinstate Pete Rose, the Hit King held a press conference. Rose has never cared much about optics and now that it basically doesn’t matter what he does, it should not be at all surprising that he held his press conference in Las Vegas. With cheerleaders. Which, as far as I’m concerned is all aces. There’s something liberating about having nothing to lose, and at least as far as organized baseball is concerned, Rose has nothing left to lose. Be yourself, hombre.

As for the substance, Rose had nothing new to add. He continues to draw false equivalencies between gamblers and steroid users as it suits him. He continues to self-promote, saying “to be honest with you I should be the commissioner of baseball the way I sell and talk about the game.” Not that honesty is his strong suit, at least according to Commissioner Manfred’s decision yesterday. To that point, Rose said “I tried to be as honest as I could with the Commissioner and I think he appreciated that.” That’s a telling comment, even if it was unintentional. It’s not that he was honest. Or that he even attempted to be actually honest. He merely tried to be as honest as he could. There are some limits, here. Mrs. Rose didn’t raise no fools.

The thing is, there was really nothing new to be honest about. Rose’s record of gambling and lying about it and changing his story here, there and back again over the past 26 years is an open book. Rose himself had done nothing special or different to inspire Manfred to reopen his case. It was a gift from Manfred, really. A fresh opportunity for Rose to give a new commissioner a chance to do something that would be popular right out of the gate. Maybe it was always doomed. Maybe Rose simply whiffed on a grooved fastball. Watching Rose speak a few minutes ago, I don’t think Rose himself even knew.

That’s admirable in some twisted way. Rose mentioned, several times, that he is just living the life he has. That he’s being himself. That betting on a game once in a while because it brings him enjoyment. I believe that. I certainly believe that more than I believed Rose when he claimed to realize he had a gambling addiction ten or eleven years ago. For a minute or two there it seemed like he was willing to play along with the redemption story as most would author it. Then he stopped doing that and now takes the view that he doesn’t have a problem and who is Rob Frickin’ Manfred to say that he does?

I actually don’t begrudge him that. While, if he truly is an addict I would hope that he seeks help for it at some point, he’s an American citizen with some means and the right to do anything legal he wishes to do. Including gamble on sports. If he stays within the law and doesn’t harm others we’re in no position to tell him what’s better to do with his life, even if we personally find it regrettable.

It’s just that Rose living his best, chosen life is totally incompatible with being reinstated to baseball given his past transgressions. And that he either can’t understand or refuses to accept that is the reason he’s not in baseball anymore. Not anything Rob Manfred or anyone else has done to him.