Bill Baer

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 06:  Jurickson Profar #13 of the Texas Rangers looks on against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 6, 2013 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Jurickson Profar understands his next opportunity may not come with the Rangers

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Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar hasn’t played in the majors since 2013 due to recurring shoulder issues. In the time since, Rougned Odor has emerged as the Rangers’ answer at second base. Meanwhile, Elvis Andrus with his eight-year, $120 million contract — $88 million of which remains after this season — isn’t going anywhere.

Profar understands that his next opportunity to play regularly in the majors may not come with the Rangers. Via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Profar said, “There’s a lot of teams, and I’m showing that I’m doing good. Maybe I have to go to another team, and I have no problem with that. I know I’m going to be in the big leagues pretty soon. I’m just getting ready for that. I just want to be in the big leagues and win. If it’s here or anywhere else, I’m ready.”

Profar, 23, has spent the season with Triple-A Round Rock, compiling a .271/.353/.373 triple-slash line with six doubles, a pair of home runs, 13 RBI, and 20 runs scored in 133 plate appearances.

Brewers acquire Jhan Mariñez from the Rays for cash

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 25: Pitcher Jhan Marinez #72 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during the Rays' photo day on February 25, 2016 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Brian Blanco/Getty Images
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The Brewers announced on Thursday night the club has acquired pitcher Jhan Mariñez from the Rays in exchange for cash. To create room on the 40-man roster, the Brewers designated pitcher Michael Kirkman for assignment.

Kirkman, 29, gave up a run in his only appearance in the majors with the Brewers. The Brewers had claimed him off waivers from the Padres last week.

Mariñez, 27, pitched 3 2/3 innings for the Rays after starting the season at Triple-A Durham, yielding a run on two hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

TV host Mike Rowe makes a funny argument against the DH

BEDFORD HEIGHTS, OH - SEPTEMBER 26:  Television personality Mike Rowe speaks during a roundtable discussion with Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney and business leaders at American Spring Wire September 26, 2012 in Bedford Heights, Ohio. Romney continued his two-day "Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class" bus tour in the state of Ohio.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
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Earlier this week, I wrote about why Bartolo Colon — and Noah Syndergaard since — are great examples of why the DH is anti-fun. Craig disagrees, but Craig is often wrong. And now I’ve got backup!

TV host Mike Rowe, who you may know from shows such as Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch, responded to a fan named Bart’s question on Facebook about the DH. The fan asked, “Mike, a group of us that appreciate your entertainment and the way you think have a pressing question. Do you favor getting rid of the designated hitter in major league baseball?”

Rowe starts off by writing, “A great baseball player should be able to hit, run, throw, and play his position competently. His “greatness” is therefor a reflection of a collection of skills – not the singular talent of a one-trick-pony.” He goes on, asking proponents of the DH, “The better question – to those who insist on keeping this travesty in place – is why not expand it?”

This is where Rowe’s argument gets funny, yet poignant. Rowe wonders if we have hitters designated to bat for other, less competent hitters, why not expand it completely? And have designated players in other facets of the game? He continues:

Nine excellent fielders, completely unburdened by the pressure of swinging a bat. And nine excellent batters, who never have to wear a glove or stand around waiting for someone to hit a ball in their general direction. All playing for the same team! But why stop there?

Why not allow designated sprinters to stand right next to designated hitters, and run the bases in their place? That would be so much more exciting than a pinch runner. And how about designated throwers? Seems fair, given the problem of excellent fielders with great hand-eye coordination but weak arms. For that matter, should we really expect pitchers to throw fastballs as well as sliders? Screwballs as well as change-ups? I mean, is it really reasonable to expect a Cy Young winner to have a knuckleball as well as a breaking ball?

Why not put four designated pitchers on the mound at the same time, and allow each one of them to focus only on their favorite pitch? Think how much better each team would be, if the field were filled with 30 specialists instead of nine generalists!!

Of course – if that happens, we’ll need to get some designated fans as well. This way, when former fans leave in disgust after the first inning, thousands of surrogates could take their place – kind of like those human seat fillers they use at the Oscars. That way, the designated players won’t feel sad when they look up and see an empty stadium. And the designated mascot will have some people to inspire.

To answer your question, Bart – no, I’m not a fan.

The DH war rages on…

Report: Tim Lincecum’s best options are the White Sox, Angels, and Giants

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11:  Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the New York Mets during their game at Citi Field on June 11, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
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MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Tim Lincecum‘s best options appear to be starting jobs with the White Sox or Angels, or a relief job with the Giants. The Padres and Mariners are not in the running, according to an earlier report.

Lincecum, who turns 32 years old next month, held a showcase for interested teams last week. His last four seasons have been underwhelming, to say the least of the two-time Cy Young Award winner. Between 2012-15, Lincecum posted a 4.68 ERA with a 577/267 K/BB ratio in 615 2/3 innings.

Reports indicate that Lincecum’s preference is to stay on the West coast, which puts the Angels and Giants ahead of the White Sox. Lincecum’s prior relationship with the Giants — which included three championships — likely puts them in the lead.

How Stephen Strasburg’s contract extension came together

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 09:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the sixth inning during a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Nationals Park on May 9, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
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James Wagner and Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post have a really interesting and in-depth look at the machinations behind the seven-year, $175 million contract Stephen Strasburg inked with the Nationals earlier this week. It features contributions from Barry Svrluga, Chelsea Janes (who was the first to report the news), and Thomas Boswell.

Historically, clients of agent Scott Boras haven’t signed contract extensions, instead choosing to test the market as free agents. Strasburg, however, told Boras during dinner in mid-February that he wanted to stay in Washington. Boras had increasingly more complex discussions with Nationals owner Ted Lerner and GM Mike Rizzo. Many rounds of golf were played, many dinners were had, and many pieces of art were admired while the two sides hammered out a deal.

Interestingly, Wagner and Kilgore note that the Nationals’ front office treated the Strasburg extension like an arbitration case. They compared him to other players, particularly Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez, who signed seven-year deals for $180 million and $175 million, respectively. The Nationals were hesitant because of Strasburg’s 2010 Tommy John surgery and a 2013 procedure to remove a bone chip. Boras sold the Nationals on Strasburg’s potential, that he could one day be as great as Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, and Zack Greinke.

The most fascinating part was how the negotiations were kept under wraps for so long. Only a handful of people outside of those directly involved had any idea an extension was being worked on, but they kept it close to the vest. Even as Strasburg left to get a physical, which typically only happens during the season if a player suffered an injury, the right-hander noted that he told his teammates it was “nothing serious” and that was enough.

Janes broke the report about an hour into Strasburg’s start against the Tigers on Monday, news that shocked everyone who assumed Strasburg would headline the otherwise underwhelming free agent class after this season. Seven years, $175 million with a limited no-trade clause, rolling opt-outs, $70 million in deferrals, and a $10 million signing bonus.

Great reporting, as usual, from the Washington Post team. The full article is worth the 15 minutes or so it will take to read.