Some surprising news to pass along here, as Jeeho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency reports that no MLB team placed a bid on Korean outfielder Ah-seop Son.
Son, who turns 28 in March, batted .317/.406/.472 with 13 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 116 games this past season for the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization. He was expected to garner plenty of interest after being put through the posting process, with one report suggesting the Orioles could make a bid. The deadline to submit bids was last Friday.
Son wasn’t regarded to be on the same level as slugging first baseman Byung-ho Park, who the Twins recently bid $12.85 million to secure exclusive negotiating rights. Still, it comes as a surprise to learn that nobody made a bid.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan writes that Jae-gyun Hwang, also from the Lotte Giants, is expected to be posted next. The 28-year-old third baseman slugged 28 home runs with an .870 OPS over 144 games this past season and has drawn interest from the Dodgers, among others.
11 days shy of his 70th birthday, Hall of Famer Rod Carew suffered a massive heart attack while golfing in California on September 20. After undergoing a six-hour open heart surgery, the 18-time All-Star had a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) installed. He’s now hoping for a heart transplant.
Carew told his story in an excellent piece from Steve Rushin of Sports Illustrated. Below is just a part of it, but I promise you it’s worth taking a few minutes to read it all.
Carew is sitting in an easy chair. Minx, a black Bombay cat, is perched above his right shoulder. Both exude a quiet grace—they look equally feline in repose—and there’s a brief silence in the house as Carew considers that a kind of mechanical heart has been implanted in his chest, alongside his damaged one. After a moment, the most elegant hitter of his generation puts his face in his hands and sobs.
“I was dead,” he says, “and they brought me back to life.”
Earlier this month, Carew became the fastest patient ever to be released from LVAD rehab at Scripps Memorial Hospital. He’s now focused on becoming healthy enough to qualify for the transplant list, but he also wants to use his situation to inspire others who may require LVAD surgery or transplantation. As for his future, Carew has goals of attending spring training in March and the Hall of Fame induction next July.
We’re all rooting for you, Mr. Carew.
Coming off a disappointing first season with the Red Sox, Hanley Ramirez told Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes that he plans to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic in order to prepare for 2016.
After inking a four-year, $88 million deal with Boston last November, Ramirez batted just .241 with 19 home runs and a .717 OPS this past season while battling a nagging right shoulder injury. The injury kept him out of action for the final five weeks of the season, but he told Rojas that he’s feeling good now.
Ramirez’s defense in left field was a disaster this season, so the Red Sox plan to move him to first base in 2016. His shoulder injury prevented him from getting any reps at his new position in September, but winter ball could give him that opportunity. The Red Sox have also told him to lose some weight and he’s apparently taking that edict seriously.
UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that it’s a one-year deal with an option. Iannetta will receive $4.25 million plus incentives.
6:21 p.m. ET: After it was reported earlier this month that the two sides were nearing a deal, the Mariners just announced that they have signed veteran catcher Chris Iannetta to a one-year contract. No word yet on the terms involved.
Iannetta turns 33 next April and is coming off a rough season with the Angels where he batted just .188/.293/.335 over 92 games. However, he owns a .351 on-base percentage for his career and offers some pop, especially against left-handed pitching. He at least gives the Mariners an experienced alternative to Mike Zunino, who has really struggled in the early part of his career. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto previously traded for Iannetta when he was with the Angels and will hope for a rebound in 2016.
Mariners catchers ranked worst in the majors with a .464 OPS this past season. That’s not a misprint. By the way, Giants pitchers had a .463 OPS.
The Mariners designated John Hicks for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for the newly-signed Iannetta.
White Sox prospect outfielder Adam Engel was announced Saturday as the winner of the Joe Black Most Valuable Player Award in the Arizona Fall League.
Engel, who was playing for the Glendale Desert Dogs, led the AFL in batting average (.403), on-base percentage (.523), and slugging percentage (.642) while amassing one home run, nine doubles, two triples, nine RBI, and 16 stolen bases over 19 games. The 23-year-old also had more walks (16) than strikeouts (11).
Speed is Engel’s biggest asset, as he swiped 65 bases with High-A Winston Salem this past season while batting .251/.335/.369 over 136 games. He wasn’t a top prospect coming into 2015 and a small sample of games in the hitter-friendly AFL is unlikely to change that, but more people know him now than a month ago and that’s not such a bad thing.
Recent Arizona Fall League MVP Award winners include Greg Bird (2014), Kris Bryant (2013), Chris McGuiness (2012), Nolan Arenado (2011), and Dustin Ackley (2010).