Addressing concerns about his weight, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig admitted he doesn’t track his weight, per MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez. “Whatever weight I come in, doesn’t matter,” Puig said, adding, “Uribe’s a fatty & he saves us every game.”
Puig isn’t wrong, either. Despite being listed at 235 pounds, Uribe had another excellent season at 35 years old, batting .311/.337/.440 with nine home runs and 54 RBI in 404 plate appearances while his fielding rated among the best at 17 runs above average, according to Baseball Reference. Uribe’s 3.8 WAR tied with Matt Carpenter as the eighth-best mark among third basemen as well, per FanGraphs.
This is gonna create some headlines:
In other news, this response seems a tad defensive. I wonder if Puig is not . . . in the Best Shape of His Life:
Taking bets now on whether we’re gonna see more “Puig is out of shape” stuff in the next month or more “Puig doesn’t know what it means to be a Dodger” stuff.
The Phillies just announced that they have agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Chad Billingsley. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that he’ll receive a $1.5 million guarantee and could make more with performance bonuses.
Billingsley hasn’t pitched in the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery in April of 2013. The 30-year-old made a pair of minor league rehab starts with the Dodgers last season prior to having another surgery, this time to repair the flexor tendon in his elbow.
Prior to the injuries, Billingsley had a solid 3.65 ERA over 190 starts and 29 relief appearances in the majors, so he’s a worthy gamble at this price for the rebuilding Phillies. They might be able to turn him into something at the trade deadline if he comes back healthy and effective.
Every athlete needs to be on Twitter. You learn more about them and their sport and the world they inhabit from some random tweets than you do in any sort of formal interview. Ask Marshawn Lynch.
Or ask Brett Anderson, who just gave me my chuckle of the day:
The link in that tweet reveals that Anderson’s number will be 35. Bob Welch wore that, so that’s some pretty good company. Beyond him it was mostly journeymen and kids. Anderson wore 30 and 49 at his previous stops in Colorado and Oakland.
The Dodgers are, no doubt, saving those in case they need to retire them in honor of Jerry Sands and Carlos Marmol.
Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada has been in purgatory for some time. He has permanent residence in Guatemala and has worked out for teams. Moreover, the OFAC — the government office which clears Cuban refugees for entry into and work in the United States — has given him the same sort of clearance that past Cuban players like Yasiel Puig and those before him received.
So why hasn’t he signed? Because, as Ben Badler of Baseball America Reports, Major League Baseball quietly ratcheted up the level of clearance that Cuban players need to sign with teams — demanding that they get a clearance the U.S. government doesn’t require but will, eventually, provide if asked — and that requires significantly more work.
It’s complicated, so go read Badler’s full story. And ask yourself if, based on history, it is particularly surprising why Major League Baseball may want to make it harder for teams to sign free agents.