Illinois legislator wants the White Sox out of Arizona

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Arizona outline.jpgAn Illinois legislator is calling for the Chicago White Sox to move
their spring training camp out of Arizona because he objects to Arizona’s new immigration law. The lawmaker — Martin Sandoval — says that it encourages racial profiling and that he doesn’t want to keep spending taxpayers’ money on a team that continues
doing business in Arizona.

Politicians grandstanding on such issues is pretty par for the course, so I’ll no more criticize an out-of-state legislator from taking this position than I would criticize the cat for eating my potted lillies. It’s annoying but inevitable and ultimately unstoppable so it’s best to just ignore it.

But the White Sox’ response is interesting:

“We feel it would be inappropriate for the Chicago White Sox to comment
independently on a national, major league-wide issue, one which would
impact more than just the White Sox,” team spokesman Scott Reifert said.
“Obviously, we enjoy a wonderful partnership with the city of
Glendale.”

And it is a major league-wide issue. Which Bud Selig and Major League Baseball seems not to want acknowledge whatsoever. Which is fine in the abstract, but not fine given that its most important constituencies — the players’ union and the individual teams — are (a) taking positions on it; and (b) getting beat up about it.

And the longer major league baseball waits to make some official statement
on the Arizona immigration law, the more we’ll see of this sort of
thing.

Report: Brandon Nimmo staying with Mets on 8-year, $162M deal

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – Center fielder Brandon Nimmo is staying with the free-spending New York Mets, agreeing to an eight-year, $162 million contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement is subject to a successful physical and no announcement had been made.

A quality leadoff hitter with an excellent eye and a .385 career on-base percentage, Nimmo became a free agent last month for the first time. He was a key performer as the Mets returned to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2016.

The left-handed hitter batted .274 with 16 homers and a team-high 102 runs, a career high. He also set career bests with 64 RBIs and 151 games played. His seven triples tied for most in the National League.

Bringing back Nimmo means New York is poised to return its entire everyday lineup intact from a team that tied for fifth in the majors in runs and won 101 regular-season games – second-most in franchise history.

But the Mets remain busy replenishing a pitching staff gutted by free agency, including Jacob deGrom‘s departure for Texas and Taijuan Walker‘s deal with Philadelphia that was pending a physical.

On the final day of baseball’s winter meetings Wednesday, the Mets completed an $86.7 million, two-year contract with former Houston ace Justin Verlander that includes a conditional $35 million player option for 2025. New York also retained All-Star closer Edwin Diaz last month with a $102 million, five-year contract, and the team has a $26 million, two-year agreement in place with veteran starter Jose Quintana, pending a physical.

Those moves add to a payroll that was the largest in the majors last season. Under owner Steve Cohen, who bought the Mets in November 2020, New York became baseball’s biggest spender this year for the first time since 1989. The Mets’ payroll was $273.9 million as of Aug. 31, with final figures that include bonuses yet to be compiled.

Nimmo was selected by New York with the No. 13 pick in the 2011 amateur draft. He declined a $19.65 million qualifying offer from the Mets last month.

The 29-year-old Wyoming native made his big league debut in 2016. He is a .269 career hitter with 63 homers, 213 RBIs and 23 triples in 608 games. He has an .827 career OPS and has improved his play in center, becoming a solid defender.

Nimmo’s new deal with the Mets was first reported by the New York Post.