The Dodgers designating Garret Anderson for assignment opened up a roster spot, and the man who took it was one Jay Gibbons. Interesting story there.
Gibbons, you’ll recall, was a Mitchell Report All-Star, having been tied up with those “rejuvenation clinics” that supplied players with HGH. He was released by the Orioles the following spring and failed to latch on anywhere else as spring turned to summer. In June 2008, he wrote letters to all 30 MLB teams basically pleading for a job (see the sidebar). In the letter he said this:
I respectfully and humbly request that you grant me the chance to play
for your organization. I am so willing to prove myself as a player, and a
person, that I will donate ALL of my minor league earnings to your
Club’s charity. In the event that I earn the right to play at the major
league level, I will gladly donate a significant sum to that same
The letter bore some immediate fruit, as Gibbons was signed by the independent Long Island Ducks. Soon after that the Milwaukee Brewers took a chance on him, but he never made the big club. The Marlins gave him a look in spring training in 2009 but released him and he spent the year with the independent Newark Bears. This year he’s been at AAA Albuquerque all season.
But now he’s back in the majors. Query: did he give his minor league salary to the Brewers’ charity in 2008 and the Dodgers’ in 2009? Now that he’s been called up, is he donating a “significant sum” to the Dodgers’ charity?
I’m not saying he should be forced to — the Dodgers charity has it’s own problems, so I actually hope he doesn’t, and it has been a couple of years since he made that promise — but he did say he would.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.