Sammy Sosa’s former Cubs teammate Mike Remlinger somehow got his hands on the slugger’s corked bat from 2003 and put it up for auction, but Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune reports that the item went unsold last night when the high bid of $14,407 did not meet Remlinger’s “reserve” price.
Grant DePorter, who’s the CEO of Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group, submitted the high bid, which apparently fell just short of Remlinger’s reported $15,000 asking price.
“The next step is to offer it to the highest bidder or try to sell it privately,” Ray Schulte of Schulte Auctions told Mitchell. “Usually the owner takes a couple of days to think about it.”
If the difference between high bid and reserve price is truly only $600 or so it seems like a no-brainer that the two sides can work out a side deal, although perhaps once he’s away from the auction mindset DePorter will realize that he’d be paying $15,000 for the broken barrel of a corked baseball bat and decide against it.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.
Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.
When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.
The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.