Great anecdote regarding Adrian Beltre’s signing with the Rangers in today’s Star-Telegram:
Adrian Beltre has worn jersey No. 29 almost his entire 13-year career. Julio Borbon has worn it his entire two-year career.Guess who is will wear it in 2011?
Scott Boras, who represents both players, handled the situation.
“I said, ‘Julio, there are traditions in the game, and I’ve got good news and bad news,'” Boras recalled. “‘The bad news is that the veteran player gets the number. The good news is that I am your advocate in negotiating with a very wealthy player to get you a very nice watch.”
Borbon will wear No. 20.
And I assume that Boras gets to wear the watch two days a week.
As far as negotiations over numbers go, however, there never was anyone better than Jeff Feagles, the former NFL punter. Feagles wore number 17 for the Giants when Plaxico Burress came to town. Feagles got Burress to pay for an outdoor kitchen at his vacation home in Phoenix in exchange for it. Before that, Feagles was number 10 when Eli Manning joined the team. He got Manning to send the Feagles family on a vacation to Florida in order to give it up.
Feagles should probably just open his own consulting business focusing on numbers exchanges.
The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.
Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.
His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.
The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.