From Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times comes word that Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes turned down a six-year, $36 million contract offer from the Cubs last month before inking his four-year, $36 million deal with the A’s. Wittenmyer explains:
In addition to the significant difference in annual salary, the center fielder told his agent he didn’t want a six-year deal from anybody. If not four, [Cespedes] wanted eight or more.
The Cubs wouldn’t go that long, and they also wouldn’t agree to a clause that would make Cespedes ineligible for arbitration. The Athletics did, meaning the 26-year-old can hit the open market again at age 30.
Cespedes is 3-for-16 in the Cactus League with a home run, two singles, two walks and six strikeouts. He batted .333/.424/.667 with 33 home runs and 99 RBI in 90 games last year in Cuba’s Serie Nacional.
Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.
This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:
“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline. Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires. We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”
That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.