Dale Sveum may want to say that the Ryan Dempster-to-Atlanta trade was a “fabrication” and an invention of “the Twitters,” and Dempster himself may want to say “THERE IS NO TRADE,” but Jerry Crasnick of ESPN is reporting that (a) the trade was very real; (b) Dempster initially suggested that he would approve of it; but (c) got mad when, before being told it was done by the Cubs, word leaked out to the media:
Actually, sounds more like something players should learn to deal with. Because this kind of thing is going to happen from time to time, especially when you have two teams, a player, an agent and possibly more people in the loop.
It’s one thing if a player’s first whiff of news that he may be traded comes from the media. But if what Crasnick says is true, and Dempster was approached about going to the Braves initially and suggested it was acceptable, he’s just having a temper tantrum.
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.