It won’t grab many headlines, but the Red Sox and Diamondbacks have made an interesting swap with left-handed reliever Craig Breslow going to Boston and outfielder Scott Podsednik and right-handed reliever Matt Albers going to Arizona.
Breslow, who was acquired by Arizona from Oakland this offseason in the Trevor Cahill/Jarrod Parker/Ryan Cook swap, has a 2.70 ERA and 42/13 K/BB ratio in 43 innings. He’s had similarly strong numbers in past year, with a 3.02 ERA in 322 career innings, and is much more than a situational left-handed because his splits are nearly equal versus righties and lefties.
Podsednik has been playing at Triple-A for the past three weeks, is a spare part at this point in his career, and was available for basically nothing to any team that wanted him last month. Albers found some success in Boston’s bullpen after bouncing around early in his career, throwing 104 innings with a 3.81 ERA since the beginning of last season, but his 93/46 K/BB ratio is significantly less impressive.
This sure seems like a nice move by the Red Sox.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”