At some point you figure it’s best to just be quiet about things and hope the bad stuff ends as the season collapses. But Dustin Pedroia put on his media pants yesterday and went on at length with Rob Bradford of WEEI and explained his side and/or the team’s side of every notable Red Sox controversy of the year.
He talks about the early-season Youkilis-Valentine battles. The big July meeting in which, allegedly, everyone piled on Valentine. Photos of him not looking like a big Bobby V. supporter. The Johnny Pesky funeral. It’s all out there, all explained in his own words.
Which, fine. Much of it makes perfect sense. It has to, because no real life situations can actually happen in the over-the-top cartoon villain ways that most Red Sox controversies are described to be in the Boston media.
But really, does he think this is going to help? I kinda doubt that this is going to help. It seems like the best way to kill all of this garbage is to deprive it of any media oxygen whatsoever.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.