Here’s an amusing little tidbit from Philadelphia Daily News gossip columnist Dan Gross:
Before the Phillies left for Houston, Cliff Lee brought fellow pitcher Jonathan Papelbon to Harrah’s in Chester to play poker. Lee’s a regular at Harrah’s poker room, usually playing late at night.
That’s legal, of course, as opposed to Alex Rodriguez’s appearances at underground poker games last year, although I’m sure MLB isn’t exactly thrilled about players gambling legally either.
I’m guessing Cliff Lee is pretty good at poker. Probably has a lot of patience, probably very precise, probably knows the math and strategy well.
I’m guessing Jonathan Papelbon re-raises everything pre-flop, goes all-in constantly for like 10 times more than he needs to bet, and then flips over the table whenever he doesn’t win a big pot.
A wise man once said that a wise mad said that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. The White Sox are not prepared to miss their shot: Mark Feinsand of MLB.com says they are “actively trying” to trade Avisail Garcia.
Which seems like a super difficult shot given that (a) Garcia had knee and hamstring injuries this past season; (b) hit just .236/.281/.438 when he did play; and (c) is arbitration eligible and stands to make more than the $6.7 million salary he made in 2018. You put those things together and you have a guy that the Sox are almost 100% going to non-tender rather than take to arbitration, thereby making him freely and cheaply available to anyone who wants him as long as they can wait until November 30, which is the tender/non-tender deadline.
Garcia, who somehow is still just 27 years-old, is one year removed from what many considered a breakout year, in which he hit .330/.380/.506 in 136 games, but I don’t think anyone is going to bite at him in a trade. Assuming he’s in decent shape and recovered from injuries, however, he could be a useful player in 2019.