A’s left-hander Dallas Braden kind of looked like he wanted to hurt someone, which is more than a little ironic given that he’s angry about the increased violence and the lack of response from the police force in his hometown of Stockton, California.
CBS Sacramento has the video, which includes an impromptu interview with a bat-toting Braden. He says his grandmother was recently robbed in Stockton, and he was later attacked while in his car. He’s so displeased with the conditions in Stockton that he’s moving to Sacramento.
“I’m outta here, because I’ve been lied to my entire life here,” Braden said. “I’ve already put my home on the market. I’m out.”
Braden is best known for telling Alex Rodriguez to get off his mound and for throwing a perfect game, two events that happened a couple of weeks apart in 2010. He’s mostly been injured since, as shoulder problems limited him to three starts in 2011 and cost him all of 2012. He had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff last month.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.
The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.
Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.
Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”