San Diego designated right-hander Brad Brach for assignment last week and now the Padres have traded him to the Orioles in exchange for minor leaguer Devin Jones.
Brach has a 3.70 career ERA and 117 strikeouts in 105 innings for the Padres, which made the DFA surprising, although his numbers away from pitcher-friendly Petco Park aren’t so impressive and ultimately he’s a 28-year-old reliever with borderline setup man upside.
Still, not a bad low-wattage pickup for the Orioles, as Jones got knocked around in Double-A as a 23-year-old starter and may wind up in the bullpen himself.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.
First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.
More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:
The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.