Tommy Milone was bumped to the minors after the Athletics acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel earlier this month and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the left-hander has asked for a trade.
Milone was hardly deserving of a demotion, posting a 3.55 ERA over 16 starts at the major league level this season. The 27-year-old southpaw was 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA over his last 11 outings prior to being sent down to Triple-A. So this was a case of the numbers game, not anything shady. While Milone understandably believes that he should be pitching in a major league rotation right now, the Athletics don’t appear likely to give him his wish.
The Athletics have received trade inquiries on Milone, but the team is not eager to move him, knowing he might be needed due to injury or ineffectiveness, sources say.
Milone’s current predicament has ramifications beyond the obvious. He would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason had he remained in the majors all year, but his time in the minors will push that back. It’s a frustrating situation for him, but baseball is a business and you can’t blame the Athletics for building depth. They have already lost two starters, Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin, to Tommy John surgery this season.
Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.
This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:
“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline. Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires. We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”
That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.