Padres “have gotten more aggressive” trying to trade Yasmani Grandal

20 Comments

ESPN colleagues Buster Olney and Keith Law both have sources saying the Padres are looking to deal catcher Yasmani Grandal, with Olney writing that they “have gotten more aggressive” in those efforts.

Grandal returned from a major knee injury to play well in 2014, hitting 15 homers and posting a .728 OPS in 128 games despite calling pitcher-friendly Petco Park home.

However, his .225 batting average wasn’t pretty and apparently the Padres aren’t big fans of his defense behind the plate, which explains why they’d even entertain trading a 26-year-old catcher with 20-homer power under team control through 2018.

If the Padres trade Grandal they’d presumably turn to Rene Rivera as their primary catcher. He’s a 31-year-old journeyman who logged more than 125 plate appearances in the majors for the first time in his career this season.

Anthony Rendon explains why he didn’t go to the White House

Getty Images
6 Comments

Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.

And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”

What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.

But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:

A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.