From Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun …
The Orioles have focused their search for outfield help on Colby Rasmus, so much so that manager Buck Showalter is set to meet with the free-agent outfielder in the near future, according to an industry source.
That meeting will take place sometime “over the next few days” in Alabama, where Rasmus grew up and spends his winters. Rasmus has flashed tremendous production at various points in his six-year big league career — he was a 4.0 fWAR player in 2010 with the Cardinals and a 4.8 fWAR player in 2013 with the Blue Jays — but consistency has been an issue and so has Colby’s clubhouse demeanor, specifically in St. Louis.
The Orioles want to be sure the 28-year-old outfielder is going to be a good fit before they make him a formal offer. Encina says they’re considering signing Rasmus to a one-year contract in the $6-8 million range.
In the meantime, let’s get a documentary crew down to Alabama to film this Showalter-Rasmus meetup. Whoever produced this video from June is officially hired …
Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games this year. That’s what the Phillies infielder tells the Philadelphia Inquirer:
“We are trying to go through the guidelines and trying to do everything we can do to stay safe, so, that’s why people see me walking around with a mask on and stuff. I am keeping myself safe, wearing a mask everywhere I go. So, I have to keep it on me all the time.”
Gregorius will wear a mask both while batting and out in the field, he said.
A big reason for it is that he has a chronic kidney condition which makes him “high risk” under Major League Baseball’s safety protocols. He could opt out if he wanted to but Gregorius, who signed a $14 million deal with the Phillies last winter, is a free agent again this coming offseason. He is coming off of a down year in 2019, having hit .238/.276/.441 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI across 344 plate appearances. Gregorius underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2018 and didn’t make his 2019 season debut until June 7. A big reason he took a one-year deal was to reestablish his value for next season’s go-around on the free agent market and he doesn’t want the long layoff going into what could be his last significant payday.
Major League Baseball is not requiring players or umpires to wear masks on the field during games or practices, though it is reportedly looking into clear face shields for home plate umpires to wear under their usual protective masks.
Gregorius will wear a mask to keep himself safe, he said, but he also notes in the article that “I think it adds safety for everybody, for me and people around me.” Here’s hoping, given his vulnerability, everyone around him is being as safe as he is.