The Rays reportedly have Ben Zobrist on the block and he would make sense for just about anybody, but especially for a team who has World Series aspirations like the Nationals. However, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that Washington is “not actively pursuing” a trade for the versatile veteran.
The Nationals are currently looking at some combination of Danny Espinosa and Dan Uggla for second base, so there was a clear need even before today, but a deal makes even more sense now that Jayson Werth needs shoulder surgery and will be sidelined for 2-3 months. Zobrist would also be good insurance for Bryce Harper, who has dealt with all sorts of injuries early on in his career. The Rays want a huge return, which isn’t easy for teams to swallow since Zobrist is due to become a free agent after the 2015 season, but Rosenthal ultimately believes that the Nationals should reconsider their position. It’s hard to argue with him.
Zobrist, who turns 34 in March, batted .272/.354/.395 with 10 home runs, 52 RBI, and 10 stolen bases over 146 games last season while making starts at second base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”