It’s no secret that the Mets have been looking for left-handed bullpen help all spring and they’ve found their man, acquiring lefty Alex Torres from the Padres in exchange for minor leaguer Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named later.
Torres came to San Diego last winter from Tampa Bay in the deal involving Jesse Hahn, Brad Boxberger, and Logan Forsythe (among others). He posted a 3.33 ERA in 70 appearances for the Padres in a limited role, logging a total of just 54 innings with a 51/33 K/BB ratio.
Torres has a 2.55 career ERA in 120 innings and has actually held righties (.186) to a lower batting average than lefties (.216), so if the Mets can live with his shaky control he could find himself in more of a true setup man role. He’s not a great fit as a true southpaw specialist. At age 27 he’s making the minimum salary and under team control through 2019.
Mazzoni was the Mets’ second-round draft pick in 2011 and split last season between Double-A and Triple-A, making 14 starts with a 4.68 ERA and 75/20 K/BB ratio in 77 innings as a 24-year-old.
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.”