Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that, back in June, the Braves and Indians discussed a trade that would have swapped expensive veterans Chris Johnson and Nick Swisher. However, that was before Swisher hit the disabled list with a knee injury. Rosenthal adds that the Braves backed away from the trade due to the disparity in the players’ salaries, as Swisher is the more expensive of the two.
Johnson, 30, has struggled this season, hitting .252/.294/.333 with one home run and seven RBI in 119 plate appearances. He spent about a month on the disabled list between the ends of April and May due to a fracture and bone bruises in his left hand. He’s owed the remainder of $6 million for the 2015 season, plus $7.5 million in ’16, $9 million in ’17, and a $1 million buyout for ’18.
Swisher, 34, has hit worse, compiling a .198/.261/.297 batting line with two home runs and eight RBI in 111 plate appearances. The veteran is owed the remainder of $15 million this season plus $15 million in ’16 and a vesting option could be worth $14 million in ’17.
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.”