The Mets designated reliever Carlos Torres for assignment last week after they added Antonio Bastardo to their bullpen on a two-year, $12 million contract. While Torres had a mediocre 4.68 ERA over 59 appearances last season, he posted a 3.06 ERA and 96/38 K/BB ratio over 97 innings in 2014. Most expected that the Mets would be able to find a trade for him.
The Twins reportedly had interest, but Adam Rubin of ESPN New York hears that Torres has been placed on waivers after the Mets were unable to find a trade.
The 33-year-old Torres is only due to make a $1.05 million salary in 2016, so someone will almost certainly claim him in hopes of a rebound. The results weren’t quite there last year, but his average fastball velocity was the highest of his career and he managed to cut down on his walks while increasing his ground ball rate.
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.”