Curtis Granderson has time for it all

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It’s a slow news day so you can make some time to go read a nice human interest story, right? Of course you do.

The human of interest in this story is Curtis Granderson of the New York Mets. You’re probably aware that Granderson is extraordinarily active in the community. He’s a former Clemente Award winner, of course, and when anyone talks about Granderson they make mention that he’s a thoughtful and charitable guy. But until you read Michael Powell’s profile of him at the New York Times you probably don’t have a sense of the scale of it all. The man does not rest when it comes to giving of himself. And there are few if any 300 homer guys who talk less about their own accomplishments.

A lot of ballplayers get the “good player, better person” treatment, and it all plays well until . . . it doesn’t. But with Granderson it’s been playing like this for over a decade. I’m confident that there’s no one around the game who is spoken of as highly as he is. At a time when it’s easy for a lot of people to feel a bit shaken and at a loss, Granderson’s example is one that gives some hope.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.