The Padres are set to re-sign right-handed reliever Craig Stammen to a two-year, $4.5 million contract, per reports from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The deal includes incentives of $100,000 for every fifth appearance he makes, from his 20th game until his 50th, and $150,000 for both his 55th and 56th appearances (via Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports). The team has yet to announce the signing.
In 2017, Stammen made a triumphant return to the majors after missing nearly two years with two torn flexor tendons in his right forearm. Armed with a working forearm and a newly-tweaked changeup, the 33-year-old delivered a 3.14 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 8.3 SO/9 in 80 1/3 innings, proving himself more than capable of replicating the results that made him so valuable to the Nationals during his peak season in 2013.
Those results — including a sub-3.00 ERA and 1.0+ fWAR — are exactly what the Padres hope to get out of the veteran righty in 2018. While there’s no guarantee that Stammen’s injury woes are fully behind him, it’s safe to say that he appears to have made a full recovery after avoiding the disabled list for the entirety of 2017.
The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.
After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.
Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.
Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:
In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?