Stephen Piscotty’s mother passes away


You may remember that, back in December, the Cardinals dealt outfielder Stephen Piscotty to the Oakland Athletics. On the surface that deal was unremarkable. The Cards had acquired Marcell Ozuna, Piscotty was the odd man out and Oakland was willing to take him. There was far more to that deal, however.

The Cards traded Piscotty to Oakland, as opposed to some other team, so that he could be near his mother Gretchen, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease about a year ago. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

In the weeks after the trade there were several stories in the San Francisco Chronicle and other papers which cover the A’s following Piscotty’s return home. He traveled with his mother to various places and the Piscotty family all seemed to take joy in their son being so close at such a time. “It’s important to spend time with her because we’re running out of it, and we’re just trying to cherish every moment,” Piscotty told ESPN a few months back. “With or without the illness, I’m very grateful they’re all close by,” Gretchen Piscotty told the San Francisco Chronicle in January, talking about Stephen and her other two sons. “I wish this wasn’t impacting them, impacting the family, but I’m very grateful to see them.”

Sadly, Gretchen Piscotty passed away last night. She was 55. Billy Beane, the A’s executive vice president of baseball operations, released the following statement:

“The Athletics organization extends its deepest condolences to the Piscotty family on the loss of Gretchen. She was a devoted wife and mother, whose legacy will live on through her husband, Mike, and their sons Stephen, Austin and Nick.”

Rest in peace.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.