The Mariners are not ready to announce anything about the big deal they have in the works, but they have announced a little deal: they have acquired catcher Omar Narvaez from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for reliever Alex Colome.
Colome, who might’ve become the Mariners closer if he had stayed in light of the impending Edwin Diaz deal, pitched in 70 games between time with the Rays and Mariners last season, posting a 3.04 ERA and 72 strikeouts against 22 walks in 68 innings. He’s in line for a raise in arbitration this winter, however, and the tearing-down Mariners obviously want no part of that.
Narvaez hit well in 2018, with a line of .275/.366/.429 with nine home runs over 322 plate appearances. He’s a poor pitch-framer, but he’ll likely have the inside track to become the M’s starting catcher next season.
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.”