Mark Townsend

  • Catcher David Ross to join Cubs, reunite with Jon Lester

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 8 hrs ago

    Not to suggest Jon Lester has any pull with the Chicago Cubs after signing a six-year, $155 million contract, but he surely can't be disappointed to hear veteran catcher David Ross will be joining him. According to Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal, Ross and the Cubs have agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal, which means the former Boston Red Sox battery will be reunited on the north side.

    It's not a signing that will steal headlines or earn lengthy discussion on television. The 37-year-old backstop has essentially been a backup throughout his 13-year career. Ross appeared in 90 and 112 games respectively for the Cincinnati Reds in 2006 and 2007, but never topped 70 games in any other season. He's a .233/.318/.435 career hitter with 95 home runs, 38 of which came in those two years with Cincinnati.

    He had two separate stints with the Red Sox. In 2008, he appeared in eight games after being released by Cincinnati. After four seasons with the Atlanta Braves, he returned to Boston in a backup role in 2013. In two seasons, he appeared in 86 games, hitting .197/.276/.374 with 11 home runs and 25 RBIs.

  • Ruben Amaro Jr. told Ryan Howard Phillies better off without him

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 16 hrs ago

    How's this for brutal honesty? In a radio appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia on Friday, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. revealed that he's spoken with first baseman Ryan Howard recently and admitted to telling him point blank the Phillies would be better off "not with him but without him."

    Here's the full quote from Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance Media:

    "We've talked to Ryan," Amaro said. "And I told him that in our situation it would probably bode better for the organization not with him but without him. With that said if he's with us, then we'll work around him. We'll hope he puts up the kind of numbers that we hope he can and we'll see where it goes from there."

    But still, ouch. 

    It's business. 

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  • Trea Turner's agent may file grievance to free client from Padres

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 20 hrs ago

    The trades have been coming so fast and so furiously since last week's Winter Meetings that it's difficult to fully digest and sort out everything that has happened. One trade in particular though, the three-team 11-player deal involving the Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals, has proven so complex, that it will literally take months to sort out, and that has one agent seeking a faster resolution.

    Trea Turner, the 13th overall pick by San Diego during the 2014 draft, was not so secretly included in that deal. Eventually, he'll be moving to the Washington Nationals as their shortstop of the future. However, due to what's known around MLB as the Pete Incaviglia rule — aka Major-League Rule 3(B)(6) — Turner's name doesn't appear on the paperwork.

    “It’s a deal that was fairly complicated,” Rizzo said. “It’s something that has not been done many times in the history of baseball and something we really had to think through.”

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  • Jimmy Rollins says goodbye to Philadelphia in full-page ad

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 22 hrs ago

    The deal sending Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers is official now, meaning he's no longer the longest-tenured athlete in Philadelphia.

    Rollins was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2nd round of the 1996 amateur draft. He went on to spend his first 15 major league seasons in a Phillies uniform, accumulating 2,306 hits, 1,325 runs scored, 216 home runs, 887 RBIs, 453 stolen bases and 111 triples. He also earned three All-Star selections and one MVP award in 2007, while helping the Phillies win five division championships and a World Series championship in 2009. 

    A lot of great numbers. A lot of memories. But now it's time to say goodbye, at least for now. 

    Jimmy Rollins did just that on Saturday, taking out a full-page ad in the Philadelphia Enquirer. 

    Jimmy Rollins bought a full-page ad in Saturday’s @PhillyInquirer:

    The print is a little small so here's the full text:

    To the City of Philadelphia,

    Love you all! Peace.

    Jimmy, Johari, Cam & Lolo

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  • Dodgers officially release Brian Wilson, eat $9.5M salary

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Three days after designating veteran reliever Brian Wilson for assignment, the Los Angeles Dodgers have officially released the 32-year-old, allowing him to pursue a free agent contract with another team.

    In doing so, the Dodgers will be on the hook for the balance of Wilson's $9.5 million salary in 2015 if and when he signs elsewhere. But that would seem like a small price to pay for a new front office focused on eliminating liabilities.

    And a liability Wilson truly was in 2014, posting a 4.66 ERA with a disappointing 29 walks 48 1/3 innings. Wilson's command issues were compounded by a dip in velocity, which raises flags about a bulky elbow. Wilson missed two weeks in April with ulnar nerve irritation in his right elbow, which is alarming considering he was two years removed from Tommy John surgery. 

    It's entirely possible he was never near one-hundred percent. Just how much that arm has left is the Dodgers main concern, and those questions may make it difficult for Wilson to find anything other a minor-league deal. The Dodgers, who had 10 days to trade or release Wilson after his designation, obviously didn't find much interest on that front.

  • Panda replacement: Giants to acquire Casey McGehee from Marlins

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami-Sun Sentinel, the San Francisco Giants reportedly have a deal in place to acquire veteran third baseman Casey McGehee from the Miami Marlins. Rodriguez adds the Marlins will receive minor league pitchers Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo. Both are considered lower-level prospects.

    It's not exactly the big name many anticipated the Giants would land to fill the sizable gap created by Pablo Sandoval's departure. The Giants were also in on but eventually lost out on free agents Chase Headley and Yasmany Tomas, who were viewed as the best bets available at third base in the short and long term. McGehee is more of a short term, fall-back option, but he fills the need nonetheless.

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    Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

  • Bud Selig to get $6M annual pension, serve as commissioner emeritus

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig will officially retire from his position on Jan 25, ending his 22-year run in baseball's most powerful position. But by no means is he going away. On Friday, it was announced by incoming commissioner Rob Manfred that Selig will still have a prominent voice as an adviser under his regime.

    Selig's official title will be commissioner emeritus. It's both a respectful way to honor his service and a fancy way to essentially label him an adviser or mentor. It's also a title that apparently pays well. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, Selig will earn an annual pension of around $6 million once he officially steps down.

    Here's more on his new role. 

    Manfred said: "Commissioner Selig has had an unparalleled career of decorated service to the National Pastime, and this role will allow the game to benefit from his unmatched institutional knowledge, experience and relationships. I could not ask for a finer mentor during this transition process, and I am grateful that Commissioner Selig will continue to be available to me as a resource."

  • Giants stay the course, re-sign Jake Peavy to two-year deal

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    It's becoming increasingly obvious that general managers around Major League Baseball don't place sleep high on their list of priorities. When they're closing in on a deal? Forget about it.

    The latest late night/early morning deal is brought to us by Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal, who reports the San Francisco Giants and GM Brian Sabean have reached an agreement to bring back veteran right-hander Jake Peavy on a two-year deal.

    ESPN's Jerry Crasnick later confirmed the overnight agreement and the financials, which come in at $24 million guaranteed.

    Peavy will make $7M in 2015 and $13M in 2016. $4M signing bonus and full no trade clause.

    While the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres aggressively move furniture around in hopes of surpassing the Giants in the NL West, the defending World Series champions have yet to make an addition of note this winter. That's significant on its own accord, but it becomes more glaring when you consider they've also lost a cornerstone in Pablo Sandoval, who last month inked a five-year, $95 million deal with the Boston Red Sox.

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  • Kris Medlen gets two-year deal from Royals after Tommy John surgery

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    With ace James Shields ready to move on this winter, the Kansas City Royals are ramping up efforts to add depth to their starting rotation. On Wednesday, they announced a two-year, $20 million deal with veteran right-hander Edinson Volquez. On Thusday, they stayed busy, announcing a two-year, $8.5 million deal with former Atlanta Braves starter Kris Medlen.

    Both deals definitely carry some risk and reward for Kansas City. As the Stew noted on Wednesday, in Volquez's case it's performance based following a somewhat surprising and possibly unsustainable bounce-back season in 2014. In Medlen's case, it centers almost entirely around health. In March, the 29-year-old right-hander underwent his second Tommy John surgery in four years.

    What they're hoping for, obviously, is a return to the field at some point in 2015 and more impactful contribution in 2016 and perhaps beyond. That's consistent with the usual recovery time from Tommy John surgery, though obviously things can be different when it's a second Tommy John. 

  • Rays' stadium deal rejected by St. Petersburg City Council

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    An agreement between the Tampa Bay Rays and St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman that would have allowed the teamto search for new stadium sites within Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, has been rejected by the St. Petersburg City Council

    If approved, the agreement would have served as the first significant breakthrough for the Rays as they attempt to move on from Tropicana Field. The Rays would have been free to survey sites within the Tampa area. If they found something to their liking and elected to opt out of their lease at Tropicana Field before it expired in 2027, they would have been on the hook to make yearly payments to the City of St. Petersburg.

    At the end of the day though, there were too many questions and concerns surrounding the agreement to get the support necessary from the Council.

    No comment from #Rays president Brian Auld. It was five "no" votes, three "yes."

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