Mike Oz

  • Former Angels No. 1 pick Ryan Bolden killed in fight over candy

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 8 hrs ago

    In a tragic end to a baseball life that once showed promise, Ryan Bolden, a former first-round pick of the Los Angeles Angels, was shot and killed Wednesday night.

    Bolden was just 23, and hadn't played baseball since 2013. He was drafted out of Madison Central High School in Mississippi by the Angels as the 40th overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft. His life ended after an argument broke out in an apartment complex in College Park, Ga.

    The altercation started — unfortunately enough — because of candy. From Fox 5 Atlanta:

    Investigators tell FOX 5's Marc Teichner that children, around 10- and 11-years-old, were arguing about the candy at an apartment complex in the 4000 block of Lakemont Drive. Police say some adults got involved and things turned violent around 8:30 p.m. That's when a 23-year-old man was shot and killed.

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  • Japanese ace Kenta Maeda isn't coming to MLB just yet

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 10 hrs ago

    We saw Japanese ace Kenta Maeda recently, when he shut down a team of MLB stars in the Japan Series, allowing just two hits in five scoreless innings. Maeda's start was watched more closely than other parts of the Japan Series because there was a belief that he could be pitching in MLB next season.

    That won't be happening, not for 2015, as we've learned that Maeda's team, the Hiroshima Carp, won't post him for MLB teams to bid on — despite his wishes to come to the U.S.. Per Jim Allen at Kyodo News:

    Hiroshima Carp tell Kenta Maeda they will not post him this season. Maeda will not be an unrestricted free agent until after 2017 season.

    The Arizona Diamondbacks were among the teams interested in Maeda.

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  • Matt Kemp has arthritis in his hips, jeopardizing trade to Padres

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    If you've been wondering why the heck the agreed-upon trade sending Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres hasn't been made official yet, you're not alone. It's been a week since news broke that the Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers had a deal in place to send Kemp farther down the California coastline.

    The two sides have until the end of Thursday to wrap up their deal. The rumor mill has indicated there were concerns about the physical Kemp took Tuesday with the Padres, and now we're learning that's not just gossip. According to Bob Nightengale at USA Today, Kemp's physical revealed he has "severe arthritis" in his hips.

    Keep in mind that there are varying degrees of arthritis, but if it's been classified as "severe," then this is serious. Kemp is 30 and is owed $107 million over the next five seasons. As part of the trade, the Dodgers were reportedly giving the Padres $32 million toward Kemp's salaries.

  • The Royals don't look so bad for trading Wil Myers now, do they?

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    In baseball, more so than any other major pro sport, trades are a long game. While we certainly break down winners and losers right away when a big trade happens, it usually takes years before we learn who's actually the winner and who's actually the loser.

    No trade chip proves this better than Wil Myers, the uber-prospectwho was traded from the Royals on Dec. 10, 2012, to the Tampa Bay Rays, then traded again Wednesday to the San Diego Padres in an 11-player blockbuster deal.

    When the Royals traded Myers to the Rays, they were crucified. Top prospects like Myers didn't just get traded like that, even if James Shields and Wade Davis were the return. And small-market, cash-strapped clubs like the Royals certainly don't trade their top prospects.

    But what about the Royals? They weren't technically involved in this trade, but they're definitely a part of it.

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  • Report: Royals sign Edinson Volquez for two years, $20 million

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    What a world we live in. Edinson Volquez, who was released by the San Diego Padres 16 months ago, and then had a decent bounce-back season in Pittsburgh in 2014, is set to make $20 million over the next two seasons.

    The Kansas City Royals have reportedly signed Volquez, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, sticking him in their starting rotation along with Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy, Jason Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie.

    Aside from two possible imports — Chihiro Kaneko and Kenta Maeda — and one possible retiree in Hiroki Kuroda, Volquez was the best starting pitcher available on Jeff Passan's Ultimate Free-Agent tracker.

    Volquez, 31, won't be James Shields, that's for sure. He may not even be the 2014 version of himself. With the Pirates, Volquez rebounded from a dreadful 2013 (hello, 5.71 ERA!) and managed a 13-7 record with a 3.04 ERA. He hadn't had an ERA under 4.00 since his rookie season in 2008.

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  • Wade Miley clashed with D-backs because he wasn't gluten-free

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Boston Red Sox are OK with players having gluten in their diets, right? Because starting pitcher Wade Miley, who they acquired last week in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks, says he clashed with the D-backs about his diet.

    Specifically about not being gluten-free.

    Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic talked to Miley about the trade out of Arizona. Miley compared leaving the D-backs to a break-up. Those often come with after-the-fact complaints. Here's the one that's leaked out about Miley: The D-backs weren't happy with his diet.

    Miley seemed reluctant to bad-mouth the D-backs' staff, but he did admit the complaints about his diet angered him, then he further explained his clash with the club

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  • Report: Giants re-sign reliever Sergio Romo for two years, $15M

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The San Francisco Giants haven't done much this offseason beyond getting sized for their World Series rings. They earned the bronze medal in the Jon Lester sweepstakes. They haven't addressed their need in left field. They watched Pablo Sandoval leave for Boston, leaving another hole at third base. 

    At the very least, the Giants aren't letting another fan favorite leave.

    The Giants have reportedly re-signed relief pitcher Sergio Romo, their former closer, to a two-year, $15 million deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. It's pending a physical. It's not an earth-shattering move, but for antsy Giants fans who are watching plenty of moves happen around them, it's something.

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  • Angels reportedly tried to trade Josh Hamilton back to Rangers

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    "So I have a splendid idea. Do you remember how great Josh Hamilton was in a Rangers uniform? I heard y'all down there in Texas are interested in trading for an outfielder. Well, I got just the guy — Josh Hamilton. And he's still playing baseball, so it seems like an ideal fit. Whaddya say? We'll throw in a pair of Mike Trout's cleats!"

    We imagine the Los Angeles Angels calling the Texas Rangers, asking if they'd like to get Josh Hamilton back in a trade, sounded something like that. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Angels tried to shop Hamilton recently to the Rangers, for whom he played from 2008-12 and had that 2010 MVP season.

    The Rangers' response probably went something like this:

    "Sorry, we've got our share of overpaid injured dudes down here in Texas. But we'll be sure to laugh about this later."

    But Rosenthal and at least one of his sources think Hamilton isn't long for the Angels, at least not for those remaining three seasons. He wrote:

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  • Not as thrilling as the rumors: Mariners trade for Justin Ruggiano

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Nothing's come to fruition yet on the first two. But the last one, well, that happened but the hype didn't match the outcome. It's a lesson in how wild our imaginations get this time of year.

    The Mariners on Wednesday acquired platoon outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Cubs, in a mostly ho-hum deal that's not going to make the Hot Stove burst into flames. Ruggiano is a nice enough player — he should help the Mariners against lefty pitchers — but he's not what people were hoping for when the rumor mill starting spinning. 

    It started with this tweet from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, totally innocent, but a jolt that awoke our imaginations.

    Hearing rumblings that the #mariners are closing in on a trade for a hitter.

    Strong indications that Seattle is the third team in Rays-Padres Wil Myers trade scenario. Walker may end up in SD. Myers to SEA.

    ESPN's Crasnick, who you'll recall started this entire conversation, must have been hearing it from Mariners fans who had dreamed a little too big. Shortly after the Ruggiano trade was official, he tweeted this:

  • Jackie Robinson West should be stripped of title, says rival

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    The feel-good story about Chicago's Jackie Robinson West Little League team is a sham, says a rival Little League coach, who is alleging the team recruited ringers from outside its boundaries to advance to the Little League World Series and win the U.S. championship. But so far, Little League International doesn't agree.

    Four months after the Little League World Series ended, officials in Evergreen Park, a suburb that's right next to Chicago, are still upset. Chris Janes, who is the vice president of the Evergreen Park Athletic Association, says many of the Jackie Robinson West players were recruited from the suburbs, thus violating Little League rules. He told CBS Chicago that the team should be stripped of its title:

    Little League International issued a statement Tuesday saying the Jackie Robinson West team met its eligibility requirements. Fromthe Chicago Tribune:

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