Big League Stew

  • Minor league pitcher joins fourth different organization in two weeks

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 hrs ago

    While we wait for the latest news on baseball’s most notable free agents and trade targets, we often lose track of those fringe players who occupy the final spots on the roster. We’re talking about the players who bounce back and forth between the major and minor leaguers several times a year, and whose future can change week-to-week, day-to-day and even hour-to-hour.

    Players exactly like David Rollins.

    The 26-year-old left-hander is past the point of being a prospect, but he’s talented enough to have pitched 34 1/3 innings for the Seattle Mariners over the last two seasons. He’s respected, but not coveted, which explains how he’s represented four different teams in a span of 14 days.

    The incredible offseason of David Rollins continues. Claimed by the Phillies today. He's now bounced from Seattle to the Cubs to Tex to Phil

    — Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 2, 2016

    You have to feel for anyone put in that position.

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  • Astros continue aggressive offseason with signing of Carlos Beltran

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    The Houston Astros aren’t messing around this offseason. After working themselves into contention after nearly a half-decade of rebuilding, they are aggressively pursuing something greater in 2017. That pursuit continued on Saturday, as ESPN’s Buster Olney reported they have agreed to a one-year, $16M contract with free agent Carlos Beltran.

    The addition of Beltran comes on the heels of Houston acquiring catcher Brian McCann in a trade with the New York Yankees and signing Josh Reddick to a four-year contract. They are obviously looking to bulk up an offense that already possessed some dangerous hitters. Now the lineup will be much deeper, which will create difficult matchups and sleepless nights for managers in the AL West.

    Possible HOU lineup w/Beltran in the fold, 1 yr./$16m: Springer, Bregman, Altuve, Correa, Beltran, Reddick, Gattis, McCann, Gurriel.

    — Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 3, 2016

    — Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 3, 2016

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  • Tyson Ross among interesting new free agents following non-tender deadline

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 8 hrs ago

    Friday at 8 p.m. ET marked the deadline for teams to tender a contract to arbitration-eligible players. By tendering a contract, the team maintains control of the player and has an opportunity to reach a deal with the player in arbitration if a contract can’t be worked out otherwise. Not tendering a contract means the player immediately becomes a free agent eligible to sign with any team.

    Such decisions typically revolve around established players who have worked their way up the pay scale, but may not be seen as worth the money. In other instances, teams are simply looking to cut payroll and non-tendering gives them any easy out.

    Usually, this process doesn’t lead to any truly huge names becoming available. However, this year’s list does have some very interesting names, including a potential difference-making pitcher. With that in mind, we’ll take a quick look at the four most interesting players who are now free agents and who are likely to draw some serious interest.

    Tyson Ross — San Diego Padres

    This was the shocker of the day. The Padres non-tendered the most players overall with five. They also non-tendered the most prominent in 29-year-old right-hander Tyson Ross.

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  • Hot Stove Digest: Nationals bring back Derek Norris in trade with Padres

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 19 hrs ago

    Welcome to The Stew’s Hot Stove Digest, our daily rundown of MLB news, rumors and gossip for Hot Stove season. Here you’ll find a quick recap of all the day’s action and other fun stuff from around the internet that we think is worth your time.

    WELCOME BACK: The Washington Nationals made a trade Friday, but it wasn’t the deal everyone was anticipating. While the Andrew McCutchen watch continues into Saturday, the Nationals did acquire veteran catcher Derek Norris from the Padres in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Pedro Avila.

    The trade brings Norris’ career full circle in many ways. He was drafted by Washington in the fourth round of the 2007 amateur draft, but never appeared for them in the major leagues. Instead, he was traded to the Oakland A’s before the 2011 season in the Gio Gonzalez trade. After three season in Oakland, Norris was then traded to San Diego. Now he’s back in Washington where it’s expected he’ll compete for regular playing time. It’s also believed this trade will mark the end of Wilson Ramos’ time in Washington.

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  • Albert Pujols opening day status in question after foot surgery

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 22 hrs ago

    It’s deja vu all over for the Los Angeles Angels.

    At this time last year, slugger Albert Pujols was recovering from early November surgery aimed at alleviating pain near the arch of his right foot. The operation carried a four-month recovery time, which ultimately lingered into spring training and impacted his season preparation.

    Now we’ve learned that Pujols required surgery on the same foot on Friday to release the plantar fascia that hobbled him all season long. That too carries a four-month recovery period, which this time puts Pujols’ opening day status in jeopardy.

    Angels GM Billy Eppler said the rehab for Pujols surgery is 3 months till baseball activity and 4 to play. So right around opening day.

    — Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) December 3, 2016

    This is not an ideal scenario for the Angels or for Pujols, who has now undergone three separate offseason surgeries dating back to 2012. The first was a knee cleanup.

    Pujols didn't have surgery till now bc at first the non-surgical treatment was working, but recently he was having more pain, Eppler said.

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  • Four more things you need to know about the new CBA

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 23 hrs ago

    On Wednesday, the owners and Major League Baseball Players Association agreed to a new five-year collective bargaining agreement with hours to spare before the old agreement ran out and possible chaos ensued.

    We already brought you up to speed on some of the more interesting details that were initially made public. Now though, we’ve learned the full outline of the deal, which has helped to fill in many of the blanks that were left open to interpretation and speculation for roughly 48 hours.

    It’s also opened our eyes to some other interesting changes set to be implemented that will no doubt have a major impact on the game between now and 2021.

    Right here, we’ll take a look at four additional changes that are creating some buzz and are worth discussing.




  • This Week in 'Pitch': Will they or won't they?

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Warning: This post contains spoilers for season 1, episode 9 of “Pitch” and all episodes prior.

    Do you ever wonder what it’s like for a player when he’s about to be traded? What he goes through, and what his teammates go through? Well, this show is a work of fiction, but it tries to show the viewer exactly what a franchise player might go through in the 24 hours before he could be traded.

    OFF THE FIELD “Pitch” seems to be focusing itself a bit, because there were no flashbacks in this week’s episode, and just one scene that has anything to do with on-field baseball. (I’ll buck the trend and include that scene in this section, since it’s relevant.) It’s all about Mike and his possible trade to the Chicago Cubs. No one seems particularly happy about it. Not Mike, who is extremely conflicted, not his teammates, who feel abandoned, not the fans, who also feel abandoned and angry, and not Oscar the GM, who is reluctant to let him go even though Mike says that’s what he wants.

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  • Hot Stove Digest: Braves acquire Jaime Garcia from Cardinals

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Welcome to The Stew’s Hot Stove Digest, our daily rundown of MLB news, rumors and gossip for Hot Stove season. Here you’ll find a quick recap of all the day’s action and other fun stuff from around the internet that we think is worth your time.

    DONE DEAL: The Atlanta Braves continued to rebuild their rotation Thursday, dealing for St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia. The 30-year-old Garcia is coming off a season in which he posted a 4.67 ERA over 171 2/3 innings. Garcia is under contract for just one season. He’s set to make $12 million in 2017. Garcia has been effective when healthy, but has dealt with numerous injuries throughout his career.

    GET IT DONE: The Washington Nationals are making a hard push for Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen. The two sides have talked about a deal, but Washington would prefer to get something done soon. If the two sides can come to an agreement before Thursday’s non-tender deadline, Washington would likely non-tender shortstop Danny Espinosa.

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  • Report: Jung-ho Kang arrested after fleeing scene of DUI accident

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung-ho Kang has reportedly been arrested for fleeing the scene of a DUI accident in Korea, according to Yonhap News. Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review has confirmed some of the details.

    The 29-year-old Kang was allegedly involved in an alcohol-related accident in the early hours of the morning Friday in Korea. The accident reportedly took place at 2:48 a.m. in Seoul. Kang allegedly attempted to leave the scene, but was caught by police shortly afterward. His blood alcohol level was said to be .084 percent. The legal limit in South Korea is .05 percent. No one was injured in the incident.

    Pirates president Frank Coonelly issued a statement saying the club is aware of the situation, and that the organization is “extremely disappointed” in Kang.

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  • New rule could prevent Shohei Otani from coming to MLB until 2019

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Major League Baseball and the players union coming together on a new collective-bargaining agreement prior to Thursday’s deadline elicited a positive response from baseball fans. Why wouldn’t that be the case? Of course fans were going to be happy baseball would be played in 2017.

    Now that more details have emerged, many are trying to figure out how the game will change. Some changes, like the smokeless tobacco ban, will have a positive impact on the game. Others, like the new qualifying offer system, may not be fully understood until we see it in action.

    Throughout all of this, however, one detail emerged from negotiations that comes off as overwhelmingly negative for the game. As a result of new international signing rules, Nippon-Ham Fighters superstar Shohei Otani probably won’t be coming to the majors until at least 2019.

    — Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 1, 2016