Big League Stew

  • Jose Bautista's deal with Jays a far cry from what he wanted

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 28 mins ago

    Jose Bautista is coming back home. The slugger has reportedly signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, his home since 2008, and the team he broke out with nearly seven years ago. The deal contains a mutual option, making it possible Bautista stays in Toronto past 2017.

    That contract looks a little different than what Bautista originally wanted when he started considering the future just 11 months ago. And by a little, I actually mean a LOT. In February 2016, before he’d stepped onto the diamond for the 2016 season, Bautista knew what he wanted, and that was a five-year deal (or contract extension with the Jays) worth more than $150 total. In fact, when the rumor about Bautista’s asking price came out, he denied it was true — because he was asking for more.

    Bautista reported ask of $150M, 5 yrs is indeed not exactly accurate, as Joey Bats said. At least years and total $ r MORE.

    — Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 24, 2016

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

    – – – – – –

  • The 2017 Hall of Fame ballot: Will these guys be one-and-done?

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    For the past two weeks, we’ve been dissecting some of the most interesting players, cases and debates on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot. While we’d like to say we saved the best for last, that’s not exactly the case here.

    Instead, we close with 15 guys for whom just being on the ballot will most likely be their moment of glory. There are 19 players on the ballot for the first time this year. We’ve already written at length about Vladimir Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Jorge Posada and revealed whether we’d vote for them. Here’s where we chime in on the rest of the first-timers. Guys like Mike Cameron and Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield and Magglio Ordonez.

    Here’s a look at the other 15 players on the Hall of Fame ballot, how we’ll remember them and whether we’d vote for them.

  • Alex Rodriguez to host show helping ex-athletes manage their money

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    Alex Rodriguez’s baseball-playing career might be over, but he’s still looking for another hit. Since leaving the game, A-Rod has excelled both in the boardroom and in the broadcast suite. He’s managed A-Rod Corp. with ruthless efficiency (even though we’re not sure what they do), and he emerged as a future broadcasting star with Fox Sports during the postseason.

    Rodriguez’s latest venture aims to bring both of those things together in perfect harmony. The former New York Yankees designated hitter is set to host a pilot titled “Back in the Game,” in which he’ll help ex-athletes who are struggling with debt.

    Today in news I did not expect: former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez has been tapped to host a pilot on CNBC, ” Back in the Game”

    – – – – – – –

  • Aroldis Chapman gets no praise from President Obama during visit

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    Monday was a big day for the 2016 Chicago Cubs. President Obama welcomed them to the White House to celebrate their World Series victory, just days before he’ll be leaving office. And celebrate is what they did. There were laughs, smiles, and the giving of gifts, including a W flag and a lifetime pass to Wrigley Field for the president.

    In the speech he gave commemorating the visit, President Obama made a point to call out the many Cubs who made a difference to the team during the regular season and the postseason. He named 14 guys: Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Dexter Fowler, Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo, David Ross, Ben Zobrist, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Schwarber, Miguel Montero, Carl Edwards and Mike Montgomery.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

    – – – – – –

  • Report: Padres to sign Wil Myers to six-year, $83 million deal

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 17 hrs ago

    Wil Myers isn’t leaving San Diego any time soon. A few days after the Chargers deserted the city for Los Angeles, the San Diego Padres reached an agreement to keep their cornerstone first baseman around for at least another six seasons.

    Myers is expected to sign a six-year extension with the club worth $83 million, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. The deal will include one option year, meaning it could wind up being seven years total.

    The first three years of the deal will cover Myers’ remaining arbitration-eligible seasons. The final four years of the contract will cover what would have been Myers’ free-agent years. Once official, the deal will become the largest contract in franchise history, surpassing the four-year, $75 million deal signed by James Shields in 2015.

    The 26-year-old turned in a career-year for San Diego in 2016. Over 676 plate appearances, Myers hit .259/.336/.461, with 28 home runs. That performance earned him his first trip to the All-Star game.

    – – – – – – –

  • Phillies find perfect free-agent fit in Michael Saunders

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 20 hrs ago

    Few teams understand exactly where they are in their contention cycle more than the Philadelphia Phillies. They proved as much Monday, reportedly agreeing to a one-year deal with free-agent outfielder Michael Saunders. While Saunders isn’t the best player remaining on the market, he’s the perfect fit for the Phillies.

    It’s tough to criticize any one-year deal, and Saunders’ contract with Philadelphia is no exception. The 30-year-old will make just nine million in 2017, and has an $11 million club option for 2018. That option can increase to $14 million depending on whether Saunders can reach certain incentives.

    Last season, Saunders hit .253/.338/.478, with 24 home runs, over 558 plate appearances with the Toronto Blue Jays. His excellent first half, in which he hit .298/.372/.551, with 16 homers, earned him his first-ever trip to the All-Star game. He couldn’t keep up that hot streak. Saunders slumped badly in the second half, hitting just .178/.282/.357 to finish the year.

    – – – – – – –

  • President Obama becomes Cubs fan during final White House visit

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 23 hrs ago

    President Obama ran his presidential campaign on the word “hope,” so it’s only fitting that the Chicago Cubs were the final team to visit him in the White House before his final term comes to an end.

    After 108 years of hope, the Cubs finally made it to the White House to celebrate the team’s World Series title. President Obama, who has not been secretive about his Chicago White Sox fandom during his presidency, admitted he enjoyed the Cubs’ run.

    Obama: “Among Sox fans, I’m the Cubs’ No. 1 fan.”

    — The Athletic (@TheAthleticChi) January 16, 2017

    Upon hearing this, the Cubs’ Twitter account had a little fun with that quote:

    “… I am the No. 1 #Cubs fan.” –@POTUS#CubsInDC #FlyTheW

    — Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) January 16, 2017

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

    – – – – – – –

  • The 2017 Hall of Fame ballot: How we'd vote on the rest of the returnees

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Hall of Fame ballot is the deepest it’s been in years, which means several players who should be a big part of the conversation are getting overlooked almost entirely.

    As you’ve seen over the past two weeks, we’ve done our best to focus on the 13 candidates we feel present the most interesting case for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Some of them were first-timers. Others, like Tim Raines and Lee Smith, are in their final bid on the Baseball Writers Association of America’s ballot. The common thread being that all have, or we feel will, surpass 20-percent in the ballots.

    Of course, even that exercise excluded several worthy candidates. Today, we’ll give those candidates —  all of whom finished at 20 percent or below last year — some of the spotlight they deserve, while sharing our opinions of their Hall of Fame credentials.

    2016 Result: 16.6 percent


    LIZ ROSCHER No — If there were a hall of fame for awesome ’90s mustaches, Jeff Kent would get my vote. But his stats don’t quite cut it for me in the Baseball Hall of Fame

    2016 Result: 20.9 percent


  • Indians postseason hero thanks fans for unexpected wedding gifts

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    If you’re one of the many Cleveland Indians fans to send Ryan Merritt a wedding gift, make sure to check your mailbox. The unheralded rookie pitcher-turned-postseason hero will be acknowledging your generosity in the form of a thank you note.

    Great Saturday! We got a thank note from Ryan Merritt in the mail!! @Indians @CleveFan76

    — Julia Kleppel (@JuliaKleppel) January 14, 2017

    As you might recall, Merritt stepped in as an emergency starter for the Indians after injuries to Danny Salazar, Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer ravaged their rotation. He appeared in four regular season games before getting the call in Game 5 of the ALCS. Merritt ended up hurling 4 1/3 scoreless innings, which helped Cleveland to a 3-0 pennant-clinching win against the Blue Jays.

    Apparently the gifts really started flooding in, so now Merritt is paying them back the best way he knows how.

    Here’s what the couple’s message reads.

    Dear Tribe Fan,

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Astros pitcher slams Donald Trump for tweets on civil rights icon John Lewis

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Houston Astros pitcher Collin McHugh fired back at Donald Trump on Saturday after the president-elect sent a pair of tweets ripping civil rights icon and respected congressman John Lewis.

    Lewis, who represents Georgia’s fifth congressional district, had gone on record questioning the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency until a thorough investigation of Russia’s alleged involvement in the election was completed. This predictably led to a Twitter storm of Trump proportions, with the president-elect sending the following tweets.

    Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to……

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2017

    mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2017

    – – – – – – –