Big League Stew
- David Brown at Big League Stew28 mins ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Marvin Miller missed making baseball's Hall of Fame in his sixth and what his family hopes is his final opportunity. A legendary labor leader, Miller's contributions — while not universally appreciated, obviously — had as much or more of an effect on the game than those of anyone else in the past 40 or 50 years.
And yet, the various electorates in a position to acknowledge Miller's place in baseball have refused to do so, time and again. No disrespect to former managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre — all of whom were announced as new Hall of Famers on Monday — but their awards are tarnished because Miller isn't already in Cooperstown. It's too bad for them, but that's way it has to be. And that's how Miller would have wanted it.
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 hr ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — New Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price said he has heard the talk about slugger Joey Votto needing to tinker with his approach. Votto, who is third among active players in OPS, supposedly needs to be more aggressive, expand his strike zone and not take so many pitches — the argument goes — so that he might drive in more runs.
Votto has resisted that notion, and Price doesn't buy into it, entirely. Speaking on Monday at baseball's winter meetings, Price said:
"It's been mentioned, 'Oh, I think he needs to extend the plate and drive in runs' and I don't believe that. It can be very difficult to work hard and get an understanding of the strike zone and be able to manage it like Joey does, and then ask him to go outside that strike zone and be productive with runners in scoring position."
Phew. You've got to be blotto to want to change Joey Votto.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
This is The Stew's running list of trades and signings that happen during baseball's winter meetings. We'll keep updating this post as the news happens. For more chatter and rumors, be sure to check out our winter meetings tracker.
MONDAY White Sox add pitcher Felipe Paulino on a one-year deal The White Sox added starting pitching depth by signing Felipe Paulino to a one-year deal worth $1.75 million. He's coming back from 2012 Tommy John surgery. In 2011 and 2012, he pitched for the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals.
BLS take : There's good potential here. There's also risk. His ERA was 4.46 in 2011, but advanced-stat minded pundits will tell you he's better than that. They love Paulino's FIP of 3.54 (that's from 2010-2012). This isn't a organization-altering move, but come July or August, the White Sox could look smart.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Apparently Barry Bonds' $25 million Beverly Hills mansion hasn't been dazzling potential buyers since it went on the market last January. Now the ex-MLB slugger has reduced the price by $1.5 million.
Poor Barry. Can't get into the Hall of Fame on his first try, can't sell his house. It is a nice crib too — 17,100-square-foot of nice, in fact. Here's how Realtor.com describes it:
Bonds’ enormous mansion is one of his finest home runs, which is saying something considering he hit 762 bombs over the course of his career. Beyond its sheer size — Bonds expanded the compound-estate by 5,500 square feet after buying it — the Hall of Fame property is flush in the finer things of life.
Looking right at home on its 1.85 acres, the seven-bedroom, 13-bathroom manse comes complete with “smart home” technology, allowing a person to control a number of functions from the touch of an iPad or iPhone (probably Android devices, too).
- David Brown at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — He might have been better off ignoring it, but Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik responded to a story in the Seattle Times that sometimes brutally questioned his qualifications and abilities to run a baseball team.
Zduriencik released a statement and later talked to reporters at the winter meetings Monday, addressing assertions made by former manager Eric Wedge and another former Mariners employee who said the M's front office was plagued by "total dysfunction and a lack of leadership."
In replying, Zduriencik attempts to paint Wedge as being disgruntled at not being given a contract extension. He did not address an assertion by Tony Blengino, his former top assistant, that Zduriencik misled the M's about a key part of his resume.
Here's the total statement by Zduriencik:
- David Brown at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Chris Sale is no Michael Jordan, says Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. But don't put too much into a rumor that Sale might be traded by the White Sox here at baseball's winter meetings or later in the offseason.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports said other teams are "pushing" the White Sox to discuss Sale, an All-Star the past two seasons who finished fifth in Cy Young voting after posting a 3.07 ERA and 226 strikeouts in 214 innings in 2013.
A few minutes after the announcement Monday morning that Tony La Russa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox had been elected to baseball's Hall of Fame, Reinsdorf — who gave La Russa his start in the major leagues in 1979 — was cornered about the Sale talk.
"I just heard that rumor. I only had one player in my 33 years of sports that couldn't be traded. He wore No. 23 — and 45 when he played baseball," Reinsdorf said, referring to Jordan, who famously played for Reinsdorf's Chicago Bulls in the NBA and Chicago White Sox in the minor leagues.
- David Brown at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Roy Halladay, a two-time Cy Young winner who pitched a perfect game and a postseason no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010, announced he is retiring Monday after signing a one-day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. A news conference is scheduled this afternoon for Halladay, who for his career went 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA, 2,117 strikeouts, 67 complete games and 20 shutouts for the Phillies and Jays.
His chances for the Hall of Fame probably should be described as "possible," if not likely.
Halladay, who has suffered from shoulder injuries the past two years, had a 6.82 ERA in 13 starts for the Phillies in 2013. Able to throw fastballs only in the low 80s in his final start, Halladay sought medical solutions but was prescribed only rest. He was finishing up a three-year, $20 million deal with Philly.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
Let the Winter Meetings begin! Baseball executives, agents, players looking for new teams and media members have gathered in Orlando this week for baseball's annual Winter Meetings. Given how the offseason has gone thus far, things are sure to be busy and unpredictable.
The Stew is here to help you stay up to date with the latest news and rumors. We've set up his handy tracker for you to follow all the first-day fun.
<a href="http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=5321b45600" mce_href="http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=5321b45600" >The Stewâ��s winter meetings tracker: Monday</a>
The box above will stream tweets from the Yahoo Sports crew on the scene in Orlando as well as some of baseball's most plugged-in insiders. We'll have chat sessions to keep things lively too. We won't necessarily be chatting around the clock, but we'll jump in from time to time, so watch out for that.
- David Brown at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The winter meetings usually act as a catalyst for offseason activity in Major League Baseball, but that won't be the case this year. Christmas has come early, as several huge free-agent signings and even some trades went down this past week and the week before. Nearly a quarter of the free agents who filed after the World Series already have signed, and several other deals were on the verge of going down.
Robinson Cano signed with the Seattle Mariners. The New York Yankees reeled in Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann. The New York Mets signed outfielder Curtis Granderson. The Boston Red Sox brought back Mike Napoli, brought in A.J. Pierzynski, and let Jarrod Saltalamacchia go to the Miami Marlins. The Detroit Tigers traded Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler and signed Joe Nathan, and also dealt Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals. Pitchers Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco signed with the Minnesota Twins. The Kansas City Royals traded for Norichika Aoki. The Oakland Athletics traded for Jim Johnson. The St. Louis Cardinals swapped David Freese for Peter Bourjos.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
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Though Ichiro Suzuki was traded to the New York Yankees during the 2012 season and elected to re-sign there last winter, many of his biggest fans and supporters remain in Seattle, where he spent the first 11 1/2 years of his MLB career. Among those fans — and perhaps the most loyal of them all — is Amy Franz, who became famous for keeping track of Ichiro’s hit total with her “Ichi-Meter” during his record-breaking 262 hit season in 2004.
As Ichiro closed in on another career milestone, his 4,000th hit between Japan and MLB, Franz decided she was going to fly to New York to support him and hopefully be there firsthand for the historic moment. Her trip would end up taking her to Boston and eventually back to New York, but the persistence paid off as she was in attendance at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 21 when Ichiro slapped one of his trademark singles by a diving Brett Lawrie to join Pete Rose and Ty Cobb as the only professional baseball players to collect 4,000 or more hits.
Milestone accomplished for Ichiro.