welp I hate that
In Mariners news...
- Mets fans, avert your eyes. Ken Rosenthal at the Athletic ($) has a new look at the Kelenic trade in light of the Mets...[gestures generally in the direction of Citi Field].
- Baseball America ranked all the MiLB broadcasts on a 20-80 scouting scale ($). In the Mariners system, only Tacoma’s broadcast graded out as above-average (55), although I feel like if they had watched more “This or That” it should be bumped up to a 60. Even the dulcet tones of Keaton Gillogly wasn’t enough to make up for some shoddy camera work in Modesto (45), and Arkansas landed almost at the bottom of the list, in second-to-last place, with a 30, which makes sense if you’ve ever peered at the Vaseline-smeared lens of an Arkansas game. If you’re a fan of quality MiLB broadcasts (all of which can be watched with one MiLB TV subscription!), let the list guide you to the best broadcasts.
- Justus Sheffield changed his pitch mix in September, writes Eno Sarris ($), and it’s giving him hope for how the lefty could perform next year.
- Donnie Walton tells the story of his big-league callup in a podcast interview with Officially Unofficial:
@DWalt05 tells us the incredible story on when he found out he was finally a Big Leaguer @Mariners— Officially Unofficial (@OfficUnofficPod) February 7, 2020
Link to full episode: https://t.co/PkqQp6KPwK pic.twitter.com/7VYmhNzwkk
- Former Mariner Kendrys Morales has retired from baseball.
Around the league...
- The Red Sox-Dodgers-Twins blockbuster trade remains in limbo, with Jon Heyman reporting that the Red Sox are now looking for a second “top” prospect after hitting a snag with reviewing Brusdar Graterol. I don’t understand why the Dodgers, who are technically the ones trading Graterol to the Sox, aren’t the ones to kick in an extra prospect.
- Executive director of the MLBPA Tony Clark isn’t happy with how long the deal is taking to come together:
Tony Clark on the Dodgers, Red Sox, Twins, Angels trade hold-up: pic.twitter.com/4CL1lZVAQ8— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 7, 2020
- Supposedly the Red Sox have a new manager all picked out, but have to wait for MLB to announce the results of its investigation. Peter Gammons thinks the Sox might be in for a bleaching:
Two post-Mookie things gms around game say they don’t know:— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) February 5, 2020
1. With rumors still flying around that the Red Sox are going to get a serious slap of discipline for some recent “cheating” revelations, are they going to cross the bridge without draft choices for one or two years? And
Conversely, Ken Rosenthal ($) claims in a piece for the Athletic that the Red Sox haven’t offered the manager job to anyone and can’t until the investigation is over. Of course, “can’t” is a flexible term in MLB these days, it seems.
- Meanwhile, Joc Pederson, one of the moving pieces in the ancillary Dodgers-Angels deal, lost his arbitration case against the Dodgers and will earn $7.75M vs. the $9.75M he had requested, saving the Angels some precious dollars. Good for them.
- In the other major off-season storyline that somehow will not end, even more allegations came out against the Astros in this WSJ story ($). If you don’t have a subscription it’s worth finding one or reading it at the library because you’ll want to understand why everyone is making Codebreakers and Dark Arts jokes.
- Hey, at this point, why not? Fire up the MS Paint, Martha.
A.J. Hinch didn't answer the question about whether the 2019 Astros used buzzers. He only deferred to the Commissioner's findings.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 7, 2020
- From punished-by-MLB cheating to everyone-does-it-cheating:
The Astros have agreed to sign a 21-year-old Cuban outfielder to a $4 million bonus when the signing period opens in July.— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) February 7, 2020
The details, via @BenBadler: https://t.co/CWQVTGPkvh
To me, this is why not hitting the Astros with no international spending penalties makes no sense, as they can simply funnel the lion’s share of their IFA money on a top-tier international player. What’s more is the player in question is Cuban and 21 years old, making him much more akin to an advanced prep or college bat as opposed to a developmental project. Make it make sense!
- Sadly the bonkers WSJ story slightly steamrolled this piece from our own Jake Mailhot over at FanGraphs, where Jake looked at the most impactful bangs of the Astros’ scheme (with a special appearance by the Jean Segura defensive clinic game!), and I continue to giggle at every headline referencing “the banging scheme” like the child I am.
- Hank Aaron, for his part, thinks all cheating cheaters should be banned from the game.
- In non-scandal news, somehow the Montreal-Tampa Bay split custody deal isn’t dead?
- And in actually good news, delightful weirdo Hunter Pence is headed for a reunion with the Giants:
Heard this: Hunter Pence is on his way to San Francisco for a physical. If he passes, he’s joining the Giants. He turned down offers from Padres and Astros.— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) February 7, 2020
The Giants also signed Billy Hamilton and former Mariner Nick Vincent to minor-league deals, and are also rumored to be interested in Yasiel Puig, as are the Rays.
- RHP Cody Allen signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers.
- Back to scandal, or at least scandal-adjacent news: after taking criticism for working both for the Mets and as a member of the Sunday Night Baseball team, Jessica Mendoza now works for neither. She’ll stay on with ESPN doing weekday games among other duties.
- More Mets mess, as Steve Cohen might now be blocked from ever buying a team again.
- RIP Roger Kahn, who was the introduction to the poetry of the game for so many of us.
Roger Kahn, the writer who wove memoir and baseball and touched millions of readers through his romantic account of the Brooklyn Dodgers in "The Boys of Summer," has died at age 92. https://t.co/rMO3flWnQD— The Associated Press (@AP) February 7, 2020
I find this so satisfying.
Sychronized baseball pic.twitter.com/jV2miQBkHf— Ben Porter (@Ben13Porter) February 7, 2020