It’s been a surprising, slow-to-develop Hot Stove season for the Giants. But all could be forgotten in a hurry next spring if Matt Cain returns strong to join Madison Bumgarner in one of baseball’s best 1-2 combinations
Dave Stewart was determined to reach his goal of becoming a big league GM from the day he delivered his last pitch, in 1995. He was handed the job in Arizona by the same man who used to hand him the ball in Oakland.
It makes perfect sense to Jimmy Rollins why Chase Utley wants to stay in Philadelphia, despite Phillies interim president Pat Gillick saying the team will not win again until 2017 at the earliest.
The Indians have announced that they’ve signed lefty reliever Scott Downs to a minor league deal with a spring training invite. The veteran pitched 38 innings in 2014 for the White Sox and Royals, posting a 4.97 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 while suffering through diminished velocity — Downs was never a hard thrower, but his average fastball fell to 86.9 MPH in 2014. Downs had success as recently as the previous season, when he had a 2.49 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 for the Angels and Braves. In his 13-year career, the 38-year-old has also pitched for the Cubs, Expos and Blue Jays.
Veteran left-handed reliever Scott Downs and the Indians have agreed on a Minor League contract with a non-roster invite to big league Spring Training, the team announced on Saturday.
11:59pm: In an English-language article, Yonhap reports (h/t to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net, on Twitter) that the club has in fact announced the acceptance of the bid. The article indicates that even Nexen is not sure which MLB club subitted the winning offer. Per the article, Kang is seeking between $5MM and $6MM per season on a multi-year deal of up to four years in duration. 10:31pm: With the posting fee bids submitted for infielder Jung-ho Kang, the KBO’s Nexen Heroes are expected to accept an approximately $5MM bid for the right to negotiate a contract with the Korean star, as the Yonhap News Agency reports (Twitter link via Jeeho Yoo; Korean-language article, via Sun-Min Kim, on Twitter). The MLB team with the winning bid has yet to be reported. If that club is unable to work out a deal with Kang, it would be refunded the amount of the posting fee. Otherwise, the team would owe that $5MM on top of whatever contractual terms it reaches with Kang. Kang, 27, raised eyebrows with a 40 home run/1.198 OPS campaign last year. The star shortstop has been a productive hitter for some time now, but that impressive power display certainly raised his profile. The KBO has turned into a fairly drastic hitter’s league, though Kang’s numbers still look outstanding against league average.
With a logjam at third base and a need for a backup catcher, the Red Sox traded Will Middlebrooks to the Padres on Friday in exchange for catcher Ryan Hanigan.
New Padres outfielder Matt Kemp was energized and animated at various points on Friday, meeting with reporters for the first time since the five-player deal between the National League West rivals was consummated late Thursday.
The Padres have seven outfielders on the roster who will make more than the league minimum in 2015, presenting manager Bud Black with an assortment of options.