Marjorie P. Adams doesn’t care a thing about cake, cards and ice cream. When people wish her a happy birthday on Dec. 7, her mind will be far away, in Nashville, Tenn., where the Hall of Fame’s 16-member Pre-Integration Era Committee will decide during baseball’s Winter Meetings whether her ancestor should take his place in Cooperstown next July 24.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving weekend, there are so many reasons why we should praise the baseball gods. I’ll mention 10 from this season — you know, just to bunt the conversation into scoring position.
After a couple of early offseason moves, the Rockies are short on experienced options to back up regular catcher Nick Hundley. There’s the rest of the offseason to add a veteran or two, but Dustin Garneau and Tom Murphy hope their debuts at the end of 2015 could lead to roster spots next season.
As America straps on its bib and grabs the carving knife, go ahead and attack the bird. But you will want to leave some room for dessert: Baseball has been known to serve up some treats on Thanksgiving — bombshells, not bonbons — then join the Black Friday frenzy.
The Athletics‘ acquisition of Jed Lowrie has set the team up to trade away another infielder, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Lowrie will probably play second base, forming a double-play duo with incumbent shortstop Marcus Semien. There is interest from other American League teams in both Brett Lawrie and Danny Valencia, she reports, with the former seemingly more likely to be dealt. Lawrie, 26, slashed just .260/.299/.407 last year after being acquired as a key piece of the Josh Donaldson trade. He has two years of control remaining, with MLBTR projecting him to earn $3.9MM this year. Valencia, meanwhile, performed both before and after he was claimed by Oakland off waivers from the Blue Jays. He, too, can be controlled for another two years and is projected at $3.4MM
Yogi Berra passed away on September 22, a month before we were notified by the White House that he would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The news then was bittersweet; I was sad that Grampa would not be able to get the medal in person, but so, so proud that he would receive the honor.
Let’s take a look in at the latest reporting from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, who touched upon several notable stories today (all via his Inside Baseball column, except as otherwise noted): The Dodgers have had contact with free agent righty Ryan Madson, Heyman says. The veteran, who enjoyed a remarkable turnaround last year, could be one of several options as Los Angeles looks to beef up its pen. The Mariners have long said that re-signing Hisashi Iwakuma is a priority, and GM Jerry Dipoto reaffirmed that stance only days ago. Heyman writes that the club is “willing to go to around $24 million or so over two years” for the accomplished veteran. It’s not entirely clear whether there’s any willingness to go beyond that amount, but it seems a bit light for a pitcher of Iwakuma’s ability. (MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes predicts a three-year, $45MM deal for the righty.) Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez would welcome a trade, writes Heyman. It’s been known for awhile that Alvarez is on the block due to his rising arbitration salary, poor glove and struggles with left-handed pitching. The Pirates almost certainly don’t want to pay Alvarez his projected $8.1MM salary next season and could very well non-tender him next week if they can’t find a taker. Heyman notes that the Orioles make some sense, and I’d add the Athletics as a speculative fit also
Brock Holt’s uncanny versatility on the field allows him to play seven different positions and led to him being an American League All-Star in 2015. As it turns out, Holt is also a super-utility man for the Red Sox off the field, doing anything he can to help out in the community and put smiles on the faces of children.
When Brian McCann brought his bat to Yankee Stadium two years ago, the slugging catcher carried a charitable mission with it. Each one of his trips around the bases has a special meaning, delivering another blow in the fight against childhood cancer.
The Athletics have designated left-hander Daniel Coulombe for assignment and released right-hander A.J. Griffin, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Coulombe’s DFA clears space on the 40-man roster for today’s acquisition of Jed Lowrie, whereas Griffin’s release serves as resolution to his own DFA from last week. Coulombe, 26, split the 2015 campaign between the Dodgers and A’s, logging 16 total innings with a 5.63 ERA and an 11-to-9 K/BB ratio. He showed a greater penchant for strikeouts at the Triple-A level, whiffing 41 hitters in 41 1/3 innings, but his control problems existed in Triple-A as well, as evidenced by his average of 5.2 walks per nine innings there in 2015. Griffin’s name is a more familiar one for fans from Oakland and around the league in general. The now 28-year-old spent a season and a half in the Athletics’ rotation from 2012-13, recording a 3.60 ERA with 7.5 K.9 against 2.3 BB/9 in 282 1/3 innings.