Who’ll be the kids called upon to swing postseason races in 2016? Here are the top 20, all of whom still have rookie eligibility, though a few gave us a glimpse of their gifts late last season and will surely do so as soon as Spring Training gets cooking next week.
Hal McRae is out of baseball, retired and living in Bradenton, Fla. He, however, isn’t forgotten. McRae discusses his past and is thoughts on the current game in this week’s Q&A.
Former Mets closer Jenrry Mejia was on the wrong side of baseball history Friday, becoming the first player in Major League history to receive a lifetime ban for performance-enhancing-drug use. Mejia, however, is far from the first baseball player to receive a lifetime ban — and he has even more company when expanding it to other sports.
South Africa’s participation in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier has greatly helped to further baseball’s impact across the region.
22-year-old righty Shohei Otani, a standout in Japan’s NPB, has been drawing plenty of attention lately as his Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters train in Arizona. It’s not hard to see why, as the power righty is coming off of a season in which he put up a 2.24 ERA over 160 2/3 innings, with 11.0 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9. Otani, who is also a productive hitter, says he’s always dreamed of playing in the majors, as MLB.com’s Barry Bloom writes. But it’s not yet clear when that chance will arise. As Eric Longenhagen explains for ESPN.com, his current team has little incentive to post him now, given that it is capped at $20MM regardless of when it does so. But he does add that some believe the Fighters would allow him to depart if a request was made. If and when that occurs, you can expect a bidding frenzy unlike many others
There’s plenty of trade chatter as camp approaches, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes in a column today. That’s already been made evident by the notable deal struck earlier this evening. As always, a full read is recommended, but here are some of the highlights of the post: The Orioles would prefer to add Dexter Fowler after signing Yovani Gallardo — assuming they can get that deal done — says Rosenthal. But if that doesn’t work out for some reason, Baltimore’s backup plan would be to pursue a deal for Jay Bruce.
The true measure of any relationship.
Spring Training gets underway in a week, and ideally the Marlins would like to add another pitcher or two before pitchers and catchers take the field on Feb. 19. But the signings have to make sense, and the club is willing to wait, even if it means reaching agreements after practices begin.
The Orioles announced today that left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser, who was designated for assignment when they acquired Odrisamer Despaigne from the Padres, has been claimed off waivers by the Cubs. To create roster space, Chicago has designated fellow southpaw Edgar Olmos for assignment. With this move, Riefenhauser will join his fourth organization of the offseason. After starting out with the Rays, Riefenhauser went to Seattle alongside Nate Karns in the Logan Morrison/Brad Miller trade. He was then sent to Baltimore alongside Mark Trumbo in a trade that brought Steve Clevenger back to the Mariners.