On June 21, 1990, Nelson Mandela made a visit to the old Yankee Stadium. Just freed after nearly three decades in prison, the future president of South Africa delivered his speech donned in a Yankees jacket and cap. On the occasion of the 67th anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson forever shattered Major League Baseball’s color barrier, the Yankees chose to honor Mandela.
Third baseman Chase Headley was out of the Padres’ lineup Wednesday with what manager Bud Black termed a mild right biceps strain. The injury occurred when Headley was hitting in the batting cage before Tuesday’s game with the Rockies.
Here are a few notes on the Padres, who opened the day a full three games back of the division-leading Dodgers and Giants in the National League West: The Pads have been one of the few MLB teams to have been burned by early-career extensions in recent years, notes Dave Cameron in a piece for FOX Sports. One issue — putting aside the injury and performance issues that have cropped up — is that San Diego has made several of its bets on players whose expected future market value (through arbitration and free agency) was simply not that high. That, in turn, limited the amount of upside (in terms of cost savings) that the team could realize through those contracts. The team’s recent extension of Jedd Gyorko, Cameron argues, is of the same ilk: he is not a high-average hitter or stolen base threat, and his power is less impressive if he plays at third in the future. Cameron opines that, while the deal is not necessarily a bad contract, the team still took on significant risk without getting a real chance at landing a “huge bargain.” Current third baseman Chase Headley, meanwhile, reportedly turned down his chance at a new deal, and looks destined for the open market at the end of the season. MLB.com’s Corey Brock noted that Headley had told him late in the spring that he ”just [didn't] think it was ever the right time” to strike an extension. ”There’s enough ground in between us to where it wasn’t going to work out right now,” Headley said. ”We just couldn’t find that common ground.” As Brock explains, the likely options now for San Diego look to be a trade, qualifying offer after the year, or another run at a contract. Headley addressed the QO himself with Brock: ”We weighed that [in discussions with the team] and it’s not a great system for the player. You have to play six full seasons just to get to free agency
ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden took a look back (Insider link) at his free agent predictions to see where he hit and missed. Most of his accurate guesses came on players who signed early, while the opposite holds true of those that he was off on. By far the biggest difference among actual and estimated deals came with Ervin Santana, who Bowden had tabbed for a five-year, $75MM deal but ultimately signed for a lower AAV and just one season. As we join the rest of the game in celebrating the legacy of Dodgers great Jackie Robinson, here’s more from the National League: Padres starter Josh Johnson, who is struggling to overcome a right forearm strain, will visit Dr. James Andrews for an assessment, reports MLB.com’s Corey Brock. GM Josh Byrnes said that, at this point, he is ”not sure” if Johnson will be able to throw for the club this year, but that the team hopes to ”know more next week.” Johnson’s one-year, $8MM deal with San Diego includes a conditional $4MM club option for next year that is triggered if the righty makes less than seven starts
The Padres extended one infielder yesterday when they locked up Jedd Gyorko through the 2019 season for a total of $35MM, and today, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports shines some light on San Diego’s efforts to do the same with another of their infielders this past offseason. According to Heyman, the Padres offered third baseman Chase Headley a three-year extension worth $33-39MM. The deal would have gone into effect beginning in 2015, bringing Headley’s four-year guarantee to a maximum of $49.525MM (Headley is earning $10.525MM in 2014). The two sides are said to be nowhere close to finding a middle ground, writes Heyman, which isn’t particularly surprising considering the fact that just one year ago, the Padres were prepared to make Headley an offer that would make him the highest-paid player in franchise history (topping Jake Peavy’s $52MM guarantee). Headley, however, responded by stating that he didn’t wish to dicuss contractual matters during the season. At the time of the report, I speculated on Headley’s chances at earning $100MM or more. Coming off a .286/.376/.498 season in which he belted 31 homers with 17 steals and elite defense, there seemed to be a case. Headley regressed to a still-solid batting line of .250/.347/.400 this past season (116 OPS+, 113 wRC+) and played his typically strong defense, but that platform year is far less enticing for a club than his MVP-caliber 2012 season.
Backed by an outstanding effort from Wei-Yin Chen over 6 1/3 innings, Baltimore’s offense roared to life, smacking Rays starter Chris Archer around for a career-high seven earned runs en route to a 7-1 series-opening win on Monday night.
Rockies left-hander Brett Anderson most likely will have surgery Thursday to place tiny pins in his broken left index finger to promote faster healing.
Struggling D-backs right-hander Trevor Cahill will have to get his issues worked out in the bullpen. The D-backs will shift Cahill to the bullpen and replace him with right-hander Mike Bolsinger, who was called up Monday and will make his first start Saturday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
Nationals right-hander Doug Fister took the next step in his rehabilitation process Monday afternoon at Marlins Park. Fister, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain, threw 50 pitches — including his entire repertoire — during a two-inning bullpen session.
One week into his rehab assignment, and less than a month since the surgery on his right knee, Chris Stewart may have already passed the ultimate physical test for his return.