As the MLB offseason begins to heat up in the next few months, we will be keeping you in the loop on daily happenings. .
Uno Mas for Big Papi. Red Sox Slugger David Ortiz announced on Tuesday that the upcoming 2016 season will be his final. Ortiz experienced a resurgence of sorts this past year, hitting .273 and crushing 37 home runs. He is also the most recent member of the 500 home run club. As a Yankees fan, I’ll be glad to see him go, but as a lover of baseball, I can say that he was a huge part of the game and we’ll definitely miss him. From an offensive-numbers standpoint, he’s got a HOF resume, but 2 things stand out: First, he was exclusively a DH for the majority of his career and voters have not been too kind to others in that situation (Think Edgar Martinez). Second, there are still rumors about whether he did or did not use PEDs for a portion of his career, and once again, voters have steered clear of anyone in that boat. But there’s time for that debate later. In the meantime, let’s just enjoy the monster Ortiz home runs for one more year.
Tigers ink K-Rod. The 34-year-old Francisco Rodriguez has been traded to the Tigers, coming off a dominant campaign with Milwaukee in which he struck out almost 10/9 IP and boasted a 2.21 ERA. While his once high-octane fastball has dropped down to 90-MPH, it could be that he has become a craftier pitcher in his “old age”. After serving as a set-up man from 2011-2013, he has shown he can still close out games, recording 44 and 38 saves the last two years. He’ll get a chance to try to provide some stability in a Tigers bullpen that is searching for answers.
Just Kidding, Braves Fans! Contrary to earlier reports this week, the Braves have announced they are NOT shopping Freddie Freeman. Well, good, that would have been a stupid move.
Over the Hill? Not So Fast! The A’s have made what I think is the most underrated move of this young offseason, signing vet Rich Hill. The once-promising lefty (whose only big season was in 2007 when he won 11 games for the Cubs) latched on with Boston late last year, and ended up posting a 1.55 ERA in almost 30 innings. As the World Series progressed, the rumor was that the market for the 35-year-old Hill was unusually high, following his performance in Boston. Yes, there is a huge health concern with Hill, but if he can somehow stay healthy, I think the A’s might really have come away with a steal with Hill. The deal is reportedly 1 year worth $6 million.
Giants Keep Crawford. The San Francisco Giants have signed SS Brandon Crawford to a contract extension of 6 years worth $75 million plus a signing bonus. No commentary needed on this one, it was a good and necessary move for the Giants: Crawford is one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball and just hit his career high of 21 home runs in 2015.
Other News: The Angels have signed IF Cliff Pennington to a 2 year deal, and the Giants ink Kyle Blanks to a minor league contract.