The latest in interesting bits from elsewhere in MLB …
- The Rays and Astros got together on a deal yesterday that sent reliever Wesley Wright to the Rays for, essentially, nothing. Wright is making about $1 million this year, his first in arbitration, and the Rays claimed him on waivers. The Astros let him go for “cash considerations,” which is likely to be “paying the rest of Wright’s contract this year plus a few bucks.” When I saw that deal, I thought some combination of a cartoonish guh-wuh-huh? No, Wright isn’t a stud, but he’s a useful lefty reliever who’s put up good numbers for several years running. Isn’t that worth … something? The instinctual reaction of Astros fans looks like it was similar. Are the Astros so hard up for cash or for tanking that they’re literally giving away every last remotely serviceable piece? Maybe. But there’s also the issue of the roster spot (which comes at a premium on young, rebuilding teams), and the fact that Wright – again, not a stud – will be getting a raise in arbitration next year. Maybe he was a non-tender candidate anyway. That seems pretty plausible, given that he lasted on waivers all the way up the chain to the Rays. Perhaps he simply wasn’t all that valuable, and there’s nothing really here to discuss.
- Adam Rosales has been waived by, and claimed by, the Rangers and A’s multiple times over a game of roster ping pong the last few weeks. It’s a bit shameful, as each team merely wants to stash him at AAA (he’s out of options) while simultaneously preventing their divisional opponent from landing the fringe roster player. It underscores an issue with the waiver system, which isn’t exactly player-friendly in situations like this, and which is further detailed in this FanGraphs piece.
- The Braves’ social media department had a little fun the other day when Julio Teheran beaned Bryce Harper after Harper had homered earlier in the game. Harper exploded in anger, and the benches did the clearing thing. The Braves’ Twitter account posted a well-timed and witty, “Clown move bro,” a nod to his infamous “clown question, bro” comment in Toronto last year. It looks, to me, like a little harmless fun – baseball, and the fan experience of baseball, is supposed to be fun, right? Well, subsequently, Braves GM Frank Wren poo-poo’d that fun, telling David O’Brien that the tweet was “an inappropriate attempt at humor from our social media department.” I understand that, when you are a public-facing arm of the organization (like the Twitter account, for example), there is a line in how much “personality” you can show. This, however, did not cross that line – it was an obvious joke about Harper’s meme-ified comment, and not a joke at Harper’s expense – and it’s a bummer that the Braves organization didn’t get behind it. Instead, they threw someone (who was doing a good job of being exactly what social media is supposed to be) under the bus.
- Julio Iglesias’s defensive prowess is sometimes discussed in nearly the same way that his teammate Miguel Cabrera’s offense is discussed. To the extent that the superlatives are fair, then Iglesias last night hit a 550-foot bomb:
- Delirious praise of Iglesias from FanGraphs here.
- Speaking of Cabrera, did you know that he’s putting together a better season this year than in his Triple Crown campaign last year? He’s at .366/.459/.692 (all three lead baseball), with 37 homers and 111 RBI. Just crazy. Also crazy? Mike Trout is having a better year than his 2012 season, too. He’s currently at .330/.425/.570, and is doing all kinds of MVP things, if not for the Angels being crappy and Cabrera being Boss Cabrera. I guess we won’t have a repeat of the MVP debate of 2012, even if you could plausibly make some arguments.
- There’s quite a legal/media/PED/local heroes/etc. brouhaha going on in St. Louis after former Cardinal Jack Clark made some PED comments in relation to former Cardinals star Albert Pujols. The latter reacted strongly, saying he plans to take legal action against Clark, who was quickly dismissed by his radio station. I wasn’t really aware of anything connecting Pujols to PEDs until this dust-up, and, assuming it is unfounded, then Pujols has a pretty good point about not wanting his name to be thrown out there. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. It’s tough to clear your name in the minds of the masses once the seeds of doubt have been planted. And that’s unfair if a guy has been clean.
- Ever want to read about the neuroanatomy of hitting? Of course you do.