Good morning. I’m still upset at the Academy for not giving me an Oscar last night.
Just to try to lighten things up, I always loved Petra Haden’s a cappella version of the Don Henley classic “The Boys of Summer.”
Also, google “The Curse of Colonel Sanders” sometime. You’ll thank me later.
- After a long delay the deal that sends outfielder Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price from Boston to the Dodgers is finally complete. The Dodgers will send outfielder Alex Verdugo and two prospects, shortstop Jeter Downs and catcher Connor Wong. The Dodgers will also be getting
Normcash. Of course, all of this is dependent on the medicals, which is where the original deal broke down.
- The deal with the Twins is also back on as the Dodgers send pitcher Kenta Maeda to Minnesota for pitcher Brusdar Graterol and also minor league outfielder Luke Raley and a competitive balance draft pick. This time, the Dodgers are keeping Graterol. The Twins will also get
- The deal that would have sent Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson to the Angels is now off.
- Craig Edwards gives the scoop on all the players changing teams in these two deals. He thinks Boston did a little better in the new deal.
- Keith Law agrees. The sequel “Electric Boogaloo” Betts trade (the one that now looks to be happening) is better for Boston than the first one. (The Athletic sub. req.) The Dodgers are still the winners though, because they got Betts and Price.
- Jack Baer has more on the prospects the Dodgers are getting, one that doesn’t require a subscription.
- David Schoenfield has some thoughts on what you should know about these deals.
- Matt Snyder praises the Dodgers for going all in for the 2020 season.
- Michael Baumann thinks everyone is ignoring David Price in this deal, which they shouldn’t because Price is still a valuable pitcher. He’s not worth the salary he’s earning, but if you focus on what he does on the mound rather than his bank account, Price will help the Dodgers win more games.
- Wait a minute. A shortstop named Jeter is going to play for the Red Sox? Yes, Jeter Downs was named after the Yankee great.
- There was one other trade over the weekend as the Rays traded reliever Emilio Pagan to the Padres for outfielder Manuel Margot and a minor leaguer.
- AJ Cassavell has four thoughts on the Padres/Rays deal.
- Sad news as former Cubs, Rockies and Brewers outfielder Angel Echevarria has died at age 48.
- Also, Roger Kahn, author of several baseball books including the classic The Boys of Summer, has died at the age of 92. Joe Posnanski has a remembrance of Kahn. (free to all)
- Fired Astros manager A.J. Hinch gave his first interview since his termination after the Astros sign-stealing scandal. (video)
- Here are the key moments from Hinch’s interview if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.
- Nick Stellini wants to know why Hinch didn’t give a firm denial when asked about the possible use of wearable technology in the 2019 season.
- Tim Brown writes that Hinch accepted responsibility for the scandal and that, at least, is a first step towards rebuilding his reputation and returning to the game.
- And there’s still more to the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Jared Diamond reports that the Astros front office first developed a program late in 2016 to decode opposing team’s signs (The Wall Street Journal sub. req.) and relay them to the players in real time, which makes former general manager Jeff Luhnow’s denial that he knew about the sign stealing to be less believable. (If you don’t have a WSJ subscription, you can get the basics here.)
- Former Astros pitcher (and now Rays pitcher) Charlie Morton apologized for not trying to do more to stop the sign-stealing. He also acknowledged that he was aware of the scheme.
- Jake Mailhot takes another look at how the Astros benefitted from the scheme in clutch situations. He does find that while the Astros benefitted a lot when then knew what pitch was coming, on the few occasions that the person banging the trash can got the sign wrong, it completely messed the hitter up.
- More on why the sale of the Mets to Steve Cohen fell apart. It sounds like Cohen has made a lot of enemies among MLB owners, which would likely preclude the deal being revived later.
- ESPN broadcaster Jessica Mendoza has resigned from her job as an advisor to the Mets and will no longer call Sunday Night Baseball. She remains with ESPN and will be doing weeknight games as well as games on the radio.
- Also, longtime Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow is suffering from a degenerative muscle disease and he’s no longer physically able to travel with the team. So instead Krukow will call 22 road games in 2020 with partner Duane Kuiper remotely from San Francisco. Kuiper will still travel with the team, just to be clear.
- The Giants have also signed free agent outfielder Hunter Pence as the local hero returns to San Francisco.
- The Red Sox are expected to name former Brewers manager Ron Roenicke as their new manager. No confirmation yet, so you can’t be sure with the Red Sox these days. Maybe they won’t like Roenicke’s medicals.
- Mike Axisa has five “last-minute” free agent signings that he wants to see, including Jason Kipnis to the Cubs.
- Here is one Spring Training positional battle for every team.
- David Laurila speaks with some MLB front office executives about minor league contraction. They don’t sound like they like it very much, but they admit it’s out of their hands.
- Former All-Star and former Cubs farmhand Justin Bour is going to the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball. Jason Coskrey explains the large shadow that former slugger Randy Bass casts over every American power hitter that plays for the Tigers. (Hint: here’s where you want to google “curse of Colonel Sanders.”)
- And finally, sticking with leagues other than MLB, former Iowa Cubs great Manny Ramirez is interested in playing for Parma in the Italian baseball league. Apparently Ramirez doesn’t want a salary but instead wants to be housed in an Italian villa and given an Italian sports car to drive around. So basically, it’s going to come down to whether Parma can find sponsors to provide that stuff.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. See you on Friday.