Thursday, December 17, 2015

Notes: S-Rod Returns, Signings, Moves & Random Stuff...

What went down this week:
  • Jerry Crasnick reports that S-Rod had a small bidding war going on, but he came home to the Bucs, signing a one year/$2.5M deal. We'd expect to see more of him in the infield this year instead of first, taking over the Josh Harrison role he was originally brought in to fill.
Sean Rodriguez (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • So far, Antonio Bastardo & Joe Blanton seem to have flown below the radar. Tony Sipp's three year/$18M deal has given Bastardo more leverage on the market now and he has at least Detroit & the Cubs sniffin' around, while the only team we've heard associated with Blanton is Toronto. Our guess is that both are out of Pittsburgh's cost comfort zone. 
  • Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times wrote "The Pirates and Brewers, who both have had prior interest, could be a fit for a trade of 1B James Loney."
  • Michael Morse told Adam Berry of that a change in clubhouses drove his improved, albeit in a small sample, performance in Pittsburgh.
  • NH was interviewed on MLB Network Radio and said that not only Tyler Glasnow but Jameson Taillon could be in Pittsburgh by midseason. He added that " we sit here now, we expect to have Mark Melancon and Tony Watson at the back end of the bullpen." He did toss in a qualifier, saying that he will listen to offers for The Shark but "we're gonna have to get something that really makes sense to even consider moving him."
  • Tho he missed two campaigns on the hill, Taillon told Bill Brink of the Post Gazette that he feels like he's actually improved his game during the down time. 
  • Enos Sarris of Fangraphs considers the Pirate options at first base.
  • WBOY's Anjelica Trinone talks to OF Keon Broxton and gets a couple of takes on the youngster from Rick Sofield. 
  • Sad news to report: John Holdzkom's brother Lincoln was killed over the weekend in a car wreck. Lincoln bumped around in the minors as a pitcher, suiting up for Altoona in 2009.
  • Pittsburgh signed veteran MiLB OF'er Antoan Richardson, 32, to a minor league deal. It's an interesting move. The Bahamas-born and Florida-raised switch-hitter is a classic leadoff hitter, putting the ball in play and drawing walks, with plenty of speed and a good defensive rep. He's shown well in a couple of cups of coffee in the show, but missed most of 2015 with back surgery. Maybe he's Indy's top-of-the-order guy, even tho the Bucs' pipeline is flowing with outfielders moving up.
  • Fangraphs has the 2016 ZiPS numbers out for the Bucs.What those figures project pretty well match up with the smell test.
  • John Perrotto for Baseball America wrote (behind a subscription wall) that the Bucs feel no pressure to rush Austin Meadows. 
  • Altoona 1B Jose Osuna has been suspended six games for his part in a bench-clearing brawl with Bruce Rondon during a Venezuela Winter League game.
  • Joey Cora will replace Tom Prince as Altoona's manager. Prince has been reassigned as a minor league field coordinator, and will instruct & evaluate all the minor league managers, coaches and staff; that was at one time Jeff Banister's job. All the other MiLB skippers for the Buc clubs will return.
  • Neil Walker will wear his dad Tom's former #20 with the Mets; he couldn't claim it here because it had been Pie Traynor's number and was retired in 1972. 
  • 1B/OF Garrett Jones has inked a one-year/$2.5M contract to play with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, according to NPB Tracker’s Patrick Newman. (Jon Heyman of CBS has his salary a bit higher at $2.8M plus bonuses).
  • So much for the Trevor Cahill speculation; he signed up for another stint with the Cubbies. He was inked to a one year/$4.25M deal.
  • Ditto for 1B Mike Napoli, who has signed a one year deal with the Indians for $7M with an additional $3M dangled as incentives. He was probably never much more than an afterthought at best; the Bucs are looking for a LH hitter to platoon w/Michael Morse, and Napoli is a righty. The same holds true for Mark Reynolds, who signed a one year deal with the Rox. 
  • Korean OF/1B Hyun-Soo Kim, 27, who the Bucs were said to have some interest in, signed with Baltimore for two years/$7M pending his physical.
  • OF Alex Presley signed a minor league deal w/camp invite with the Brewers. 
  • LHP Dana Eveland, who tossed for the Bucs in 2010, has joined Tampa Bay on a minor league deal with a camp invite
  • For the baseball historians out there: Cut Four has a piece on the evolution of the stirrup/sock, with Cutch's design at the top of the stocking chain.

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