Posts Tagged ‘Major League Baseball’

The Tim Tebow show hasn’t been canceled, in fact, the New York Mets envision a future where the former NFL quarterback plays in the majors.

“The person that he is, the worker he is, those are the kind of people you want around,” manager Mickey Callaway told reporters on Sunday. “We’re going to evaluate Tim Tebow just as we would anybody else. Tim Tebow is here because he can potentially help us at the major-league level at some point. He wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

Callaway isn’t alone in his assertion, either.

“I think he will play in the major leagues,” general manager Sandy Alderson told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.

The 30-year-old told reporters that while playing in the majors is the goal, he’s not putting the cart before the horse.

“One of the important things of being an athlete is being able to lock in and have tunnel vision,” Tebow said. “Because I can’t worry about one day if I’m going to play in the bigs or not.”

Through 126 games across two levels of Single-A in 2017, Tebow hit .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs, 24 doubles, and 52 RBIs while striking out once per game.

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Joey Votto, still the lone drawing card on a Cincinnati Reds team that’s seemingly in perpetual rebuild, is ready to turn a new page.

Votto is coming off an incredible 2017 season that saw him lose one of the closest-ever MVP votes, but the Reds still finished in last place for a third straight season. The prospect of another losing year isn’t sitting well with the 34-year-old, who’s ready for the franchise to finally flip the script and start building themselves into a contender sooner than people are expecting.

“I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball,” Votto said, according to Cincinnati.com’s Zach Buchanan. “I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto more than did his share in 2017. He played in all 162 games and hit .320/.454/.578 – winning his sixth on-base percentage title – and added 36 homers, 34 doubles, 106 runs, and a league-best 134 walks while striking out just 83 times and contributing 6.6 WAR, per Fangraphs.

His MVP-worthy brilliance propped up the otherwise mediocre Reds. Only two 2017 teammates – Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez – were worth more than 2.5 fWAR during last year’s 94-loss disaster.

“It’s tough because even had I won that (MVP), it still would have felt awkward because we had such a down year last year,” Votto said, per MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. “It’s much better going home at the end of a work day knowing that you contributed to winning baseball. It’s much better finishing a season knowing you’re a part of winning baseball. That’s been on my mind.”

Cincinnati, which hasn’t made the playoffs since 2013 and hasn’t won a World Series since 1990, could only watch its small-market division rivals, the Milwaukee Brewers, make themselves into a legitimate contender for NL Central supremacy with several high-profile additions.

By contrast, the Reds’ biggest offseason moves were inking relievers Jared Hughes and David Hernandez. They also let Cozart walk to the Angels.

“I think at some point we’ll do something similar to that (what the Brewers did),” Votto said, per Buchanan. “I can’t speak for the business side of things, but everything they’ve (the front office) ever said is, ‘We have the money and we’ll make that sort of thing happen.'”

When the Tampa Bay Rays traded third baseman Evan Longoria to the San Francisco Giants in December, it was the end of an era. But the Rays weren’t done dealing.

After sending starter Jake Odorizzi to the Minnesota Twins and designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment Saturday, Longoria wasn’t shy in voicing his critical opinion.

“I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base,” Longoria told The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly. “I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious (Dickerson) is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFA’d. Corey was our best player last year.”

Dickerson was a 2017 All-Star as the American League’s starting designated hitter. He and starting pitcher Chris Archer were the Rays’ representatives at the Midsummer Classic. The 28-year-old Dickerson hit a career-best 27 home runs, though his overall numbers were buoyed by an electric first half when he hit .312/.355/.548.

There is a path for Tim Lincecum to go back to where it all began, but it’s far from a lock.

A day after throwing a showcase in front of major-league scouts, San Francisco Giants general manager Bobby Evans is saying the team is interested in potentially signing the Freak. The circumstances just have to be right, according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.

“It’s up to the competition of what clubs are bidding on him, and I can’t speak to that yet,” Evans said. “It’s early. We obviously are all rooting for Timmy. Selfishly, anything he does, we would love for it to be in a Giants uniform, but sometimes opportunities on the business side dictate otherwise. But we’re always rooting for him.”

The Giants were rumored to be one of the teams attending the showcase. Lincecum, for his part, impressed with his stuff.

“He looked strong. His fastball (velocity) was good,” Evans said, according to ESPN. “His breaking stuff had some good depth to it. Obviously, he looks like he’s in great shape. Clearly, he’d worked really hard to get to this point. His opportunities will come for him. Let’s see how it plays out. We’re very hopeful for him whether it’s with us or somebody else.”

Evans’ stance is non-committal, but there appears to be a chance Lincecum goes back to the organization where he has spent the bulk of his career.

Lincecum, 33, didn’t pitch in 2017, and struggled extensively through nine starts with the Los Angeles Angels in 2016. The two-time Cy Young Award winner spent nine seasons with the Giants, going 108-83 with a 3.61 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 1,704 strikeouts over 1,643 2/3 innings.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Joe A. Martinez told Doug Hanks of the Miami Herald that District 11 – the district Martinez has represented since 2000 – is suing the Miami Marlins and the former ownership group led by Jeffrey Loria in order to recover profit-sharing revenues.

News of the lawsuit comes two weeks after a report surfaced suggesting Loria was not expecting to share any of the $1.2 billion he and his ownership group received this offseason for selling the team to a group led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter.

The suit stems from a profit-sharing deal that Miami-Dade and the Marlins struck in 2009 that gave the county and Miami a share of profits that could potentially come from a future sale. The dispute is over a $50-million portion of the sale which Loria agreed to reserve to cover any claims for the new ownership group. County lawyers are accusing Loria and the Marlins of inflating expenses so there are no profits remaining for the city.

“The Loria Marlins clearly believe that their unsupported, self-serving, and fuzzy math is sufficient basis to deceive the public,” the lawsuit reads, “but the Non-Relocation Agreement, the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and simple common sense require much more.”

Emilio Gonzalez, Miami’s city manager, also said the city plans to file its own lawsuit against Loria.

The county originally paid $500 million for the construction of Marlins Park, which opened in 2012 after ground was broken in 2009.

Mike Trout should to be in a Los Angeles Angels uniform for at least three more seasons – pending a surprising trade – but that doesn’t mean club owner Arte Moreno isn’t planning ahead.

Moreno told a group of reporters, including MLB.com’s Maria Guardado, that a contract extension for the 26-year-old is a constant thought.

“Let’s put it this way, it’s always in our minds,” Moreno explained Thursday. “We’re always thinking about it. It’s not only him, because we have other players. But if you look at long-term plans, you’re always trying to position yourself properly when it’s time to do it.”

Trout’s current deal with the Angels grants him free agency following the 2020 season, with the two-time MVP set to earn north of $34 million in each year.

And while locking up arguably the best player on the planet during his prime is a priority for Moreno and the Angels, the owner isn’t going to rush his front office into making a decision.

“We try not to do anything in an urgent way,” Moreno said. “I don’t think that’s a good way to do business.”

During his seven seasons in the big leagues, Trout owns a .306/.410/.566 slash line with 201 home runs, 569 RBIs, and 165 steals.

The six-time All-Star also has a 2012 Rookie of the Year award on his mantle beside his two MVPs and five Silver Sluggers.

Boston Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright is attending spring training despite Major League Baseball’s ongoing investigation into his offseason arrest on domestic violence charges.

Wright was charged with domestic assault and preventing a 911 call following an incident with his wife, Shannon, in December. The charges were retired by a Tennessee court on Dec. 21, and will be dismissed in December provided there are no other offenses committed before then.

Wright spoke publicly about the charges for the first time Wednesday. Though the league’s investigation prevented him from getting into specifics – he said he’s yet to talk with investigators – the 33-year-old denied assaulting his wife.

“I never touched her. And that’s probably the hardest thing for me: to sit there and see people talk about being a wife beater all that stuff when I didn’t even make physical contact,” he said, according to MassLive’s Christopher Smith. “But that’s really all I’m allowed to say right now because I want to honor MLB and their investigation.”

Wright added that he and his wife have been attending counseling.

While the court retired the criminal charges against him, he still faces a possible suspension from commissioner Rob Manfred if MLB finds he violated the league’s joint domestic violence policy. There’s no timetable for the internal investigation’s completion.

Wright, an All-Star in 2016, only pitched in five games last season due to knee surgery, and his status for Opening Day remains unknown.