Free-agent catcher Geovany Soto and the Los Angeles Angels have agreed to a one-year, $2.8 million contract.
The team announced the move Tuesday night, one day after losing catcher Chris Iannetta to the Seattle Mariners in free agency.
Soto has played for four teams in 11 major league seasons. The former Chicago Cubs backstop spent last season on the other side of town with the White Sox, batting .219 with nine homers and 21 RBIs in 78 games.
“We were coming through security at [Los Angeles International Airport],” Devon says, “and the guy there asked Dad if he knew what a ‘Rod Carew’ was on Urban Dictionary.” (It’s a vulgarism that involves going from first base to third base without touching second.) Rod shakes his head in mock dismay upon hearing this, like a put-upon dad in a sitcom, which he often appears to be.
“When he’s getting ornery,” Rhonda says, “we know he’s getting back to normal.”
So, yes, history suggests that Andrelton Simmons is going to get worse defensively in Anaheim, and we shouldn’t expect him to continue putting up +20 UZRs for much longer. But that history also suggests that the same trends that take some value from his glove should add some back to his bat, and that overall, Simmons should be expected to remain roughly as valuable as he has been to this point in his career. And that’s pretty darn valuable.
Although it may be true for teams with bad front offices people, for 99.9% of the teams there is no way the manager and coaching staff should know the players better than the General Manager.
“There are some very tangible things that need to be done,” Scioscia said after Sunday’s game. “I’m looking forward to sharing our insights with whoever is in that position, because like most baseball teams, I don’t think there’s a manager or coaching staff that doesn’t know the players better than anyone in the organization. We want to move forward.”
The Angels lose their closer and Mike Trout does Mike Trout things.
In the top of the ninth inning, they lost closer Huston Street to injury. In the bottom of the ninth, David Freese hit a walk-off home run, lifting the Angels to an emotional 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
The Angels remained one-half game behind the Houston Astros for the final spot in the American League wild-card race. The Angels have eight games left.
It appears unlikely that Street could pitch in any of those games. Manager Mike Scioscia said Street has a groin injury that is “not good.” Scioscia did not put a timetable on a recovery, but Street sat out 13 days because of a groin injury in July.
I would have hit him too. Craig misses the part where Seager grabs his crotch right when he called time first and before he tells Weaver to throw it over the plate.
In this instance I blame the umpire for not stepping in and telling Seager to get in the box. It was perfectly clear that Seager was purposely being disruptive. Had the umpire kept control of the game the ensuing events would not have happened.
Working for Samson and Loria is a situation covered with warts.
Recently, I was speaking to a well-regarded executive who one day would like to be a general manager about the possibility that the Marlins job might open.
Essentially the discussion boiled down to this: There are just 30 of these jobs, yet would you abstain from, say, even being considered to run the Marlins’ baseball operations — due to the firing, tempestuous, meddling, low-payroll nature of owner Jeffrey Loria and team president David Samson?
The executive acknowledged the problems and said perhaps there were jobs not worth having. But the official also said, “There is no perfect job. If you wait for the perfect one, you will wait forever.
“They all have warts. They also all have positives. You have to figure out how to accentuate the positives and fix or navigate around the warts.”
Of the external candidates who have been interviewed so far, none has been a major league general manager before, the source said. The Angels are planning to speak to at least some candidates with experience in that position, according to a source.
The Angels will not keep interim general manager Bill Stoneman in that position beyond this season.
Shortstop Erick Aybar struck out to lead off the ninth against Robertson. The ball was in the dirt, so White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers reached out to tag Aybar on the leg, with plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth making an out signal. Abyar kept on running to first base, though, with Flowers not making a throw after Culbreth made his out call.
Scioscia argued, ultimately challenging the ruling via replay. White Sox manager Robin Ventura questioned why there should even be a replay since an out signal was made.
Umpires reviewed the play and upheld their original call that Aybar was tagged out by Flowers. Scioscia, though, came back out to the home plate area to get an explanation. By rule, managers are not allowed to argue a replay decision, but Culbreth gave Scioscia the courtesy of explaining the decision.
Robertson, however, didn’t care for the delay as he waited on the mound to pitch.
“I felt that Scioscia was very bush league, coming out there and standing in front of home plate after the play had already been reviewed,” Robertson said. “I felt like once it has been reviewed, it has been reviewed on film and he’s called out, there’s no reason for you to come back out and argue the call. I guess that’s just the way he is. It kind of changed the whole momentum in the ninth.”
The St. Louis Cardinals found themselves in a pickle in 2000. Looking for young arms to add to the organization, St. Louis struck up a deal with the Montreal Expos to send Britt Reames and another player to Montreal for two pitchers. They just had to decide who to send: Fernando Tatis or Albert Pujols. Obviously, the Cards sent Tatis and the next season Pujols won NL Rookie of the Year before becoming one of the best players in Cardinals’ history during his stint with the organization.
The Angels’ present need is clearly identified: a starting left fielder. They would prefer to make a trade without disrupting the major league roster or surrendering their top prospect, pitcher Sean Newcomb. The mild-mannered Stoneman sounded bolder about the likelihood of a significant trade now than he ever did in his long run as general manager.
“The expectation is we’ll be able to get something done,” he said.
The Angels have been linked to Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds, Gerardo Parra of the Milwaukee Brewers, Ben Revere of the Philadelphia Phillies, Justin Upton of the San Diego Padres, and Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier of the Dodgers, among others.
If Richards is back to where he was last year, Houston may be in trouble.
“I think that one of the best-kept secrets is really how our rotation’s doing,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Our rotation has given us a chance to win the lion’s share of starts we’ve had this year. The last couple of games are indicative of the way they threw in the first half.”
“There are a lot of professional people in here who have been through a lot, who know what it takes, and who know not to get too low or to press and be upset if we’re behind,” Iannetta said.
“I think we believed and knew the whole time that we were a good team. Guys are starting to play more like themselves, and as a result, we’ve scored a lot of runs lately. We’ll see how it all plays out.”