On the notion of the Padres trading right-hander James Shields to the Red Sox for benched third baseman Pablo Sandoval, one scout told Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune, “James Shields is not good in Fenway Park in his career. Some people think he’s a National League pitcher at this point of his career. But it’s one fewer year (on his contract) than Sandoval. I think Sandoval would be better off outside of Boston. I think he’s been eaten whole there. That trade actually would make some sense.” Both players are coming off down seasons, albeit Shields was easily the more valuable of the two in 2015. Shields, 34, exceeded the 200-inning barrier for the ninth straight year and set a career high with a 9.61 K/9, but he also logged personal worsts in BB/9 (3.6) and FIP (4.45) to accompany a mediocre 3.91 ERA. Sandoval is a half-decade younger (29), though that plus is offset by a well-known weight problem and the fact that he had the worst fWAR in baseball in 2015 (-2.0). Moreover, the two carry undesirable financial commitments. Shields is due $60MM over the next three years, though he can opt out and become a free agent after next season. That would mean leaving $44MM on the table, however. Sandoval, meanwhile, is owed $70MM through 2019. Both players’ deals have expensive club options at the end that their respective teams surely won’t exercise, which will lead to buyouts ($2MM for Shields in 2019, $5MM for Sandoval in 2020).
More from around the majors. . .
- With president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in charge, the Red Sox are a meritocracy when it comes to putting together a roster, as Alex Speier of the Boston Globe writes. That was evident in the team’s decision to relegate Sandoval, whom it signed just a year ago, in favor of Travis Shaw at the hot corner. The Dombrowski-led Red Sox began the trend of valuing performance over contract when they elected last summer to end the short-lived, disastrous experiment of Hanley Ramirez in left field, Speier notes. “My focus is on the guys that are in uniform, not what’s attached to them or what their contract states,” manager John Farrell said. “We’re all about evaluating and what’s best for our team.”
- The Astros have informed left-hander Wandy Rodriguez that he will not crack their Opening Day Roster, tweets Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. Rodriguez, who inked a minor league accord with the Astros in the offseason, had been competing with James Hoyt and Michael Feliz for the final spot in the team’s bullpen. Rodriguez had an opt-out in his contract for last Saturday, per Evan Drellich of the Chronicle. With that deadline having passed, it’s unclear what the immediate future will hold for Rodriguez, but he could end up on the market and in search of a major league deal elsewhere. “Let me see what happens if somebody picks me (up),” he told Drellich.
- The Cardinals aren’t looking for outside help at shortstop in the wake of Ruben Tejada’s injury, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Instead, the Redbirds will at least wait until they have a better understanding of Tejada’s status. He’ll start the season on the disabled list with a muscle strain in his left quadriceps, leaving Jedd Gyorko and Greg Garcia as the Cardinals’ options at the major league level. They also have Aledmys Diaz of Triple-A Memphis as a potential call-up.
- Nick Burdi, the Twins’ best relief pitching prospect, is “out indefinitely” with right forearm tightness and will begin the season on the DL, reports LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. Of course, forearm injuries sometimes portend Tommy John surgery. Burdi, who’s capable of hitting 99 on the radar gun, threw three scoreless spring innings for the Twins. The 23-year-old tossed 63 2/3 innings at multiple minor league levels last season and pitched to a 3.82 ERA with an 11.7 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9.
- Right-hander Roberto Hernandez is drawing interest from teams that want to sign him to a minor league contract, but he’s holding out for a major league deal, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets. Hernandez, 35, opted out of his deal with Toronto earlier this week after the club didn’t add him to its active roster. In 84 2/3 innings last year with Houston, Hernandez worked to a 4.36 ERA with 4.5 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.
- Lefty reliever Wesley Wright has garnered multiple Triple-A offers, per Cotillo (Twitter link). Wright, whom Arizona released Monday, has thrown 371 innings of 4.16 ERA ball to accompany an 8.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in his major league career. Those mediocre numbers belie his success versus left-handed batters, who have hit a paltry .234/.313/.334 against Wright.