Fans traveling to Dodger Stadium from Sunset Boulevard to Stadium Way can now make the journey on Vin Scully Avenue. The city of Los Angeles officially renamed the street formerly known as Elysian Park Avenue in honor of the legendary voice of the Dodgers in a dedication ceremony today. This will undoubtedly be just one of many well-deserved tributes to Scully as the iconic broadcaster enters his 67th and final season calling Dodger games. Here’s the latest baseball news from California’s teams…
- Even with Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson coming off the books next winter, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times doesn’t expect the Angels to be huge spenders in the 2016-17 free agent market. Assuming the Halos don’t pass their high of $165MM on player payroll, they will only have around $40MM to spend on 16 roster spots.
- Brandon Belt’s five-year, $72.8MM extension with the Giants is “a reasonable common ground” between the two sides, Fangraphs’ Craig Edwards writes in an analysis of the contract. Belt may have sacrificed some extra money by not hitting free agency after the 2017 season, though since he’s had a bit of inconsistency in his career, landing a big nine-figure deal wasn’t a guarantee. (Edwards doesn’t mention Belt’s concussion history, which may have also played a factor in his taking a big payday now.) Edwards also notes that Belt is just the third player in the last three years to sign an extension two years away from free agency, along with teammate Brandon Crawford and the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton.
- In an interview on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link), Athletics manager Bob Melvin implied that Billy Butler will indeed be a part-time player for the club, saying that “for the most part he’s gonna be playing against lefties.” The veteran slugger has “been great about” accepting the reduced role. Obviously, neither Butler or the A’s have to be happy that it has come to this, given the three-year, $30MM deal Butler signed prior to the 2015 season. Butler has been the least-valuable player in baseball as per the fWAR metric since the start of the 2014 season, as he provides no defensive value as a full-time DH and his once-fearsome bat has badly declined.
- Athletics majority owner John Fisher is taking a larger role in the club’s quest for a new ballpark, Phil Matier and Andy Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle report. Fisher appears to be interested in a downtown Oakland location for a new stadium, possibly a site near Laney College if the team can purchase the land. Since purchasing the A’s with Lew Wolff in 2005, Fisher has largely been publicly silent on team matters, with Wolff taking a more visible role as the Athletics’ managing partner.