Young Angels lefty Andrew Heaney has become the first professional baseball player to sell a piece of his future earnings through Fantex, a company which markets shares of that interest to individual investors, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Heaney, 24, will sacrifice ten percent of all his future “brand” earnings — including dollars earned through his MLB contracts as well as endorsements and appearance fees — in exchange for $3.34MM. (The agreement has been approved by the league and the union, but is still dependent upon financing.) We’ve seen an increasing willingness of players (and teams) to consider creative ways to lock in earnings over recent years. This could be a new frontier in that regard, though the model is obviously still in its infancy and other methods of locking in salary (such as insurance and early-career extensions) have greater traction at present. Heaney has shown plenty of promise in his first year with the Halos, throwing 84 1/3 innings of 3.52 ERA ball with 6.6 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9, but he won’t achieve real earning capacity until he qualifies for arbitration in 2018. Free agency will have to wait until 2021, but he certainly has the potential to take down quite a bit of cash over his career — if he can maintain his performance trajectory and avoid injury, of course.
Here are some more notes to round out the evening:
- The Giants have shut down outfielder Gregor Blanco after he was diagnosed with a concussion, as Chris Haft of MLB.com tweets. Manager Bruce Bochy said today that the team may not receive any more contributions this year from Blanco, Nori Aoki, and Hunter Pence, as John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group adds on Twitter. It’s been that kind of year for the San Francisco outfield, with center fielder Angel Pagan also having dealt with a fairly significant injury lay-off. While the club won’t reach the postseason regardless, barring a miracle, that group of maladies represents one of several areas where the team will hope for better fortune in 2016.
- As the Padres look ahead to what could be another offseason of change, the club intends to take its time in addressing its managerial situation, GM A.J. Preller tells MLB.com’s Corey Brock. Interim manager Pat Murphy could get the permanent post, or the organization could look elsewhere, but the latter course would involve competition with a number of other teams that will be looking for new dugout leaders. “It’s an important decision for us,” said Preller. “We just want to make sure we make a good call and we don’t feel pressure from what’s going on in the industry or anything like that. We’ll get to a spot where we’re comfortable making a good decision and we will make a good hire.”
- Among the many other questions facing the Padres, deciding on a course with righty Tyson Ross could be among the most impactful. The 28-year-old has once again been excellent — in part, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes, due to the addition of a cutter to his arsenal. He had used the pitch previously, but relied almost entirely on a fastball-slider combination in the majors before this season. “I just think it’s a different look,” Ross said. “It’s movement (away from) the barrel, trying to get poor contact and just avoiding the hitters being able to sit on anything.” The successful re-introduction of that offering represents another feather in the cap of the sturdy hurler, who was in high demand at the trade deadline and would be again if marketed this winter. Since the start of the 2013 season, he’s thrown nearly 500 frames and carries a strong 3.05 ERA with 9.0 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9 to go with a well-above-average groundball rate (61.5% this year). Ross can be controlled for two more seasons via arbitration after earning $5.25MM in his first trip through the process this year. It remains to be seen, of course, whether San Diego will have any real interest in moving him. If not, Ross could profile as an extension candidate.