Matt Stairs Rumors
After a career that has spanned nearly two decades, Matt Stairs says that he's ready to retire, according to CBC News. The 43-year-old was designated for assignment by the Nationals last Wednesday and released on Monday.
"I'm not sad. I had a great career, a long career," the slugger said, "And it's one of those things where I can walk away today and not be sad about it."
In his 19 seasons, Stairs has suited up for the Expos, Red Sox, Athletics, Cubs, Brewers, Pirates, Royals, Rangers, Tigers, Blue Jays, Phillies, Padres, and Nationals. He has earned almost $19MM across his career while posting a slash line of .262/.356/.477 and 265 home runs in 6023 plate appearances. The veteran hit .154/.257/.169 in 74 plate appearances for Washington this year.
Stairs, 43, hit .154/.257/.169 in 74 plate appearances for the Nationals this year. In his 19-year career he's played for the Expos, Red Sox, Athletics, Cubs, Brewers, Pirates, Royals, Rangers, Tigers, Blue Jays, Phillies, Padres, and Nationals. His body of work may surprise you: .262/.356/.477 in 6023 plate appearances, with 265 home runs and almost $19MM in earnings.
The Nationals designated Matt Stairs for assignment to open a spot on the 25-man roster for Jonny Gomes, the team announced. The move also opens up a 40-man spot, presumably for Friday starter Chien-Ming Wang.
Stairs, 43, hit .154/.257/.169 in 74 plate appearances for the Nationals this year.
As we cruise through Spring Training and gear up for Opening Day, let's take a look at some news on some notable non-roster invitees around the league...
- Whether or not Yankees manager Joe Girardi wants to acknowledge it, there's "no way" Eric Chavez doesn't make the team out of camp, tweets ESPN's Wallace Matthews.
- Nationals manager Jim Riggleman told MLB.com's Bill Ladson there's a "good chance" that Matt Stairs breaks camp with the team.
- MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch writes that Garrett Atkins is hoping to re-kindle his career with the Pirates, but to this point has done nothing to distinguish himself from his competition (Steve Pearce, Andy Marte, and Josh Fields). Atkins was just 4-30 this spring entering play today.
The Nationals reached an agreement on a minor league deal with Matt Stairs, according to the team's Twitter feed. Stairs has assumed a pinch-hitter role in the last few seasons, hitting .232/.306/.475 in 111 plate appearances for the Padres in 2010. He holds the big league record with 23 career pinch-hit home runs. Stairs, 43 in February, was originally signed by the Expos as an amateur free agent in 1989.
Let's round up the highlights from Nick Cafardo's Sunday column for the Boston Globe....
- One AL executive tells Cafardo that he's never seen so many candidates interviewed for managerial openings: "It’s amazing to me that you wouldn’t know within, say, two or three candidates who you want. But I guess in some cases the GM’s job is also on the line if he picks the wrong guy."
- Matt Stairs would like to play for at least one more season. While he says he'd like to return to Boston, he concedes that he'd probably play "anywhere."
- An NL scout was positive about A.J. Pierzynski, suggesting that he'll be one of the most attractive catching options on the free agent market, behind Victor Martinez and John Buck. "With A.J., you know he’s not going to throw people out," said the scout. "But there’s nothing wrong with his receiving and he can still hit. I know the fire he has can rub people the wrong way, but I think that’s great for a team."
- Brandon Inge has a good chance of landing a starting role this winter, given the lack of free agent third base options after Adrian Beltre. However, Cafardo wonders if Inge could eventually become a Bill Hall-esque utility player, given his ability to play a few different positions.
- Possible bullpen targets for the Red Sox include Joaquin Benoit, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Jason Frasor, Scott Downs, and Brian Fuentes.
- A market appears to be developing for Lance Berkman. Teams like the Rockies, Orioles, Mets, Blue Jays, and Diamondbacks could have interest.
- Carlos Delgado underwent another hip procedure two and a half weeks ago, but is rehabbing the hip and feels like he'll be able to play in 2011.
Links on a very rainy evening in the Bronx..
- Matt Stairs nearly retired this winter but now he tells Corey Brock of MLB.com (via Twitter) that he wants to play for another year or two.
- The Diamondbacks will decide interim manager Kirk Gibson's fate soon, writes MLB.com's Steve Gilbert.
- Toronto could give their entire staff a makeover upon hiring a new manager, writes Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press.
- Stan Kasten told Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post that he's still not sure if he'll return to the Nats next season.
- The Mets may already have their 2011 second baseman in Daniel Murphy, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Reds won't be auditioning Yonder Alonso for a potential deal as Joey Votto is set to return to action on Friday, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
- Mets GM Omar Minaya told Anthony DiComo of MLB.com (via Twitter) that he's not concerned about speculation over his job security.
- It's a good time for ex-Mariners managers, tweets Larry Stone of the Seattle Times.
WEDNESDAY, 1:28pm: The Yankees claimed Huffman off waivers from the Padres, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. Huffman will head to Triple A. Baseball America ranked Huffman 21st among Padres prospects, noting his strong batting eye and good power but various limitations. Their bottom line quote: "He looks like a future regular on his best days and a part-timer on his worst." Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues and MLBTR has a hunch Kevin Towers' fingerprints are all over this pickup.
Huffman, 25 later this month, was a second-round pick for the Friars back in 2006. He hit .269/.361/.469 for the Padres Triple-A affiliate in Portland last season, but managed just one hit in 23 spring at-bats. For his career in the minors, Huffman owns a respectable .289/.385/.474 line over four seasons and 1885 plate appearances.
Some links on what promises to be one of the best days of the year...
- Chris Haft of MLB.com writes that the Giants' bench is lacking in right-handed bats, though he doesn't suggest they'll look to make a trade.
- The Red Sox have expressed reluctance in the past to sign pitchers to long-term contracts, but MLB.com's Ian Browne notes that Josh Beckett's extension means the club has four important starters under team control through 2014.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Beckett extension was directly motivated by the Red Sox' rivalry with the Yankees.
- Beckett told reporters that he focuses on the security that comes with his extension, not the money he could potentially have obtained on the open market, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
- The San Francisco Chronicle had some nice things to say about MLBTR in its business report. Check it out.
- The Mariners remain the favorites to sign Dominican pitcher Rafael DePaula, according to Jorge Arangure Jr. of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
- Michael Aubrey cleared waivers and was outrighted to the minors, according to an Orioles press release. The team designated Aubrey for assignment last week.
- Check out this two-sport star: the White Sox hired former Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause to oversee the team's scouting in the Dominican Republic, according to ESPNChicago's Bruce Levine.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out that the Pirates will have the lowest Opening Day payroll in baseball and asks when the future starts for the Pirates. His answer? Once Pedro Alvarez takes over third base at PNC Park. If all goes well for Pittsburgh, that could happen before midseason.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has the Mariners' payroll at about $89MM, a little higher than USA Today's $86.5MM figure.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels tells Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that speculation that the Rangers are looking for reasons to fire manager Ron Washington is "silly."
- As Jeff Powalisz of the Boston Globe points out, Boston's free agent acquisitions are already contributing.
- Matt Stairs will become the first modern-day position player to suit up for 12 different teams when he takes the field for the Padres, as MLB.com's Corey Brock points out.
Links for Monday...
- FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi spoke to one executive who thinks the lack of open 40-man roster spots is inhibiting trades. There are only 28 open spots across the league, and more than half of the teams are maxed out.
- Chad Gaudin said he considered "a couple" of other teams before deciding to rejoin the A's, reports MLB.com's Jane Lee.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock reminds us that the Padres will have to remove someone from their 40-man roster before Opening Day to make room for Matt Stairs.
- The Rangers have a scout on hand to watch Mike Lowell play third base tonight, tweets ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes. This deal has to get done eventually, right?
- The Braves were concerned the Marlins would take Jason Heyward at #12 in the 2007 draft, writes Yahoo's Jeff Passan.
- Yu Darvish hinted for the first time that he might be willing to come to MLB, says Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Newman passes along a Sponichi report in which Darvish said, "Well, I’m planning on climbing the ladder, step by step," when asked about moving to MLB one day. Newman notes that Darvish isn't close to free agency, so the Nippon Ham Fighters would have to post him.
- SI's Jon Heyman writes that the Mariners and Jarrod Washburn "are believed to remain apart on the dollars for a new deal."
- Brian Cashman and Johnny Damon met in person for the first time since Damon left the Yankees, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- MLB.com's Peter Gammons names six clubs that might be better than you think.