Royals righty Joe Blanton has rejected several opportunities to play in Asia, tweets MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes. The 34-year-old veteran, who has an opt-out date of May 15, remains committed to working his way back to the big leagues for the first time since 2013. Blanton has produced a 3.71 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 through 26 2/3 Triple-A innings this year with Omaha.
- Another long-time big league right-hander, Kyle Farnsworth, has other athletic endeavors in mind. As Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports, the 39-year-old former reliever is now suiting up on the defensive line for the Orlando Phantoms — and is credited with 11 sacks, the second-highest tally in the Florida Football Alliance. (Attentive fans will recall that Farnsworth showed some gridiron promise at times on the diamond.)
- Speaking of football-baseball crossover, top overall NFL pick Jameis Winston will not be appearing on a mound any time soon, according to Darren Heitner of Forbes (via Twitter). Winston, a promising righty at Florida State, has a clause in his deal that will preclude him from pitching while under contract with the Buccaneers.
- MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez takes a look at this year’s top July 2 prospects. Some of the names will be familiar not only to international prospect followers, but also to general baseball fans. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has already received plenty of attention, but Vlad Sr.’s nephew Gregory Guerrero and Fernando Tatis Jr. are also among the top 30 prospects with big league bloodlines.
- Meanwhile, the Mariners are indeed pulling the plug on their operations in Venezuela, per Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal. The move had been reported back in March, though the team declined comment at that time. Costa takes an interesting, but sobering, look at the decline of the academy system in the struggling country. Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos expressed dismay at the diminishing opportunities for hopeful young ballplayers from his home nation. Of course, Ramos himself endured a terrifying kidnapping ordeal in Venezuela after reaching the big leagues. Now, he says he is applying for a green card in hopes of establishing permanent U.S. residency.
Always liked Joe Blanton. He seems pretty down to Earth. He wasn’t very flashy in Philly, but he always seemed to get the job done for the most part. Hope he makes a respectable comeback!
You must not have watched his year of pitching for the Angels
Kind of why I mentioned his time in Philly…
Did Winston even sign a contract yet?
He signed the day after he was drafted if I remember correctly.
Man I completely missed that
That is awesome about Farnsworth.
I would love to do something like that, but I would want to be a wide receiver.
However, I am getting too old for that stuff! =P
As for Blanton, i hope he gets another chance in the Bigs.
Vlad Jr AND Tatis Jr are going to be MLBers in the not-too-distant future? I am so old. And I’m only 30!!
Keep chugging, Joe Blanton. If the Phillies trade a bunch of pitchers by the deadline, they will need live bodies to chuck the ball over the plate.
Brewers might have openings as well.
Who is Fernando Tatis Jr. related to?
Fernando Tatis Sr?
I know. I was kidding
Ahh. Internet sarcasm wins again.
Dont the jays have an agreement with vlady jr?
Yes and I’ve read rumors Gregory Guerrero has one with the Mets. Kiley McDaniels has put the Jays and Vlads deal at $3.2M and later $4.4M, I think
I will be pretty surprised if Blanton gets a shot in KC as he is currently behind Chris Young and Yohan Pino when it comes to a rotation spot and the bullpen might be even harder to crack.
Really surprised no one signed Farnsworth
I am hesitant to bring this up but since it’s relevant…back in ’05 there was a nasty event involving Detroit and KC. Runelvys Hernandez plunked Guillen in the head and somehow Jeremy Affeldt ended up getting dumped on his head by Farns. I was so embarrassed beyond the record as a Royals fan in ’05 because of our players behavior.