Mike Piazza’s induction into the Hall of Fame could help the cases for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, writes Buster Olney of ESPN (Insider Only). With Piazza increasing from 57.8 percent to 83 percent of the vote in just four years, Olney figures that writers will need to consider the hypocrisy of their voting behavior. While Piazza (and fellow candidate Jeff Bagwell) are suspected by some writers of having used PEDs, Clemens and Bonds are known users. In my opinion, that will supply all the rationalization needed by intransigent writers.
On to current baseball news:
- The Orioles are the beneficiaries of the Denard Span signing. As one of the few teams with money and a pressing need in the outfield, they have leverage in talks with players like Justin Upton. Olney is not the first to wonder if Upton would sign a pillow contract to play with the Orioles. The Rangers are another team interested in Upton on a one-year contract.
- While Baltimore may eventually sign Chris Davis, some in the organization would like to reduce their seven-year, $150MM offer or simply move on to other players. To me, it seems as though Davis is playing a dangerous game of chicken. However, agent Scott Boras has successful navigated similar scenarios. One notable example is the Cardinals’ signing of Matt Holliday to a seven-year, $120MM deal prior to the 2010 season.
- In further Baltimore-related news, the club has “a lot of interest” in southpaw reliever Antonio Bastardo. He’s coming off a successful campaign with the Pirates. He posted a 2.98 ERA, 10.05 K/9 and 4.08 BB/9 in 57 innings – numbers similar to his career marks. As a fly ball pitcher, Bastardo may not be the best fit for the mostly small ball parks of the AL East. However, Bastardo did have success preventing home runs in Citizen’s Bank Park for most of his career. If the O’s inked Bastardo, they would probably trade fellow lefty Brian Matusz.
- The Giants would benefit from more roster depth, but they won’t use the free agent market to build it. Olney figures the club will explore trades for additional personnel.