Angels southpaw Andrew Heaney signed a precedent-setting contract with Fantex in September 2015, and discussed the unique arrangement with Pedro Moura of the L.A. Times. “You can look it at as marketing your brand. You can look at it as an insurance policy,” Heaney said. “Obviously, money to one person is totally different than money to another person. I live in Oklahoma. It’s not expensive to live there. I don’t live an extremely lavish lifestyle. I just viewed it as, I want to be comfortable, and I want my family to be taken care of, and I’m OK with that.” Heaney agreed to take $3.34MM from Fantex investors in exchange for 10 percent of any future brand-related earnings (i.e. future salaries, appearances, endorsements), a deal that drew some skepticism from teammate Huston Street after crunching the numbers. “I told him, ‘If you make more than $80MM, then you made a bad deal.’ But if you make less than $80MM, you made a pretty good deal,” Street said. While there is risk involved for Heaney given his high talent ceiling, it could also be argued that he was wise to lock in an early fortune — Heaney made just one start in 2016 and is expected to miss all of the 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last summer.
Here’s more from around the American League…
- The Rays have interest in Rob Refsnyder, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Tampa is known to be looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder with options remaining, though Refsnyder doesn’t quite check every box for the Rays since he doesn’t play center field (and thus can’t serve as a backup for Kevin Kiermaier). Once one of the Yankees’ more notable prospects, Refsnyder has fallen back on the depth chart as both an outfielder and an infielder. The Yankees are open to hearing offers for Refsnyder, so there’s a chance a deal could be reached, even though the two AL East rivals are very infrequent trade partners.
- Todd Frazier tells MLB.com’s Scott Merkin that he hasn’t had any talks with the White Sox about an extension as he heads into the last year of his contract. Despite the lack of negotiations and the trade buzz that has circled around Frazier as a veteran player on a rebuilding team, Frazier says he hopes to remain with the Sox over the long term.
- Winning a job with the Orioles would complete a remarkable turn-around for Craig Gentry, as the outfielder tells Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun that just months ago, he felt his career coming to an end. Gentry suffered a concussion (the sixth of his career) in September 2014 and was bothered by symptoms for almost two years; combined with a lumbar injury last year, Gentry was limited to just 40 total plate appearances over the last two seasons. These issues caused Gentry to question his passion to keep playing, though after his health finally began to improve this offseason, a session with Orioles hitting coach Scot Coolbaugh paved the way for Gentry to sign a minor league deal with the O’s. That contract doesn’t give Gentry an opt-out until the middle of June, though it could be a moot point if Gentry breaks camp with the team.