Bob Nightengale of USA Today provides an interesting look at the post-playing career of Hall-of-Famer Andre Dawson, the slugging outfielder best remembered for his time with the Cubs and Expos. The Hawk now operates a funeral home with his wife in the Miami area, a surprising turn for a legendary ballplayer. Fans of the former great will certainly want to read the entire piece, which paints a compelling picture of Dawson and his new line of work.
Here’s the latest from the central divisions:
- The Tigers announced that outfielder Leonys Martin is going on the DL, with fellow outfielder Mikie Mahtook taking his place on the active roster. A hamstring strain is the cause of the placement for Martin, who had been off to a solid start in Detroit. Thus far, he has amply justified the team’s $1.75MM investment, turning in a .294/.355/.508 slash in his 138 plate appearances. Though he has not been as effective on the bases as usual, that may just be a short-sample blip for a player who has long been excellent with his legs. And metrics view him as a quality defender in center. That could make Martin a useful trade chip come July if he’s able to get back to health and continue producing.
- Over at Fangraphs, Jeff Sullivan examines the excellent work turned in thus far in 2018 by new Pirates outfielder Corey Dickerson. It really has been a fascinating showing to this point, as Dickerson is not just producing good numbers — a .333/.371/.550 slash — but is doing so while making vast improvements in his contact rate. Bucs fans will certainly want to give a full read to understand why and how the 28-year-old has thus far managed to change his approach and boost his productivity so significantly.
- The summer trade picture is only just starting to take shape, but Manny Machado obviously represents a key component. As MLBTR’s Steve Adams wrote recently, it is hard to imagine the Orioles won’t end up trading him before he reaches free agency at season’s end. And the Cubs are shaping up to be an interesting fit, as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. Indeed, per the report, the Chicago organization has plans to discuss Machado with the O’s once the trade window begins to open. Of course, that’s hardly surprising and hardly suggests that the Cubs are a favorite. As Wittenmyer notes, the club has a relatively diminished upper-level talent pool to draw from in making a deal; while indications are that ownership is willing to green-light an aggressive approach, it’ll still be tough to pull off a deal. And the Cubs surely won’t be alone in pursuing Machado, who could be seen as a difference-maker for numerous rosters around the game.