The MLB Daily Dish is a daily feature we’re running here at MLBDD that rounds up roster-impacting news, rumors, and analysis. Have feedback or have something that should be the shared? Hit us up at @mlbdailydish on Twitter or @MLBDailyDish on Instagram.
- Spring training is great because it means that baseball is back, but with it comes the heartburn and heartbreak that is injuries that derail the season before it really gets started. Several teams are having to work their way through those trials and tribulations including the Cardinals with Paul Goldschmidt, the Braves with Cole Hamels, the Yankees with James Paxton and Luis Severino, and and Oakland with Khris Davis.
- After eight seasons in the MLB, Lonnie Chisenhall is calling it a career, reports J.J. Smith of the Carteret County News-Times. The 31-year old has a pretty decent career to look back on, averaging .268/.320/.427 with 64 home runs across 2360 career plate appearances, ultimately succumbing to a chronic calf issue. Chisenall has played 29 games in two years, most recently signing a one year, $2.75M deal with the Pirates last season. He played seven games in their Triple-A affiliate.
- Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas will begin the season on the injured list after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection to treat a flexor tendon issue in his right arm. With the 2018 All-Star sidelined, Carlos Martínez and Kwang-hyun Kim are the favorites to win St. Louis’ fourth and fifth starter spots.
- Bad news, Yankees fans. Luis Severino has been shut down due to forearm soreness that goes all the way back to his 2019 ALCS appearance, which is even more heartbreaking when you consider that his 2019 season started on September 17th. According to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, Severino is flying back to New York from Tampa to undergo a battery of tests by multiple team doctors and specialists. While MRIs and a CT scan came back negative, the ace will remain on anti-inflammatories until he can be reevaluated. It’s still up in the air if he’ll make a full recovery in time for Opening Day. This made my work day very difficult, as Luis Severino was in my facility and I had to go in through the backdoor by the dumpster that has a very unruly raccoon living under it. The list of victims of this injury just keeps growing.
- It is pretty much par for the course at this point that the Astros simply lack the self-awareness and competence to handle the public relations surrounding, well, just about anything. However, MLB’s mishandling of the Astros scandal highlights what has been a truly terrible offseason for commissioner Rob Manfred. The sad part: a lot of it is his fault.
- The Padres have signed veteran Brian Dozier to a minor league contract, reports AJ Cassavell of MLB.com. He’ll earn $2.2M if he makes it back up to the big leagues. While he won a World Series title last season, the 32-year old was a far cry from his former elite shape, slashing .238/.340/.430. However, while his dinger days are likely in the review mirror, Dozier is good at maintaining consistent contact and drawing walks. He’s a steal for any team who is looking for a player with a high baseball IQ to stick at the end of their lineup.
- The Braves are coming off back-to-back division titles and have one of the most exciting young cores in the game of baseball. As a reward for their recent success, the Braves extended general manager Alex Anthopoulos, manager Brian Snitker, and the coaching staff.
- Rough news, Cleveland fans: Mike Clevinger will miss six to eight weeks as he recovers from knee surgery. I guess the bright side is that his left meniscus will be good as new. The not-so-bright side is that their pitching rotation, which has already taken a beating this offseason, is down its main man.
- Reese McGuire has shown a lot of promise at the plate early in his career with the Blue Jays. However, one must question his judgment a bit as he was arrested last week for indecent exposure in a public parking lot. There are very few justifications for such behavior that make it not sound bad, but the details of his actions and explanation are, well, weird.
- Cole Hamels signed a one-year, $18 million deal with the Braves to be a reliable source of quality innings for the young team. That deal is not off to the best of starts, as Hamels is dealing with shoulder discomfort. Even if the issue resolves itself in the next couple of weeks (which is not certain), it does not sound like he will be ready to start the season.
- The Red Sox finally settled on a manager for the 2020, naming bench coach and former Brewers manager Ron Roenicke as their interim manager. Roenicke went 342-331 over four-plus seasons in Boston, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can make himself an intriguing full-time candidate over his year as a fill-in.
- MLB players are not pleased with the anemic and insincere apology from the Astros. And can you blame them?
- Major League Baseball has been trying its best to reshape itself in a way to help it get back to its former glory and popularity on a number of fronts in recent years. Whether it was the exploration of pace of play changes to the ability to steal first base to an automated strike zone, the league has at least been willing to talk about proposals that, until now, have been basically off the table. Now, they are floating an idea to increase the number of playoff teams and letting the higher seeds choose their opponents in the in the first round. A significant portion of the internet seems to hate it, but hey....it is at least something to talk about.
- After the deal was held up for almost a week, Mookie Betts and David Price were finally dealt to the Dodgers, with the Twins altering their end of the bargain. While it was initially reported that Brusdar Graterol would go to Boston, he instead ended up going to Los Angeles. In addition to the pitching prospect, the Dodgers also received outfield prospect Luke Raley and the 67th pick in the 2020 draft. Talk about taking the money and running. Kenta Maeda will still head to the Twins, and the pot is a little sweeter now for the Red Sox, who still receive Alex Verdugo but also add catching prospect Connor Wong and infield phenom Jeter Downs. Yes, a guy named Jeter is now on the Red Sox. Cue the alternate universe theories.
- Some guys are just dealt more bad luck than others. Case in point: James Paxton. While healthy, he has shown the ability to be one of the better pitchers in the league...but he has never really shown the ability to consistently stay on the field. The veteran starter had to undergo surgery to remove a cyst on his spine and will miss the next three or four months.
- The Giants have signed versatile infielder and lefty masher Wilmer Flores to a two-year deal with an option for a third year. Flores is a lifetime .387/.439/.639 hitter in 132 plate appearances against the Giants, so they’ll be glad to have him on their side in 2020 and beyond.
- In case you need a distraction from all the nonsense surrounding this MLB offseason, he’s a fantastically delightful story that feels like it’s right out of a rom com: Madison Bumgarner has been secretly competing in the rodeo circuit. Some truly incredible reporting by The Athletic here.
- The Astros have been dealing with a mess of their own making this offseason. After snagging Dusty Baker to fill in as their skipper in the wake of the sign stealing scandal that rocked the entire league, the organization made the move to bring on former Rays executive James Click to be their new general manager for what is going to be a very important time in the franchise’s history.
- The Rays have acquired Manuel Margot and Logan Driscoll from Padres in exchange for Emilio Pagán. While Tampa Bay reinforces their strong hold in centerfield and adds some depth behind the plate, the Padres will strengthen what it already a solid bullpen. It feels like everyone is just finding what makes them a good team and mercilessly adding onto it in the hopes of never running out of such talent. This begs a very important question: are the Rays okay????
- The Mariners are having to look long-term for their playoff aspirations, but things appear to be going well for them on that front as they have some exciting young talent on the way. To prepare themselves down the road, they locked up their durable young lefty Marco Gonzales with a four-year contract extension.
- The Cubs’ brazen use of MLB’s service time rules in order to gain an extra year of control over Kris Bryant was about as obvious of a case of service time manipulation as a team can do without outright saying that they were holding him down in the minors for that purpose. As a result, a decision on Bryant’s grievance regarding the matter took longer than expected, but he still came out on the losing side.
- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: The Red Sox brought back veteran first baseman Mitch Moreland, signing him to his third short-term deal in four years. This contract, which guarantees Moreland $3 million, is a one-year pact but includes a club option for 2021.
- The Diamondbacks have acquired Starling Marte from the Pirates. In exchange for the two-time Gold Glover, Pittsburgh will be receiving infield prospect Liover Peguero, right-handed pitching prospect Brennan Malone, and international bonus pool space. The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, seem to be beyond determined this winter.