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.
If you know a minor league baseball player who is either looking for working during the COVID-19 outbreak or are willing to sponsor a player, please reach out to Emily Waldon, who is doing more for MiLB players that the league itself.
Any minor leaguers traveling home to Cincinnati, please DM me as I may have an employment opportunity for you. @TheAthleticCIN @ctrent— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) March 16, 2020
- There had been a lot of speculation as to what MLB was going to do regarding the impending start of its season in the wake of the NBA suspending its season and other sports leagues following suit. Unfortunately, given the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that has seemingly impacted every aspect of daily life, MLB was left little choice but to cease spring training operations and announce that the start of the 2020 season was going to be delayed by at least two weeks.
- COVID-19 has officially hit major league baseball. A minor leaguer for the Yankees has tested positive for coronavirus, resulting in other minor leaguers to be quarantined two weeks, per report. While most details are unclear, this minor leaguer had no contact with the other half of Yankees camp, leaving the 40-man and all major leaguers unscathed.
- The White Sox have, for lack of a better term, not been good over the last several years. The product of that futility has been that they have had lots of international money and high draft picks to help turn their fortunes around. Now, with an exciting young core in the major leagues and more help coming from the minors (looking at you, Luis Robert), it seems like Chicago is a team on the rise. In order to make sure it stays that way, the team has been locking up its core pieces and continued that trend with a contract extension for Yoan Moncada that bought out two free agent years worth an estimated $70 million with a chance for more if a club option is exercised down the road.
- The Red Sox announced last week that have signed free-agent right-hander Collin McHugh to a one-year deal. McHugh had some very good stretches while spending the last six seasons with the Astros, contributing out of the rotation and the bullpen, but he was held back by an elbow issue for most of 2019. That injury required surgery, so he just began throwing again and likely won’t be ready for Opening Day. With David Price gone and Chris Sale’s status uncertain, McHugh should provide a bit of stability to the back of the Red Sox’s rotation whenever he’s healthy.
- McHugh isn’t the only one the Red Sox are cutting the check for in recent days. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reports that Boston has renewed Rafael Devers for $692,500. The young phenom is arbitration eligible starting next offseason. While there hasn’t even been a whiff of extension talks yet with Boston, expect that to be coming soon.
- If we ever actually get to the season, here’s all of the new MLB stadium food in 2020, ranked.
- Christian Yelich appears primed to follow Mike Trout and Nolan Arenado as superstars who have recently passed up chances at free agency to sign long-term extensions with their current teams. The 2018 NL MVP has signed a new nine-year deal worth $215 million guaranteed that will keep him under Brewers control through 2028 with a mutual option for 2029.
- The hits just keep on coming for the Yankees. With key contributors Aaron Hicks, James Paxton, Luis Severino, and Giancarlo Stanton already sidelined for Opening Day — and in the case of everyone except Stanton, far beyond — manager Aaron Boone announced last week that right fielder Aaron Judge will likely begin the season on the injured list. This comes as he undergoes further testing to determine the reason for his nagging pectoral and shoulder soreness.
- Coronavirus distract you long enough to forget that this season is laden with dirty workings and controversy? Well, break is over. The Angels have fired a longtime employee for allegedly tampering with baseballs.
- While the regular season is stalled, some teams are still wheelin’ and dealin’. The Washington Nationals have released pitchers Hunter Strickland and David Hernandez, the team’s PR department announced on Twitter. Strickland was a product of last year’s trade deadline, coming over from Seattle despite having only four starts due to injury. Hernandez was signed this winter on a minor league deal after spending last season with the Reds.
- When you’ve seen a major-leaguer spend well over a decade with one team, you usually expect him to ride into the sunset and finish his career with that club. That won’t be the case for Félix Hernández, who is competing for a rotation spot with the Braves this spring after 15 seasons with the Mariners, and it likewise wasn’t so for these 20 MLB greats who ended their careers in unfamiliar destinations.
- The Yankees find themselves in a bit of a pickle with their starting rotation with injuries to Paxton and Severino plus a suspension handed out to Domingo Germán. The team apparently turned to an unexpected source, as they have talked to the Mets about potentially acquiring Steven Matz. While a deal doesn’t seem overly likely, never say never when the Yankees are looking to contend for a World Series spot and see a way to fill a need.
- Griffin Canning is likely to miss Opening Day, Angels skipper Joe Maddon told reporters last week. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Canning missed his most recent throwing session due to continued issues in his elbow. He’ll undergo testing this week to zero in on the direct cause of these elbow issues. The 23-year old is no stranger to UCL pain, ending his college career at UCLA with similar elbow inflammation. As a rookie, Canning tossed a shaky 4.58 ERA over 90.1 innings, but also produced a promising 96 strikeouts.
- The Yankees were besieged by injuries throughout the 2019 season and the team still managed to put up an impressive season. It looks like they will have to do the same thing again as they are going to be without Giancarlo Stanton for a while due to a calf injury.
- The Braves’ public financial info is a welcome break from taking MLB owners’ claims at face value.
- It is never too early to start looking at how MLB teams stack up against each other in power ranking form. Well, okay....maybe there is such a thing as doing so too early since “for real” baseball games haven’t even started yet, but our own Andersen Pickard did get that conversation started in the first of what should be a series of rankings of the teams throughout the league.
- The Yankees announced some news that severely complicates their bid to get back to the World Series in 2020: Starter Luis Severino will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire season. While he’s still young, this development is just as bad for the 26-year-old Severino as it is for the team, as he’ll return next season having pitched in just three games over the previous two years.
- After eight major-league seasons, 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 2,360 career plate appearances. A chronic calf issue significantly held Chisenhall back in recent years, and he played in just 29 games over his final two big-league seasons.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hunter Pence wants to be a ‘Magic: The Gathering’ champion. Let’s build him a deck. I mean, if Madison Bumgarner can be a rodeo champion and David Price can be a Fortnite master, what makes Pence any different? Minus the fact that he’s universally and unequivocally loved, that is.
- 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 under an alias. Some truly incredible reporting by The Athletic here.
- 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.