12

Former MLB pitcher John Wetteland arrested on child sexual abuse charge

John Wetteland, a former All-Star and World Series MVP, has been charged in Texas with continuous sex abuse of a child under age 14.

Wetteland, 52, was arrested Monday and freed on $25,000 bond, according to Denton County jail records. Wetteland lives in the Dallas-area suburb of Trophy Club.

Bartonville Police Chief Bobby Dowell said the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services contacted his office last week. After an investigation, an arrest warrant was issued for Wetteland, who was taken into custody by Denton County sheriff’s deputies.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Dowell said that because of the nature of the offense and the stage of the investigation, he had no further details to release. DFPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales said details of the agency’s cases are confidential.12

According to a consolidated complaint and probable cause affidavit, Wetteland is accused of having a child perform a sex act on him, beginning in 2004 when the child was 4, and that it happened twice more during a two-year period.

The Associated Press was not able to contact Wetteland or his attorney for comment.

Wetteland was the Most Valuable Player of the 1996 World Series when he was with the New York Yankees. He’s also been inducted into the Texas Rangers’ Hall of Fame.

Wetteland, a three-time All-Star, had 330 saves over a 12-season career that also included stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Montreal Expos. He also had a 48-45 career record with a 2.93 ERA.

In 2009, while Wetteland was on the Seattle Mariners’ coaching staff, authorities responded to a 911 call from his home in Texas. Media outlets reported that Denton County authorities described the call as a mental health issue, saying Wetteland was contemplating suicide.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Wetteland said in a statement at the time that “the circumstances leading to my elevated blood pressure and heart rate have been addressed.”

The Rangers, with whom Wetteland has no current role, issued a statement Tuesday saying they “have been made aware of this situation and have no further comment.”

10

Patrick Mahomes inherited clutch gene from his major league dad

To understand how Patrick Mahomes, 23, could remain so composed on his rocket-ship rise to stardom is to know his family’s history when it comes to big games and the poise required to win them.

Nearly two decades before Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs started preparing to face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, Mahomes’ father, Pat, was as nervous as a pitcher could be while waiting for that phone to ring in the New York Mets’ bullpen. But once it did ring, and once the caller requested his services, everything changed.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

The Mets had lost eight of nine games at the end of September 1999, a collapse that appeared certain to cost them their first postseason appearance in 11 years. Their manager, Bobby Valentine, assured his players they would still make the playoffs if they could just rediscover the belief they had in each other. The Mets would need to sweep Pittsburgh in the season’s final series for a shot at advancing, and Valentine trusted few Mets more than he trusted Mahomes, a fearless 29-year-old righthander who was about to make the biggest pitches of what would be an 11-year career.10

“For the first time in my life I had a manager who totally believed in me,” recalled Mahomes, who had already pitched for the Twins and Red Sox, and for the Yokohama BayStars in Japan. “Bobby was the first manager who let me be me on my mound.”

Valentine also let his reliever bring his 4-year-old son to work. Mahomes had one of the Mets’ clubhouse guys put together a uniform for young Patrick, who was allowed on the field during batting practice.

“An adorable kid,” Valentine said. “I recall Patrick running around in my clubhouse, jumping up and giving guys high-fives after games. During batting practice Pat would take him into the outfield behind second base.”

Some coaches warned Mahomes that he needed to guard his son as line drives were whistling all over Shea Stadium, but the pitcher thought Patrick already knew how to handle himself on a ballfield. Pat and Patrick used to play a game called 500 that earned a participant 25 points for fielding a ground ball, 50 for fielding a one-hopper, and 100 for catching a fly ball. Patrick figured he needed to run down some 100-pointers during BP if he wanted to finally defeat his dad. He was 5 years old in the 2000 season when he caught his first big-league fly, off the bat of Robin Ventura. “I can still remember him holding up the ball, all excited,” his father said.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

But back in the fall of 1999, times were tense at Shea. On the night of Oct. 1, the Mets and Pirates had tumbled into extra innings when Valentine asked Mahomes to face the middle of the Pittsburgh order.

12

Angels have no choice but to rebuild on the fly — and it might work

It was a form of what is called “rebuilding on the fly,” though the Yankees, true to their nature, executed it on a grander scale.

Eppler — a key assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman for the first three of those years — is on the cusp of a similar, albeit more subtle, transition with the Angels, bucking the trend of an industry that is increasingly operating on both ends of the spectrum.

The Angels aren’t “all in,” because they won’t surpass the luxury-tax threshold and won’t trade quality prospects for short-term fixes. But they aren’t “rebuilding,” because they’re still doing whatever they can — within whatever they consider reasonable — to win in 2019. It’s a product of employing Mike Trout, the greatest player of his generation, for at least two more seasons; of being saddled with what remains ($87 million) on Albert Pujols’ contract; and of being run by an owner, Arte Moreno, who has no interest in pushing the proverbial reset button.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Eppler defined the approach this way: “What you’re trying to do is give yourself an opportunity to continue to win every year, and if everything kind of falls right from a projection standpoint, you might push yourself even into the postseason. You might be there. It’s within your band of outcomes. That’s how I determine ‘rebuild on the fly.’ But you’re going to make some short-term decisions. And you’re most likely not going to trade things that have multiple, multiple years of control. Maybe one more year of control, things like that. But you always have to kind of keep yourself in a competitive window to still have, within your band of outcomes, an 86-or-better-win team.”12

Since their run of five division titles from 2004 to 2009, the Angels have won as many as 98 games (2014) and as few as 74 (2016). But the other seven seasons finished somewhere between 78 and 89 wins — good enough to have a chance, bad enough to fade.

The Angels operated aggressively from 2012 to 2014, a stretch that saw them acquire Pujols, Josh Hamilton, C.J. Wilson, Zack Greinke and Huston Street. Since then, they have lived in that awkward middle space widely considered baseball purgatory, going cheap on free agents and staying conservative in the trade market.

In some weird way, it might actually be working. The Angels’ farm system ranked 30th — dead last — as recently as 2017 and jumped all the way to 10th in August 2018, according to Baseball America’s organizational talent rankings. Jo Adell, Jahmai Jones, Brandon Marsh, Griffin Canning and Matt Thaiss — all drafted between 2015 and 2017 — performed well as they matriculated through the system. So did Luis Rengifo, acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays for C.J. Cron in February. With three international signing periods, Eppler also restocked the lower levels.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

“I can see the growth,” Eppler said. “I know people outside can see the growth. I’ve had opposing general managers tell me, ‘Wow, you guys have grown a lot.’ So that makes me feel kind of good. Is it all ready to pop into the big leagues next year? No, not all of it. Is some of it? Probably. Probably some. We have to just keep making decisions that don’t jeopardize our health or put us in a financially unhealthy situation.”

11

How to spice up the winter meetings after a dull week in Vegas

The only significant free-agent signings during the three days in Vegas were the Philadelphia Phillies with Andrew McCutchen, the Tampa Bay Rays with Charlie Morton and the Texas Rangers with Lance Lynn — and none of those deals is official until the players pass their physicals. The two biggest trades were Tanner Roark going from the Washington Nationals to the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates trading Ivan Nova to the Chicago White Sox.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

None of this is necessarily a problem except in the context that the meetings are billed as a newsmaking event. Important stuff is going to happen. That’s why everyone is here. It’s supposed to be baseball’s time to lead the sports news cycle.

The winter meetings used to be a place of action instead of a place of text messages, like the epic 1992 meetings in Louisville when there were more than 30 free agents signed, including Barry Bonds and Greg Maddux. At the 2000 meetings, Manny Ramirez signed an eight-year, $160 million deal with the Red Sox, only to see that topped by Alex Rodriguez’s audacious 10-year, $252 million deal with the Rangers. One of the biggest challenge trades in MLB history occurred during the 1990 meetings, when the Blue Jays traded Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez to the Padres for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter in a monumental exchange of four All-Stars that would help the Blue Jays win two World Series. In 1984, the Oakland A’s traded Rickey Henderson to the Yankees, and the Expos traded Gary Carter to the Mets. Even as recently as 2011, the Angels signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson after the Marlins had a temporary moment of insanity and signed Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell.11

Now the name of the game is caution. There are numbers to crunch and options to explore.

“They used to be old school back in the day,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told MLB Network, recalling his days as a baseball operations assistant in the late ’80s. “We’d all be down at the local bar doing stuff on napkins, and I remember, late night, waking up in the morning, [Lou] Piniella might be on the couch and Kevin Towers, one of my best friends in the game who’s no longer with us. Just GMs, managers and scouts all staying out all night trying to figure stuff out. Now you’re sequestered in a suite and you hardly see anybody, nfl nike jerseys cheap china maybe a text until they drag us out here to the media circuit.”

Technology has changed the offseason, of course. Texting is a 24/7 operation, and face-to-face meetings are unnecessary. Mostly, however, front offices don’t feel any urgency to make deals. Nobody wants to make that mistake that haunts a franchise. Here’s an example of what I mean. There were 40 players in 2018 who made at least $20 million. The worst 20 players on the list combined for just 5.4 WAR and over $470 million in salary. That’s a lot of money flushed down the toilet.

12

Paul Goldschmidt focused on Cardinals, not 2020 free agency

Now that he is with the St. Louis Cardinals, Paul Goldschmidt is not thinking beyond the 2019 season.

The six-time All-Star was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks this week and will earn $14.5 million in the final season of a seven-year deal that will pay $46 million, including a $1 million assignment bonus for the trade. If he doesn’t sign a new contract, he would be among the top free agents next offseason.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“Try not to have any distractions, so anything like that won’t be on my mind,” Goldschmidt said at his introductory news conference Friday. “I think the biggest thing is I’m excited to be here, excited to be part of this team and organization and just focused on getting ready for spring training and opening day and the season and trying to help us win.”

St. Louis has a history of acquiring sluggers such as Mark McGwire and Matt Holliday and signing them to long-term contracts.

“It’s always hard to pencil out these types of deals when you only have one year of control,” president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. “… I’ve always sort of been one of those types of people who thinks about the bigger picture. This was a different type of deal for us. It was clearly about trying to position the 2019 team to be more competitive.”12

St. Louis sent pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, minor league infielder Andy Young and a 2019 draft pick to Arizona on Wednesday for Goldschmidt.

“The Cardinals have had some impressive first basemen over the years,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said, citing Johnny Mize, Stan Musial, Bill White, Orlando Cepeda, McGwire, Keith Hernandez, Albert Pujols and Matt Carpenter.

“Paul is a perfect fit for our club,” DeWitt added. “Last year, we won 88 games. Had a wonderful second half — struggled in the first half and were so close to the playoffs. We felt like an additional impact player could put us over the top.”

St. Louis has missed the playoffs in three straight years for the first time since 1997-99.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“We couldn’t find anything negative on him. Nothing,” Mozeliak said of Goldschmidt. “He loves baseball. Loves to play the game, plays it right. And when you think about the St. Louis Cardinals, he just sounds like the perfect fit.”

11

Nationals owner: Maxed out offer for Bryce Harper, ‘don’t expect him to come back’

Nationals owner Mark Lerner says he doesn’t expect Bryce Harper to return to Washington after telling the superstar outfielder that the team maxed out its offer at the end of the regular season.

Multiple reports said Harper, the 2015 National League MVP, rejected a 10-year contract worth approximately $300 million in September.

Lerner didn’t discuss the exact offer that was given to Harper, but he said the Nationals couldn’t comfortably offer more and field a competitive team around the six-time All-Star.

“When we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, ‘This is the best we can do.’ We went right to the finish line very quickly,” Lerner told 106.7 The Fan. “And we said, ‘If this is of interest to you, please come back to us, and we’ll see whether we can finish it up.’ But we just couldn’t afford to put more than that in and still be able to put a team together that had a chance to win the NL East or go farther than that.”

Even if Harper, 26, were willing to accept the previous Nationals offer, Lerner said he wasn’t sure the team could now make it work.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The Nationals officially signed left-hander Patrick Corbin on Friday to a heavily back-loaded six-year deal worth $140 million. At a news conference introducing Corbin on Friday, general manager Mike Rizzo said the deal wasn’t relevant to what might happen with Harper.11

“I think they’re independent of each other. I really do,” Rizzo said. “We’ve gone about this business of creating a roster for 2019, and at the end of the day, we’ll figure out whether that includes Harp or not.

“We thought it was good business — we had to fix the things we needed to fix. Harp is a big part of our family and we’d love to have him back.”

No timeline has been given for when Harper is expected to sign with a team. Harper is expected to receive the largest contract in free agency this year, and Boras is known for extending talks with his free agents past the holiday break.

Without Harper, the Nationals would have Adam Eaton, Juan Soto, Michael Taylor and Victor Robles in their outfield.

“We feel very strongly we’re in good shape,” Lerner said. “It’ll be a young, pretty incredible outfield defensively, and certainly with the bat, it’s going to be special.“cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

And now the Nationals have Corbin joining a star-studded rotation with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.

Corbin gets a $2.5 million signing bonus payable next Oct. 31 and salaries of $12.5 million next season, $19 million in 2020, $24 million in 2021, $23 million in 2022, $24 million in 2023 and $35 million in 2024 — when he turns 35. The final year’s salary includes $10 million that will be deferred without interest and payable on Jan. 15, 2026.

12

What Jean Segura trade says about Phillies’ pursuit of Manny Machado

The Mariners-Phillies trade is finally official: The Mariners will send shortstop Jean Segura and relievers Juan Nicasio and James Pazos to the Phillies for first baseman Carlos Santana and shortstop J.P. Crawford.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

As with so many trades, the money and contracts must be considered. Segura is signed for four more seasons at $59.4 million (there is a $17 million team option for 2023 with a $1 million buyout). Santana has two years remaining at $41.1 million, plus a $500,000 buyout or $17.5 million team option for 2021. Nicasio will make $9.25 million in 2019 while Pazos and Crawford and not arbitration-eligible.12

While finding a taker for Santana’s contract was a nice bonus to this deal, the fact that the Phillies took on more overall money in the deal is an indication — at least to me — that they were hesitant to hand shortstop to Crawford in 2019.

A former first-round pick, Crawford’s minor league career had some ups and downs, but after a solid season at Triple-A in 2017 (he hit .243/.351/.405 with 79 walks and 15 home runs in 556 plate appearances) and a 23-game cameo with the Phillies, he entered 2018 as Keith Law’s No. 10 overall prospect.

Crawford began the season as the Phillies’ starting shortstop and was hitting .188 on April 28, when he landed on the DL with a forearm strain. He returned in June, started eight of 11 games at third base, and then suffered a broken hand when hit by a pitch. He returned in September and ended up hitting .214/.319/.393 in 138 PAs with the Phillies (and .208/.339/.317 in 29 games in the minors). It was mostly a lost season given the injuries, so it’s hard to evaluate his progress. It’s worth pointing out that the Phillies know him best of all and decided to trade him.

The basic scouting report: good glove, bats lefty, won’t hit for much for average or power, good plate discipline.

There doesn’t appear to be a lot of upside on offense, although if he draws enough walks at least he won’t kill the offense with a poor OBP. If he’s a .350 OBP guy with 10 home runs and good defense, that’s a valuable player. If he’s a .300 OBP guy with limited power, there’s pressure on the defense to be elite, and that seems to be the overriding issue in evaluating him: Is he an elite defender?nike nfl jerseys cheap china

His defense has always been scouted as a strength, with range, good hands and a strong arm. The metrics, however, were not kind to him in 2018, with minus-6 DRS in just 229 innings. Some of that was courtesy of a high error rate — he made eight errors, all on throws, for a poor .931 fielding percentage. Two of those came trying to complete double plays, one trying to double a runner off first and the other five came on grounders. The curious thing is when Crawford returned in June, Scott Kingery — who had played two games at shortstop in his minor league career — continued to get the majority of the starts at shortstop while Crawford played third base. Seems like a strange decision to move the player who is supposed to be the potentially elite defender.

11

Pirates avoid arbitration, reach deal with reliever Michael Feliz

The Pirates avoided arbitration with reliever Michael Feliz, reaching an agreement on Friday on an $850,000, one-year contract.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Feliz went 1-2 with a 5.33 ERA in 47 appearances for the Pirates in 2018 after being part of the trade that sent pitcher Gerrit Cole to Houston.

Pittsburgh offered contracts to left fielder Corey Dickerson and reliever Keone Kela.11

Dickerson is likely due a significant raise over the $5.95 million he made this year. Dickerson hit .300 with 13 home runs and 55 RBI and earned the first Gold Glove of his career after being obtained from Tampa Bay on the eve of the regular season.

Pittsburgh acquired Kela at the trade deadline in July. He went 3-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 54 appearances for Texas and Pittsburgh, earning $1.2 million. The Pirates ended his season early September as a precaution due to his workload. Kela’s 52 innings were his most since 60 1/3 as a rookie in 2015.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

i

Mariners discussed Robinson Cano trade with Yankees, Mets

The Seattle Mariners are actively trying to trade Robinson Cano and reached out to the Yankees and Mets about possible blockbusters that would have sent the star second baseman back to New York, according to a recent report by The Athletic.

Citing multiple sources, The Athletic reported that the Mariners and Yankees briefly talked about a potential trade involving Cano and veteran outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury in a swap of lucrative contracts.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

But those talks fizzled, in part, according to the report, because the Yankees wanted the Mariners to include cash that would offset some of the $120 million that Cano will make over the final five years of his contract.i

The Mets would be interested in acquiring Cano only if Seattle included a prospect and cash in the trade, according to the report.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The Mariners have already completed one trade with the Yankees this offseason, sending ace left-hander James Paxton to New York earlier this month for a trio of minor leaguers, including top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield.

Cano, 36, batted .303 with 10 home runs last season but was suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s joint drug policy.

The eight-time All-Star spent his first nine years with the Yankees before signing a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners before the 2014 season.

11

Mets coach Jim Riggleman downplays idea he’s manager in waiting

New York started 11-1 last season in Callaway’s first season as a manager, then struggled with injuries and faded to 44-63 by early August before finishing fourth in the NL East at 77-85.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any issue with any perception because I think we’re going to get that out of the way real quick by the way we work in spring training and the way we get out of the blocks in April as to what our ballclub is going to be able to do,” Riggleman said.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Riggleman’s agent, Burton Rocks, was contacted about the job by Mets senior adviser Omar Minaya even before new Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was hired last month. The 66-year-old Riggleman interviewed about two weeks ago with Van Wagenen, Callaway, assistant general manager John Ricco and Minaya.11

Riggleman was Cincinnati’s bench coach and became interim manager for the final five-plus months last season. He led the Reds to a 64-80 record after the team’s 3-15 start under Bryan Price. David Bell was hired by the Reds on Oct. 21.

In a 2-1, 10-inning loss at Riggleman’s Reds on May 9, New York’s Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores batted out of order because the handwritten lineup card given to umpires was different from a computer-printed version posted in the Mets’ dugout.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“It’s one that got by, but, believe me, it’s gotten by everybody who’s ever done this job,” Riggleman said. “Now, sometimes it happened in the minor leagues and it’s such an eye-opening experience for you that you just say, wow, as many times as we looked at that lineup, that one got by us.”

Riggleman also managed the Chicago Cubs (1995-99), Seattle (2008) and Washington (2009-11). He has a 726-904 (.445) record as a big league manager. He compared his new job under Callaway to his work with Jim Tracy with the Los Angeles Dodgers and with Price.