January 14, 2013
The Week in Quotes
RED SOX EXPLORE FIRST-BASE OPTIONS AS NAPOLI DEAL STALLS
“I think as everyone knows, one of our goals this offseason was to add offense at first base. We haven't been unable to really do that, officially, yet. We're still talking, and when you're talking, there's hope for a resolution. But nothing to report right now.”
—Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, who continues to scour the free-agent market for potential first-base options, as the team’s tentative deal with Mike Napoli appears to have stalled due to concerns over the health of the 31-year-old’s hip. (Ian Browne, MLB.com)
“Until something is done, you have to consider other options, so we've had to do that, and we've continued to consider other ways to improve the team, whether it's at first base or elsewhere. At this point, we just haven't found anything that made sense to us in the sort of big picture. So that's where we are. We obviously had targeted someone at that position earlier in the offseason, and we're still hopeful we can add someone there.”
—Cherington, on staying aggressive despite having a tentative deal in place.
“It's fair to say as you sort of get deeper into the winter, the free agents start to go off the board. You can look at trades and other ways to do things. It remains a focus. We're still hoping we can do something to improve ourselves in that area before we get to Fort Myers.”
LAROCHE: WE ALL MAKE WAY MORE THAN WE SHOULD
“All in all, they held pretty tight. That’s part of what took a while. You got Rizz, myself—both pretty competitive guys going at it. We knew what the team could do. In no way do I consider this a bad deal. To be honest, we all make way more than we should, anyway. Either way, it’s a ton of money.”
—Adam LaRoche, on his new contract with the Washington Nationals. LaRoche will make $22 million over the next two years, and he has a mutual option for a third year at $15 million that includes a buyout with $2 million. (Adam Kilgore, Washington Post)
ON THE MEND FOR 2013
“He's doing fine. All the boots are off. He's allowed to walk around now in shoes and stuff, but he's not doing any running. He's at the complex and they have an underwater treadmill, so he's doing some walking underwater.”
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, providing an update on shortstop Derek Jeter, who had the walking boot removed from the right ankle he fractured during the 2012 postseason. (Bryan Hoch, MLB.com)
“Obviously, you don't want to rush it because it's such a major injury, but I would say around the All-Star break either right before or right after would be pretty realistic. That would put me right at 12 months, which is pretty close to average for people to recover from Tommy John.”
—Diamondbacks starter Daniel Hudson, forecasting his return date after Tommy John surgery in 2012. (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)
“I hate to make excuses. My thing is, point blank, if you don't play well, everything goes bad for you. I didn't play well, didn't play up to expectations. You sign for $140 million and don't play well, that's a recipe for disaster. That's what happened. Hopefully, I'll come to L.A. with a clean slate.”
—Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford, who is recovering from elbow surgery and preparing to start anew for 2013. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)
—Major League Baseball is now installing wireless phones in ballparks to improve communication between the dugout and bullpen. Which team will rack up the most minutes? (Brian McTaggart, @brianmctaggart, MLB.com)
—It’s NFL playoff season, and baseball players have some opinions. (Daniel Hudson, @DHuddy41, Arizona Diamondbacks)
—One evaluator didn’t understand Jack Zduriencik’s thinking behind the deal that would have made Justin Upton a Mariner. (Buster Olney, @Buster_ESPN, ESPN)
—Biggio came closer to Cooperstown than any other player on this year’s ballot, getting the stamp of approval from 68.2 percent of voters. Some studying from voters may help Biggio reach 75 percent next year. (Houston Astros, @astros)
“We have every reason to believe there will be no issue whatsoever.”
—Greg Hamilton, Baseball Canada's director of national teams, on first baseman Joey Votto’s prospects of representing his country in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Votto was left off the provisional roster revealed on Saturday. (Shi Davidi, Sportsnet.ca)
“We're always looking to improve our club, whether offensively or on the mound. We've had a lot of discussions and dialogue and we'll continue to do that. We'll go into spring training still looking to make improvements if we have to. We haven't put the brakes on anything.”
—Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, who reportedly pieced together a trade that would bring Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton to Seattle. Taijuan Walker and Nick Franklin would have gone to Arizona.
“To get this kind of work experience now, it looks good on a resume. I don't want to think about it now, but there is life after baseball at some point.”
—Padres 11th round pick Maxx Tissenbaum, in a feature about minor leaguers finding jobs during baseball’s offseason to compensate for the low-paying salaries. (Corey Brock, MLB.com)
“Guys have always been cheating. Period. ... I'm just glad they didn't have steroids when I was playing. I'm not sure what I would have done."
—Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, in 2009. This quote was recycled by HOF voter Jeff Fletcher, who claims that he’s “not going to try to retroactively clean up a sport that showed no interest in keeping itself clean.” (Jeff Fletcher, Orange County Register)
Jonah Birenbaum is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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Andrew Koo is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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