MLB rumours: Trevor Story got shot while finalizing Red Sox deal; Reds sign outfielder Tommy Pham
It’s Thursday, March 24, which means that in this wacky Major League Baseball 2022 schedule, opening day for spring training was exactly a week ago and opening day is exactly two days away. weeks. A few trades are coming, the usual spring injuries are happening, and players are gearing up for the grind.
Let’s go over some news, notes and rumours.
The reds sign Pham
One of the best players remaining in free agency was outfielder Tommy Pham, but the Reds reportedly picked him up on a one-year, $7.5 million deal. Full story here.
History gets shot in finalizing with Red Sox
One story that could linger over games played in Toronto all season would be the vaccination status of visiting players. It seems very unlikely that Canada’s vaccination mandate will be lifted, so any opposing player not vaccinated against COVID-19 would be forced to sit out road games against the Blue Jays. We bring this up because it seems to be part of the equation regarding Trevor Story’s recent signing with the Red Sox.
At one point, sources told ESPN, there were fears the deal could fall apart because Story was reluctant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Tuesday, sources said, those fears were allayed when Story agreed to get the shot, and Wednesday morning he donned a Red Sox jersey for the first time and practiced with the team.
“It’s a very personal matter. Such decisions are kept between me and my family,” Story told ESPN. “But that being said, I will be available for my team-mates over 162. That’s the main thing.”
The Red Sox play 10 games in Toronto this season. On Thursday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams amended a vaccination mandate that will now allow unvaccinated Yankees and Mets players to appear in home games.
Blue Jays and Rockies trade outfielders
The Blue Jays traded right fielder Randal Grichuk to the Rockies in exchange for right fielder Raimel Tapia. Full story here.
Shaw returns to Guardians, again
Veteran reliever Bryan Shaw has re-signed with the Guardians to a one-year, $3 million deal, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Shaw, 34, is entering his 11th major league season and will be his seventh with Cleveland. In 693 career appearances, he has a 3.78 ERA. Last season, he led the majors with 81 appearances, with a 3.49 ERA (126 ERA+), 1.38 WHIP and 71 strikeouts.
Shaw has been a workhorse of a reliever in his career, leading his league four times and posting four seasons with at least 75 relief innings. If we strip out his rookie year and 2020, he’s worked at least 54 2/3 innings every season and gone over 64 in all but two.
Emmanuel Clase is firmly entrenched as the Guardians close in and the main setup men should be right-hander James Karinchak and left-hander Anthony Gose. Expect Shaw to eat a bunch of important relief innings that aren’t closing or setting up.
Herrera injured, clears way for Vierling
Phillies center fielder Odúbel Herrera suffered an oblique injury and may miss four to six weeks, according to manager Joe Girardi (by Alex Coffey). With the regular season just two weeks away, it looks like Herrera will have to open the year on the injured list. That leaves a slate opening for former first overall pick Mickey Moniak, but perhaps the biggest move here would be Matt Vierling’s rise to day one at center, between Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber or Nick Castellanos. .
In 77 plate appearances last season, Vierling hit .324/.364/.479 with three doubles, a triple and two homers. In 80 games between Double-A and Triple-A, he hit .277/.358/.444 with 12 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs and 10 steals. This could be his chance to grab the job.
Rays add another relief
The Rays appear to have signed reliever Luke Bard, by Marc Topkin of Tampa Bay Weatherwho notes that Bard has a locker in the spring club.
Bard, a 31-year-old right-hander, has experience with the Angels in three-season games (eight appearances in 2018, 32 in 2019 and six in 2020). He threw a 5.05 ERA in 66 career innings.
The Rays’ pitching staff at the big league level is probably full to start the season, but they like to build organizational depth through small additions like this.