Storylines: The process to replace Selig has begun
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Thursday, May 15th.
- At the quarterly Owners Meetings yesterday, Bud Selig announced the formation of a committee to help determine his eventual successor as commissioner of Major League Baseball, Paul Hagen of MLB.com reported. The succession committee, according to Hagen, will be overseen by Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. and consist of six other owners: Dick Monfort (Rockies), Dave Montgomery (Phillies), Arte Moreno (Angels), Bob Nutting (Pirates), Jim Pohlad (Twins) and Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox). While no official timeline is known, the committee will eventually present candidate(s) to all 30 Major League owners. Candidates will require an 80 percent vote (24 of 30) to pass and be named commissioner. Selig said that the committee will consider people from both inside the game and outside the game, but there won’t be much information made available to the public. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post also touched on the formation of the committee, noting that Selig’s preference seems to be for current MLB COO Rob Manfred to fill his shoes.
- The Indians are optimistic that Michael Brantley will not be sidelined long with the minor back injury that forced him to leave Wednesday's win over the Blue Jays in the fifth inning. Terry Francona held Brantley out of the starting lineup for Thursday's game in Toronto, but said that decision was merely precautionary. Jordan Bastian of MLB.com noted that the Indians are wrapping up a six-game stretch on artificial turf (Tropicana Field and Rogers Centre), which may have played a role in the mid-back tightness that flared for Brantley. Francona indicated that Brantley will likely be cleared to return to the lineup against the A's on Friday in Cleveland.
- Given that outfielders Brantley (day-to-day with back tightness) and Morgan (on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee sprain) are dealing with injuries, first baseman Nick Swisher let Francona know that he is willing to move to right field to help, if necessary. Swisher played right at times last year for Cleveland.
News and Notes:
- Free agent right-hander Heath Bell is drawing serious interest from four teams, including the Mariners and Orioles, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. The former Padres closer is weighing offers from those clubs as he decides which is the best fit, and he could choose a new team within the next few days. Cotillo wrote that Bell is likely to sign a minor league deal and begin at Triple-A with his eventual team rather than jump right into a big league bullpen.
- Rangers lefty Martin Perez has decided to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, the pitcher himself told Marcos Grunfeld of Venezuelan newspaper La Vinotinto. However, Perez’s agent, Felix Olivo, told Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish that the decision to undergo Tommy John is not yet final. Olivo said that he and Perez will meet with Rangers GM Jon Daniels before making their ultimate decision, but the likelihood of Tommy John is very high.
- Kyle Farnsworth officially elected free agency, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.
- The Dodgers have been in discussions with shortstop Hanley Ramirez about a new deal for the last several weeks, but a significant gap remains, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. reported. Ramirez is reportedly asking for over $130 million to give up a chance at testing the open market.
- The Athletics officially agreed to acquire outfielder/first baseman Kyle Blanks from the Padres. Minor league outfielder Jake Goebbert will head to San Diego in the deal, along with a player to be named later or cash considerations.
- The Athletics have designated first baseman Daric Barton for assignment, Jane Lee of MLB.com reported. He will be replaced on the club’s active roster by the just-acquired Kyle Blanks, who is expected to take over Barton’s first base platoon role.