Let’s follow some of the biggest moves in the sport, happening off the field as much as on the field.
As of Sunday, the report from FOX Sports was that the Washington Nationals’ benching of Anthony Rendon was a one-time thing. But I have asked the Nationals multiple times if he has been removed from the lineup because of a broken hand. I think we’ll find out Monday.
● Andrew Cashner agreed to a three-year, $22 million deal with the Padres. The contract is not yet official; it still must be finalized by MLB.
● Curt Schilling, apparently totally and 100 percent not sorry about what he said about Manny Machado last summer, signed a minor league deal with the Phillies.
● The Arizona Diamondbacks said they’ve offered Aramis Ramirez a minor league deal as an insurance policy in case David Peralta misses extended time or is injured. Peralta has played only 28 games this season, and has a fractured wrist, but if the D-backs have Ramirez in Triple-A and his name isn’t called up by Sept. 1, they might feel more secure with catcher Jeff Mathis than Ramirez.
● The A’s, given a left-hander to complement the projected haul from the Sonny Gray deal, brought in lefty Josh Osich to join Luke Gregerson, Santiago Casilla and Daniel Coulombe. In other words, the A’s have assembled a formidable back end of their bullpen. They also welcomed Kelly Johnson back to their clubhouse after his trade to the Rays. The A’s acquired Johnson from the Rays in May, and the team noticed that Johnson gets a lot of ground balls, so they allowed him to finish the year in Oakland. Now they’re going to let him be a utility player.
● Drew Smyly has expressed frustration that the Tigers are not offering him an arbitration deal. The process usually takes two weeks and costs teams more than the player’s salaries would have earned on the open market. But Smyly suggested that not giving him the time is not a good look in relation to other veterans the Tigers could be considering.
● According to a report from the Arizona Republic, Willie Bloomquist could go to Triple-A Salt Lake after his contract expired at the end of the season. The AL West championship Angels are interested in him, but they need him to be their backup at shortstop.
● John Axford just may be starting to get over the thought of getting traded to the Blue Jays. After the Blue Jays were eliminated from the playoffs by the Yankees, Axford was unavailable to pitch one inning in the team’s final game of the season. That prompted speculation that he was available for their post-season roster, but that turned out to be overstated.
● With the Mariners scheduled to open the postseason at Yankee Stadium, a move to Seattle was one of the many possible scenarios the Blue Jays had considered in their quest to improve this winter. But the Mariners instead signed Lorenzo Cain.
● The Dodgers could be without Skip Schumaker, though he has a minor injury that could require surgery. According to a report from MLB.com, Matt Kemp has agreed to a two-year deal, but he also has a hip injury.