veterans who sign minor league deals face challenges on and off the field

  • Baseball One byproduct of baseball’s changing free-agent market is that older players — guys past the ripe age of 30 — have a harder time finding work. Some get squeezed out of the game altogether, and the ones who stick around are increasingly doing so with minor league contracts. For players with a lot of experience and a good track record, that can be tough on a few different levels. It’s humbling, they can lose a sense of place, and it means returning to the minor leagues after years in the majors. MORE: Watch 'ChangeUp,' a new live whiparound show on DAZNAfter playing for the Rockies from 2009 to last season, Carlos Gonzalez, 33, opted for free agency last October, and then found a free-agent market that was essentially closed off to guys like him. He’s a three-time All Star, three-time Gold Glove winner, a batting champion in 2010, and a key piece of three Rockies’ postseason teams — and he could not find work.  It took until March 19 — just days before spring training ended — for him to get a minor league contract with the Indians. Gonzalez spent the final days of spring in minor league camp preparing to hit the road to st夜网论坛art the season with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers. Outside of brief rehab appearances, he had not played at that level in a decade.“I didn’t expect the play in the minor leagues,” Gonzalez told Sporting News. “The last time I was in the minor leagues was 2009. You kind of put that in t[......]

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    How Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd has made 2019 his breakout year

  • Baseball null It’s normally about a 2 1/2-hour drive from Syracuse to Buffalo, going straight west on I-90, but somewhere along that route a truck had flipped, so Matthew Boyd, his wife and Daniel Norris had two extra hours to sit and think about the fact that they had been traded from the Blue Jays to the Tigers.It was July 30, 2015, and the two pitchers had learned about 20 minutes apart, Norris getting the call first, that they were changing organizations. Boyd was scheduled to start against Syracuse that night on getaway day, but they squeezed into Boyd’s 2008 F-150 and headed west instead. MORE: Watch 'ChangeUp,' a new live whiparound show on DAZNWith Norris tucked into the small back seat and his wife at his side, Boyd inched along the highway while the three of them talked about what had happened. “Just soaking it in, ‘Wow, we’re going to a different team’,” Boyd told Sporting News,夜网论坛 recalling the drive almost four years later.They were all three a little surprised that the Tigers, who were sending David Price to Toronto in the deal, would want two left-handed pitchers who were so similar in return. Initially, Boyd said, Norris was supposed to go straight to the majors while he was going to Triple-A Toledo first, but all three of them felt like the change was promising.“We just talked about the new opportunity and w[......]

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