Posted on: September 13, 2011 11:36 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 11:38 pm
CHICAGO -- Craziest story of the week, non-Manny Ramirez Division:
The man who will attempt to stop white-hot Detroit's 11-game winning streak for the White Sox on Wednesday, right-hander Dylan Axelrod, is the nephew of long-time agent Barry Axelrod.
And in making his first major-league start, the Sox rookie will plug into the rotation in place of Jake Peavy, long-time client of ... Barry Axelrod.
As if that's not coincidental enough, there's more.
Dylan Axelrod was the Padres' 30th round pick in the 2007 draft out of UC Irvine. Then-Padres general manager Kevin Towers is a long-time friend of Axelrod (the agent), and at the time, Axelrod (the agent) told Towers he wasn't expecting any personal favors when the team drafted Axelrod (the pitcher).
Towers, as good a bullpen-builder as any executive, assured Barry Axelrod that Dylan was legitimate and this was no favor.
Then things took another weird twist.
The Padres had let Dylan Axelrod go, and in 2009 he was down-and-out and pitching for the Windy City ThunderBolts of the independent Frontier League. When the White Sox sent four young pitchers to the Padres in a deal to acquire, yes, Peavy ... Chicago needed to replenish its farm system. Axelrod was pitching so well for the ThunderBolts that the Sox signed him.
Then, one more strange turn.
Dylan Axelrod pitched opening day for Double-A Birmingham this season.
Who started the next day? Peavy, on an injury-rehabilitation assignment.
"The irony of the whole situation keeps hitting me in the face," Barry Axelrod says. "It's intertwined all the way through. And Jake's been great to him."
Both Barry and his brother Dennis -- Dylan's father -- are in Chicago and will be watching nervously at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Posted on: August 5, 2009 4:54 pm
However things work out on the field with their new pitcher, one thing is clear: The Chicago White Sox-Jake Peavy partnership probably will be long-term.
To clarify Peavy's situation with the Sox: Even though he was traded in the middle of a multi-year contract, Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod, does not believe he has the right to demand that the White Sox trade him after one year in Chicago.
Players with five or more years in the majors and working under a multi-year contract formerly had that right under the old Collective Bargaining Agreement. If a player was dealt in that situation, after one year with his new club, he could demand to be traded.
That right went away when the latest CBA was negotiated on Oct. 23, 2006. Players playing under multi-year contracts at the time were grandfathered in -- that is, they retained the old rights through the expiration of their existing deals.
Though Peavy's old contract running through 2009 was signed before that 2006 date, the three-year, $52 million extension absorbed by the White Sox (running from 2010 through 2013) was agreed to in November, 2007. Thus, because it came under the new CBA, Axelrod said Wednesday he's "95 percent" certain that Peavy is not eligible to demand a trade, anyway.
And regarding the 5 percent chance the legalese in the CBA provides a loophole?
"That would be a longshot," Axelrod said. "That would be walking away from $52 million. That's not probable."
Not in this economy, anyway.
Likes: Yusmeiro Petit? He almost throws a no-hitter? You never know. ... Cooperstown, N.Y. The Hall of Fame inductions two weekends ago were terrific. That is one assignment that never gets old. If you ever have the chance to go to Cooperstown, go. You will not be disappointed. ... How about Texas' Neftali Feliz going two innings in relief against Oakland on Monday night and striking out the side in the sixth? ... Love the new graphics on the MLB Extra Innings television package. Especially when they show four games at once on a channel that isn't currently showing a game. ... Lake Michigan. ... Bob Dylan's new disc Together Through Life. ... Finally caught up with Public Enemies in the theater the other day (hurray, the trade deadline is over!). Enjoyed it quite a bit, but it wasn't great. I went in wanting it to be great, and it was pretty good. ... Sure would like to catch the touring trio Dylan, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp at a minor-league park near me while they're on the road. ... Don Middlebrook's new disc Beach Bar Serenade. Always fun seeing Don on the deck of The Butler restaurant in Saugatuck, Mich. Fun new songs.
Dislikes: Hey Prince Fielder, what were you thinking in Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night? Lot of hitters hate Guillermo Mota, but don't try getting into the other clubhouse to settle it. That's insane. ... Little hope -- again -- in Pittsburgh, Kansas City, San Diego. ... Mark Prior's career fades away, probably for good.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"She's so beautiful now
-- The Cars, Let's Go
Posted on: November 13, 2008 6:53 pm
Pitcher Jake Peavy's slow, torturous path out of San Diego remained on hold Thursday.
"I don't know if this is gamesmanship or what," Barry Axelrod, Peavy's agent, said Thursday afternoon. "At one point the Braves were hot and heavy, then they were not. And then they're hot again."
Not hot enough, however, for the Padres to agree with Atlanta on what sources with knowledge of the talks say is a four-player package that, as of Wednesday night, was likely to send shortstop Yunel Escobar, starting pitcher Charlie Morton, Class A outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and reliever Blaine Boyer to San Diego.
"I assume if and when they get to the point where they've tentatively agreed on something, they will bring us in," Axelrod said. "They have to. I haven't been updated on any progress."
The Braves had been pushing the Padres for an answer before the free agent market opens on Friday (until then, clubs can negotiate only with their own free agents).
Atlanta needs at least two starting pitchers, and the Braves, who appear to have been the most aggressive of anyone in their pursuit of Peavy, would like to go into the free agent market knowing whether they're looking at signing one starter (in the event they complete a Peavy trade) or two (in the event they don't).
"I'm not surprised it's been difficult," Axelrod said. "It's a very difficult trade to make. Notwithstanding the no-trade rights Jake has. the Padres laid out that it was going to have to be a big package.
"The other team has to assume a hefty contract -- it's a bargain this year, and hefty after that -- and give up what Kevin (Towers, Padres' general manager) deems to be enough. And if it's a starting pitcher, infielder, reliever ... that could deplete somebody's system.
"It's a tough deal to make."
Axelrod spoke by telephone with Peavy earlier Thursday when the pitcher changed planes en route home from Puerto Rico and told him there was nothing to update.
"Most of our conversations have been him asking, 'What's new? Is anything new up?' and me saying, 'No, haven't heard anything, have a good trip, see ya when you get back,'" Axelrod said.
So the Padres have neither accepted the Braves' offer nor asked that Peavy waive the no-trade clause, and the cat-and-mouse game continues.
Meantime, when a deal for Peavy is struck, it almost certainly will require more than a simple "yes" or "no" when it comes to waiving the no-trade clause. Even regarding the initial small list of potential clubs to whom Peavy has said he probably would accept a deal, the pitcher and Axelrod have compiled a checklist of sorts that they would require that includes things such as a housing allowance, guaranteeing his $22 million option for 2013 and travel for his wife and children.
Depending on the acquiring club, Peavy may require more or less from that list. It is believed that his preference is to play in Chicago with the Cubs. Wherever he lands, he is expected to demand a full no-trade clause.
"People keep asking me, 'What do you expect?'" Axelrod said. "I tell them I don't know. I've been doing this 30 years and I've never been through one of these before. I don't have any precedent.
"I had Phil Nevin and he was traded twice with no-trade clauses, and that had to be considered. But I've never had one quite like this."