The Yankees' protest: more trouble than it's worth

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The Marlins screwed up a double switch yesterday, and Joe Girardi protested:

New York manager Joe Girardi protested the game because of a mixup
with the Marlins lineup in the eighth inning, when a Florida player was
removed in a double switch but took his position on the field anyway .
. .

. . . In an odd mixup, Chris Coghlan started the top of the eighth
in left field after Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez had removed him in a
double switch. Alejandro De Aza batted for pitcher Renyel Pinto in the
seventh and was supposed to take over in left, but never ran on the
field.

Leo Nunez threw a pitch, then Girardi came out to protest. After
about a 5-minute delay, Coghlan was removed, Jeremy Hermida went to
left field and the Yankees played the rest of the game under protest.
They were trailing 6-3 at the time.

I guess you sort of have to protest that, but even if Girardi is
successful, and the game result nullified, I’m not sure New York comes
out ahead. That’s because the game would be resumed at some later date
with the Marlins ahead by three in the eighth inning. The chances of
the Yankees coming back from that aren’t all that great, really, and
when you add in the facts that the game would have to take place on an
off day during the height of the summer or the height of the pennant
race, would require superfluous travel, and would tax the bullpen, one
wonders if it’s really worth it. At the very least, if you’re the
Yankees you’d hope that the protest is successful, and the resumption
of the game is scheduled for the day after the end of the season. If
New York is out of the playoffs by one game, great, resume the Marlins
game. If not, let it slide.

Mike Napoli and Rays have “mutual interest” in a deal

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.

Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.

Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.