Does Crawford want out of Tampa?

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Thumbnail image for crawford.jpgAccording to a report from Mike Silva’s New York Baseball Digest, Carl Crawford is “livid” over management’s decision to pick up his $10 million option for next season and now wants out of Tampa.



Says a source with the knowledge of the situation:


“He wants out of Tampa bad. He had a handshake
agreement with management that they would renegotiate the contract
instead of picking up the option and they went ahead and did it anyway.
He’s pissed beyond belief.”



Crawford, 28, signed a four-year,
$15.25 million extension with the Rays in 2005, with club options for two additional years. He is expected to be among the most coveted free agents
next winter.




While not impossible, it would be irresponsible to give this rumor too much validity. Silva deserves credit for getting the Wally Backman-Brooklyn Cyclones story right,
but he also found an MLB executive who said
the following about “Moneyball” and
advanced metrics
:


Among other sewage that has oozed to the surface is the erroneous
belief that statistics are the end-all in baseball today, a myth
perpetrated by the garbage called “MoneyBall.” Moneyball geniuses have
flopped like DePodesta, Ricciardi, and even the infamous Billy Beane
whose exploits have all lacked a World Series trophy. It is all a tool
to be used by the uninitiated. I’ll take a good scout and player
development people anytime; the statistics are very secondary. How do
you account a .220 hitter for being the hero of the World Series or a
guy who hits three home runs a year wins the pennant clincher with a
home run? Pitchers often get the best of hitters in the playoffs. There
are a million examples of things going against the logic of statistical
analysis.


Let’s just say his “sources” might not know what they’re talking about.


Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.

Tigers to give Omar Infante some work in center field this spring

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Omar Infante #4 of the Detroit Tigers follows through on an RBI single scoring Prince Fielder #28 during the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field  on September 11, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
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Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.

Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.

The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”