Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News has an update on the Yankees’ odds of re-signing Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui:
Multiple sources have indicated that the Yankees would like to bring Johnny Damon back on a two-year deal, but Hideki Matsui’s time in pinstripes is likely over as they would prefer to keep the DH slot open for Damon, Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada.
Should Damon bolt for a new team, however, Matsui could be brought back on a short-term deal to remain the Bombers’ DH, since Cashman has made it clear he no longer considers the World Series MVP to be an outfielder, even on a part-time basis.
Last week Scott Boras suggested that Damon is looking for a four-year deal, but like many things said by the hyperbole-fueled agent that has zero chance of happening. Damon hasn’t lost anything offensively and has played at least 140 games in 14 straight seasons, but he turned 36 years old earlier this month and has seen his range in the outfield diminish significantly to go along with his always horrendous throwing arm.
With that said, Feinsand speculates that the Yankees are unlikely to jump heavily into the mix for Matt Holliday or Jason Bay, and Damon is one of the best options among the second-tier outfielders in a weak crop of free agents. If not him and not Matsui, then the Yankees would be left to choose from other aging veterans like Vladimir Guerrero and Jermaine Dye. A two-year deal seems like a worthwhile fit for both sides.
Athletics pitcher Chris Bassitt will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on Friday, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports. He was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament over the weekend, so this news doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
Bassitt, 27, is certainly out for the remainder of the 2016 season and will likely miss a sizable portion of the 2017 season as well. The right-hander made five starts for the A’s to begin the season, but put up an ugly 6.11 ERA with a 23/14 K/BB ratio in 28 innings.
Jesse Hahn took Bassitt’s spot in the Athletics’ starting rotation. Hahn is expected to start next on Saturday versus the Orioles.
Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer press is reporting that the Twins have placed pitchers Tommy Milone and Casey Fien on waivers. Berardino adds that Fien would be able to reject a demotion to the minors if he passes through waivers, but Milone could not. Milone and Fien are only a part of what’s been ailing the 8-20 Twins.
Milone, 29, was solid out of the rotation for the Twins last season, but the same can’t be said of his start to the 2016 season. The lefty has a 5.79 ERA with a 19/7 K/BB ratio over four starts and one relief appearance. He was taken out of the Twins’ rotation following his final start in April.
Fien, 32, was also dependable for the Twins in previous years, but has had a rocky 2016 thus far. The right-hander has yielded 12 runs on 21 hits and three walks with 12 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.
Milone will be eligible for his third and final year of arbitration after the season after earning $4.5 million this season. Fien has two more years of arbitration eligibility left — his third and fourth — and is earning $2.275 million this year.
Free agent starter Kyle Lohse is throwing for interested teams at the University of California, Irvine, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports.
Lohse, 37, remains unsigned into baseball’s second month on the heels of last season’s 5.85 ERA and 108/43 K/BB ratio over 152 1/3 innings. Although Lohse was quite good in the four seasons prior, teams are understandably reluctant to bank on pitchers in their late-30’s.
The Orioles, Tigers, and Reds have had reported interest in Lohse in recent months.
Anthony Salamone of the Morning Call reports that Majestic Athletic employees plan to protest at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA on Friday night. The employees are protesting Majestic’s owner VF Corporation’s attempt to undercut wages and medical benefits. VF Corporation acquired Majestic in February 2007.
Coca-Cola Park is home to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate. Majestic has manufacturing facilities in Easton, PA, which is less than a half-hour from Coca-Cola Park. The IronPigs, as well as all 30 Major League Baseball teams, wear uniforms manufactured by Majestic.
Corporations affiliated with Major League Baseball taking advantage of employees isn’t anything new. Last year, when protests over police violence disrupted the Orioles’ schedule, some employees with the Orioles and Aramark almost lost out on multiple days of pay.