Report: Nothing happening on Granderson-to-Yankees front

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Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that the Yankees’ talks with the Tigers regarding Curtis Granderson didn’t go very far, apparently because Detroit wanted both Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson in return for their center fielder.
Jackson would be an obvious choice to go in a Granderson deal, since the Yankees would be getting back an outfielder to plug into center field for at least a few years. Jackson could then become the Tigers’ center fielder of the future. He’s probably not ready just yet, but he might be by midseason.
Hughes, though, is too much to give up along with Jackson. There’s still plenty to like about Granderson, but it may be that he peaked in 2007. His OPS has slipped from 913 to 858 to 780 since, and his defense, which was one Gold Glove quality, now rates pretty average, according to UZR.
Granderson is a big asset against right-handers, and since he’s entering his age-29 season, there’s little reason to think that will change anytime soon. However, he’s not an annual All-Star. If the Yankees have to give up Jackson for him, they’re not going to part with Hughes, Joba Chamberlain or Jesus Montero as well. They might not even be willing to give up one of the four. Free agent Mike Cameron is nearly as good of a bet as Granderson for 2010, and he wouldn’t even cost the team a draft pick.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.