All quiet on the Holliday front

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While Jason Bay and many of the second-tier free agents are getting serious play, things have been pretty quiet on the subject of this winter’s No. 1 free agent, Matt Holliday, during the first two days of the winter meetings.
The Cardinals haven’t given up on re-signing Holliday yet, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported this morning that the parties were described as being “on different sides of a gulch” to “in a different universe” when it came to negotiations.
The Red Sox are known to have talked extensively with agent Scott Boras, and it’s safe to assume that Holliday’s name came up several times. However, the team is continuing to negotiate with Jason Bay as well. It’s possible that GM Theo Epstein won’t make a real run at Holliday until he knows what Bay is doing.
There’s nothing to indicate anyone besides maybe the Cardinals have made Holliday an offer. The Mets will most likely be interested at the right price and it’d be foolish to rule out the Yankees until the day that Holliday puts pen to paper, but there are no other obvious potential suitors at the moment. The Mariners and Giants prefer to spend elsewhere, and the Angels have repeatedly said they’re not interested. All signs point to Holliday remaining unsigned through Christmas and likely into next year.

Miguel Sano suspended one game for altercation with Tigers

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Twins third baseman Miguel Sano has been suspended one game for his role in Saturday’s altercation with the Tigers, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Sano will appeal his suspension, so he’ll be eligible to play until that is resolved.

On Saturday, Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones was hit in the face by Twins pitcher Justin Haley. The Tigers’ Matt Boyd threw behind Sano when he came to the plate in the fifth inning, seemingly exacting revenge. Sano took exception, catcher James McCann pushed his glove into Sano’s face, and the benches emptied. Both Boyd and Sano were ejected from the game.

Sano has hit well in the early going, batting .241/.413/.569 with four home runs and 14 RBI with an MLB-best 17 walks in 75 plate appearances. Losing Sano for only one game won’t be the biggest deal for the Twins. Eduardo Escobar would get the start at third base to fill in for Sano if he loses his appeal.

Boyd was fined an undisclosed amount and not suspended, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck.

Matt Barnes suspended four games for throwing at Manny Machado

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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes has been suspended four games and fined an undisclosed amount for throwing at Orioles third baseman Manny Machado on Sunday. Barnes was exacting revenge for Machado’s slide which injured second baseman Dustin Pedroia on Friday, and was ejected immediately after throwing the pitch at Machado.

Barnes is appealing his suspension, so he will be able to participate in games until the issue is resolved. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.60 ERA and an 11/6 K/BB ratio in 10 innings so far this season.

The suspension is rather light considering Barnes’ intent. Barnes missed, thankfully, as he hit Machado’s bat rather than his helmet. Had he hit his intended target, though, baseball might’ve been out one superstar third baseman. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote today that Major League Baseball needs to beef up its punishment for players attempting to injure other players. And he’s totally right about that. The punishment is neither enough to deter players from attempting to injure their peers, nor is it enough for teams to deter their own players from doing so.