Random stuff from the blockbuster press conference

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Josh Byrnes, Dave Dombrowski and Brian Cashman were just brought before us to “announce” the Granderson trade.  I think I could rip into about 2,000 words on the metaphysics of it all (i.e. has the trade really happened if no one has yet to announce it?) but I’ll save that for the bar and my annoyed drinking companions this evening.  The short version:

  • Byrnes, Dombrowski and Cashman were all introduced by their official titles. It’s different for each of them. Byrnes is an “executive vice president and general manager.” Cashman is a “senior vice president.”  Dombrowski is “CEO, President and general manager.”  I’m assuming those titles are, to some extent, negotiable and mildly meaningless.  If I ever become a GM I’m going to demand to be called “Vice President of Funk, Empress of India and General Manager.”

  • Asked about when and how the talks got started, Dombrowski said that it began back around Thanksgiving.

  • Why do the deal, Detroit?  Dombrowski: “We had some adjustments we needed to make . . . given our situation.”  Read: “we had to dump payroll because I was on crack when I gave Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson all that money a couple of years ago.”

  • Both Dombrowski and Cashman seemed to go out of their way to talk about how hard a bargain Byrnes was driving.  Me thinks the GMs doth protest too much. I mean, he was sitting right next to them, so I suppose it was natural that they wanted to make him feel better.

  • Dombrowski on Austin Jackson: “he’s about as sure a prospect as you can have.”  No pressure or anything, Austin.  And you may want to read this, Dave.

  • Cashman claimed that he was the last one into the deal and that he had “said no to so many deals involving Austin Jackson in the past.”  I don’t doubt that.

  • Cashman was asked if getting Granderson means that they’re going to cut bait on either Damon and/or Matsui. “Not necessarily,” Cashman said. “But it gives us comfort right now.”  I think he meant from a roster construction perspective, but I’m guessing he meant from a negotiating perspective.

Now on to the metaphysics of it all . . .

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.