Yankees pick Jamie Hoffman first in the Rule 5 draft

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I’ll level with you: I don’t know most of the guys in the Rule 5 draft. But you don’t either, so we’re all in this together. I’ll pass along what people who know more than us say about whatever goes down.

First up: the Yankees — picking first because the Nats sent them the pick in the Brian Bruney deal on Monday — are going to take Jamie Hoffman.  He’s an outfielder from the Dodgers’ organization.

Descriptions of Hoffman buzzing around here:  “His ceiling is as a fifth outfielder.”  “a stronger, slower Brett Gardner.”  If that doesn’t excite you, Yankees fans, I don’t know what will.

Report: A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.