The New York Post reports that the Yankees are talking to former Expo Nick Johnson (we must mention the Expos whenever possible lest they slip from our collective consciousness forever) to be their DH. The thinking is that if he signs on for that gig, Johnny Damon becomes an afterthought, because there won’t be a DH slot to cycle him through in order to give some playing time to Melky and Gardner and that gang.
I don’t think that having Johnson means that the door is closed on Damon — the Yankees haven’t been reported to be thinking that Damon would spend a ton of time DHing, and having both of hem in the fold would make for a very, very nice offense — but bringing him in would bring even more pressure to bear on Damon and Boras.
And while we’re on the subject of Nick Johnson — who could probably be had for sub-Matsui money — allow me to urge the General Manager of my Atlanta Braves to cut this whole conversation short by signing Johnson and his .400 OBP and giving him the first base job. It would be nice to have a guy who could take a walk and be on base for Chipper Jones and Brian McCann once in a while, mmmkay?
Dan Haren, who said two months ago that he was leaning toward retiring after the season, reiterated those plans following the Cubs’ regular season finale Sunday.
At age 34 he started 32 games for the Marlins and Cubs with a 3.60 ERA and 132/38 K/BB ratio in 187 innings, so Haren would have no problem finding work and a solid paycheck for 2016.
However, he’s not expected to part of the Cubs’ playoff roster and told Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago:
That was it for me. If I have to pitch in the postseason, I’ll be ready for sure. Happy the way the last few starts have gone. Being able to contribute to this amazing team. I’m just thankful to be a part of it. If I don’t pitch in the postseason, that’s it. It’s been fun. Hopefully there’s a lot more games to go. … If my name is called, I’ll be ready.
Injuries has lessened Haren’s overall effectiveness in recent years, but he’s remained a solid mid-rotation starter and has pitched 13 seasons in the big leagues with a 3.75 ERA in 2,419 innings. He made three All-Star teams and earned more than $80 million.
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the city of San Jose arising out of the failure of the city’s antitrust claims against Major League Baseball. The lower court losses which frustrated the city’s lawsuit will stay in place.
By way of background, San Jose sued Major League Baseball in June 2013 for conspiring to block the A’s relocation there on the basis of the San Francisco Giants’ territorial claim. The city said the territory rules violated federal antitrust laws. As I wrote at the time, it was a theoretically righteous argument in a very narrow sense, but that the City of San Jose likely did not have any sort of legal standing to assert the claim for various reasons and that its suit would be unsuccessful.
And now it is.
If there is ever to be a righteous legal challenge of the territorial system, it’ll almost certainly have to come from a club itself. Given the way in which MLB vets its new owners, however, and given how much money these guys rake in, in part, because of the territorial system, its unlikely that that will ever happen.