Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that Matt Holliday should learn a lesson from Johnny Damon’s negotiations with the Yankees:
As this drags on, we can only wonder if or when the Cardinals will
withdraw from the Holliday auction and redirect their money to other
players. Will Holliday lose out in St. Louis because of the same
negotiating tactics that pushed the Yankees away from Damon?
…It’s been reported that Holliday wants to stay in St. Louis. If that’s
the case, then when does he plan to take ownership of his career?
While Damon and Holliday share the
same agent, I see the two situations differently. The Yankees
were uncomfortable handing out a lucrative multi-year contract to a player who just
turned 36, while Holliday, the best player available this winter, doesn’t even turn 30 until January. As Albert Pujols weighs a contract extension, GM John Mozeliak needs this deal to get done. The Yankees didn’t.
related note, this morning Buster Olney of ESPN.com wrote that Damon would be a perfect fit for the Cardinals.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.