White Sox in the mix for Damon?

Leave a comment

It seems an unlikely match, given the team’s limited flexibility financially, but the White Sox are being talked about as a new suitor for free agent Johnny Damon.
The White Sox certainly have room for Damon in their lineup. After electing not to bring back Jim Thome, they currently have Andruw Jones and Mark Kotsay atop their depth chart at DH. Another bat could help a bunch, and Damon would offer plenty of flexibility in case Carlos Quentin has more foot problems and is forced to DH a few times per week.
Money, though, is a major issue. It’s doubtful that the White Sox would come close to matching the Tigers’ reported two-year, $14 million offer. If they did, Damon might well pick Chicago. It’s a better place to hit, and the team is at least as good of a bet as Detroit to contend this year. But while Ken Williams is as full of surprises as any GM in the game, it seems awfully unlikely that he’ll suddenly come up with the money for Damon after being shut down most of the winter.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

Brian Blanco/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
3 Comments

Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.