Yes, this story is a day old, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to point out a piece that will get everyone worked up over nothing.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News writes that the Yankees are furious that Alex Rodriguez did not immediately inform them that he had been contacted by the feds to testify in a case regarding Canadian doctor (and known HGH distributor) Anthony Galea.
“They (Yankees brass) don’t like being blindsided,” said a TV industry
source who deals with the Yankees and YES.
“If Rodriguez isn’t protecting the organization paying him a fortune,
why should the organization go out of its way to protect him?”
OK, fair enough. They probably are. They have every right to be. But his proof that they’re displeased? The broadcast of A-Rod’s first at-bat of the spring:
“That all amounts to a huge sigh or relief for Alex Rodriguez, who
now comes into camp healthy,” Michael Kay, YES’ play-by-play man, said as Rodriguez stepped in Wednesday
to face Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf.
As soon as those uplifting words left Kay’s mouth, Ken Singleton, his partner, down-shifted into the dark
side. Singleton started talking about last spring, hip surgery and “uh,
Kay quickly said: “Now Alex was looking to have a very, very quiet
spring this year with health and the world championship, but he was
questioned by the media the other day because he’s going to be
questioned by FBI officials about the Canadian-based doctor Anthony
Galea . . .”
Now, keep in mind that I didn’t see the at-bat, but only on YES would telling the truth be construed as punishment. The YES broadcasters have been known to coddle the home team, but more in a “rah-rah” way than anything resembling state-run television. Again, just my opinion, but I find it really hard to believe that Kay’s words were the result of any edict from above.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.
Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.
Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.