Mike Silva at NY Baseball Digest:
The Twins could get a king’s ransom from the Yankees for Mauer.
Think Hughes, Joba, and Montero as cornerstones of the package. If they
are concerned about development timeline of Montero, then perhaps you
could add Posada to the deal since he only has a year left on his
contract. If the Red Sox come calling then the package could get even
I love Joe Mauer. You love Joe Mauer. We all love Joe Mauer. But anyone who thinks that the bidding for Joe Mauer starts with Hughes, Joba and Montero — and quickly grows to include Jorge Posada and more if the negotiations bog down — has probably suffered serious head trauma in the past 48 hours. It’s ridiculous to even be playing the “what would it take to get Mauer” game right now, but if you’re going to play it, at least do so sensibly. The guy has a season left on his deal, will take hundreds of millions of dollars to lock up, and he’s a catcher. For that you give away every valuable young player you have. For starters?!
But the best part of the piece is the line in which Silva says “Mauer deserves the big stage of New York.” Like it’s some freakin’ gift. I’ll leave the dismantling of that statement to Jason, who is more conscious of, and more opposed to, the New York exceptionalism that has sprung up these past few years:
You know who deserves Joe Mauer? The fine people of Minnesota.
If you ever want to tear your hear out at ridiculous Yankee commentary, go read Jason’s stuff for a reminder that even Yankees fans can be sane.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.