With Lee deal in motion, all eyes turn to Jayson Werth


George A. King of the New York Post reports that the Yankees, Red
Sox and Rays have told the Phillies that they would be interested in
acquiring Jayson Werth.

We talked about the Phillies’ rationale for trading Werth yesterday, but the interest on the part of the AL East teams is far more compelling given this Cliff Lee business.

For the Yankees, it’s a way of solidifying the lineup while solving their too-many-starting-pitchers problem.  Werth could DH. Or he could take over in right, Swisher could move to left and Gardner could become baseball’s best bench player. Or Swisher could DH. They’re the Yankees. They tend to figure out what to do with excess.

For the Rays and Red Sox it would be more a matter of survival. The Red Sox are taking on all kinds of water right now and could obviously use a big outfield bat to help cover for all of those injuries. The Rays have offensive woes of their own, and if the Yankees get Lee, they’ll need to do something to counter the move.

Like I said yesterday: it would take some serious balls for the Phillies to trade Werth and plug in Domonic Brown as a starter while still contending for the playoffs. But if they can get a strong starting pitcher for Werth — which is something they could really use — they may have no choice.

CC Sabathia checking into an alcohol rehab center

sabathia getty

This is totally unexpected and definitely unfortunate: The New York Yankees just released a statement from CC Sabathia saying that he is checking himself into an alcohol rehabilitation center.

Sabathia, who was involved in a relatively minor incident outside a nightclub back in August, has battled injuries and ineffectiveness for the past three seasons but has, in his last few starts, shown himself to be effective, even if he’s not to the level he once was. And, should the Yankees advance past the Wild Card game, one would have assumed that the Yankees would’ve been counting on him for the playoff rotation. Now, however, that seems both doubtful and completely superfluous.

And for what it’s worth, Sabathia’s statement, just released by the Yankees, suggests that he is aware of the need to get his priorities in order:

“Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease.

“I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.

“I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.

“As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don’t want to run and hide. But for now please respect my family’s need for privacy as we work through this challenge together.

“Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids — and others who may have become fans of mine over the years — to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that’s exactly what I am going to do.

“I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness.”

Here’s hoping Sabathia deals with whatever problems he’s facing and comes out healthy on the other end.

Diamondbacks fire pitching coach Mike Harkey

Oliver Perez, Mike Harkey
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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.

That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.

Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.