We’ve heard this and that about the Yankees wanting to trade for Royals’ closer Joakim Soria. That seemed like a tall order anyway given how much he’d cost the Yankees, but here’s an even better reason why it isn’t going to happen: the Yankees are one of the six teams on Soria’s no-trade list.
That report comes courtesy of Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York. Marchand says that doesn’t mean a trade couldn’t happen — the Yankees would just have to find some way to persuade Soria to drop his objection to coming to New York. This seems silly to me, however.
Why do you think Soria has a no-trade clause that includes the Yankees? My guess: because the Yankees have the best closer in baseball history playing for them and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. A ticket to New York for Soria or any other closer means a ticket to middle relief — the term “setup man” is nice, but it’s still middle relief — and if you’re a reliever who isn’t getting saves, you’re a reliever who isn’t going to get the money and the glory and the chicks and all that stuff.
If I were a closer the last place I’d want to go is New York. It’s the one place where you got no chance whatsoever.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has wasted no time acclimating himself to major league competition. Since getting called back up on August 3, Sanchez has smacked nine homers and driven in 16 runs in a span of 18 games. In fact, since August 3, no hitter has homered more than Sanchez and only Charlie Blackmon and Brian Dozier have matched him, Katie Sharp of River Ave Blues notes.
One of those homers came in Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Mariners at Safeco Field. It was a first-inning blast off of Hisashi Iwakuma, quickly giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. They would go on to win 5-0. Sanchez finished 2-for-3 with a pair of intentional walks, a double, and the homer.
Some more fun facts about Sanchez, courtesy Sharp:
- Sanchez is the first Yankee in club history with nine home runs in his first 21 career games [Link]
- Sanchez is the third American League player in the last 100 years to hit at least nine home runs in his first 21 career games, joining George Scott and Alvin Davis [Link]
- Sanchez and Joe DiMaggio are the only Yankees with 15 or more extra-base hits in their first 21 career games [Link]
Sanchez was considered the fifth-best prospect in the Yankees’ minor league system, according to MLB Pipeline. In the majors, he’s carrying a .389/.450/.847 triple-slash line in 79 plate appearances. He has also thrown out five of seven would-be base-stealers.
American swimmer Katie Ledecky, fresh off of winning four gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday night to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Nationals’ game against the Orioles.
As NHL.com’s Katie Brown notes, Ledecky’s favorite player is Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who was on the field with her. So what did she make him do? Hold all of her medals while she threw out the first pitch.
Harper has his fair share of hardware, including a Rookie of the Year Award and an MVP Award, but no gold medals. For shame.