Jon Heyman’s latest column has him talking to some agents and executives and people in an effort to handicap this winter’s free agent class. Some tidbits:
- Carl Crawford will sign for $120 million over seven years, according to Heyman’s panel. I can see this, actually. Not saying it’s the best deal for any team — seven years is forever for a fast guy — but I can see someone paying it.
- “One agent” predicted that Derrek Lee would get $24 million over two years. In other news, “one agent” is smokin’ peyote or something.
- The Phillies apparently offered Jayson Werth a Jason Bay deal, but it was rejected (this before he hired Boras). Heyman’s sources — who, in a refreshing bit of disclosure he makes clear did not include Scott Boras — think that Werth will get $85-$95 million. Again, I could see it.
What I see animating the free agent season the most? At least at the top end? The fact that, in my mind, the Yankees aren’t going to be terribly interested in either Crawford or Werth. At least not to where they’ll set the market for them in the way they’ve done in the past. I could see them swooping in late if the market flags, but I think they’ll be more interested in Cliff Lee and various spare parts, and leave the outfielders for someone else.
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.
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.