Heyman looks at this year's free agent class

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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.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.