Sherman: Joe Girardi is evasive, paranoid and edgy

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post took a section of his Yankees scouting
report today to pass along some observations about Joe Girardi:

It is amazing how often scouts noted the look and body language of
Girardi. He
ended up being portrayed as something akin to a prisoner of war, going
gaunt and fidgety. He showed his dejection at bad moments much more
overtly than last year. In fact, after seemingly making some strides
last season in de-stressing his uptight persona, Girardi regressed to
the evasive, paranoid and edgy nature that marked his first year
managing the Yankees in 2008  . . Girardi tends to display his tension and short temper at the hottest moments.

Of course, why this is in a playoff preview is an open question, because none of those are observations* about how the guy runs his baseball team. How can you say anyone is “edgy, paranoid or evasive” based on the tactical decisions he makes or the lineup card he fills out? You can’t. All of those observations are things you can only get from talking to a person or, at the very least, watching him in a press conference.

In other words, Sherman has devoted a section of his “Scouting Report” of the Yankees’ playoff prospects to bashing Girardi because he hasn’t been as friendly and forthcoming with the media in 2010 as he was in 2009. Interesting choice, but pretty beside the point in a playoff preview, wouldn’t you agree?

*And these observations are attributed to “scouts.” Of course, reporters have been citing anonymous “scouts” to give them cover for their own opinions for years. Or, as would seem to be going on in this case, find a way to shoehorn a personal swipe at Girardi into a scouting piece.

(thanks to TYU for the heads up)

Report: Cardinals are scouting Cuban outfielder Luis Robert

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 25: Baseballs sit in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
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According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on outfield prospect Luis Robert. The 19-year-old left his native Cuba last November and is expected to command interest from multiple MLB teams as he approaches free agency. Goold adds that the Cardinals sent scouts to evaluate Robert’s workouts in the Dominican Republic as recently as last week.

There’s still a good chance that the club won’t get a shot at signing him; as Craig mentioned last month, it seems likely that Major League Baseball won’t declare Robert a free agent until after June 15. By July 2, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s policies on international bonuses will go into effect, handcuffing teams with the maximum penalty for bonuses to a $300,000 signing figure for any available international prospect. It’s designed to effectively take away those teams’ abilities to sign additional international talent, and the Cardinals have already spent a reported $9.35 million in bonuses on Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia, Cuban outfielders Jonatan Machado and Randy Arozarena and Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo.

Until the cutoff in mid-June, the Cardinals are likely to continue actively scouting other international talent, including Robert. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez quotes an anonymous National League scouting director who describes Robert as the No. 2 talent behind Japanese wunderkind Shohei Otani. The 19-year-old hit .286/.319/.397 with a .716 OPS during a 16-game run in the Canadian-American League in 2016, following up an impressive three-year tenure with the Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series from 2013-2015.

Cubs extend Pedro Strop through 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 25:  Pedro Strop #46 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game One of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 25, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reported over the weekend that the Cubs and reliever Pedro Strop agreed to a contract extension. He’ll remain with the Cubs through 2018 and the new deal includes a club option for the 2019 season as well. Per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Strop will earn $5.85 million in 2018 and the club option is worth $6.25 million with a $500,000 buyout. The two sides already avoided arbitration earlier this month, agreeing on a $5.5 million salary for the 2017 season.

Strop, 31, has been a very reliable reliever for the Cubs over the last three years. He has a combined 2.65 ERA with 212 strikeouts and 69 walks over 176 1/3 innings in that span of time.

The Cubs replaced Aroldis Chapman with Wade Davis, so Strop and Hector Rondon will be bridging the gap to Davis this coming season.

Strop joined the Cubs along with Jake Arrieta in the July 2013 trade that sent Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman to the Orioles. That trade panned out well for the Cubs.