Gardner slide

Brett Gardner is pretty darn lucky

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Brett Gardner told Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports that he was spiked on his left hand when he beat out C.J. Wilson at first base on his rally-sparking head-first dive in the eighth inning of Game 1 last night.

“I don’t know what size he wears,” Gardner said, speaking of Wilson’s shoe, holding up his hand. “I’m just glad he’s a little guy. I was thinking I’m glad CC wasn’t the one who stepped on me. Eh, just a couple scratches. It’s all right.”

It’s been said a million times, so I won’t dwell on it too much here, but he could have been safe by a wide margin had he simply run through the base. After all, speed is Gardner’s best asset. Obviously, it’s pretty easy to say that from the seat of my desk, as opposed to the heat of the moment on the field of play. Still, Gardner admitted as much after the game, saying, “Everything’s going so fast” and “I don’t know what I’m thinking.”

It worked and the Yankees ended up winning the game, which I guess is all that matters today, but man, it could have been a lot worse.

Report: Yankees sign Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million deal

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Update (12:02 AM EST): Rosenthal adds that Chapman’s contract includes an opt-out clause after three seasons, a full no-trade clause for the first three years of the contract, and a limited no-trade clause for the final two years.

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Yankees have signed closer Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million contract. Mark Melancon recently set the record for a contract earned by a reliever at $62 million over four years. Chapman blew that out of the water and many are surprised he didn’t fetch more.

Chapman, 28, began the 2016 season with the Yankees but he was traded to the Cubs near the end of July in exchange for four prospects. The Cubs, of course, would go on to win the World Series in large part due to Chapman. The lefty finished the regular season with a 1.55 ERA, 36 saves, and a 90/18 K/BB ratio in 58 innings between the two teams.

Chapman was the best reliever on the free agent market and, because he was traded midseason, he didn’t have draft pick compensation attached to him.

The Yankees don’t seem to be deterred by Chapman’s domestic violence issue from last offseason, resulting in a 30-game suspension to begin the 2016 regular season.

Report: Rockies want a “front-of-rotation-type pitcher” through trade

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 29:  Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field on September 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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The Rockies are looking for a “front-of-rotation-type pitcher,” per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. He notes that the club is also in on free agent slugger Mark Trumbo.

Starting pitching has not been the Rockies’ strong suit in recent years. The club had baseball’s fifth-worst rotation ERA in baseball this past season at 4.79. It’s tough to entice big-name free agent pitchers to pitch given how their stats are adversely affected by the hitter-friendly nature of Coors Field. Trading would be one way around that.

Though Chris Sale is off the board, the Rockies could still try to pry Chris Archer from the Rays or Jose Quintana from the White Sox.

As presently constructed, the Rockies’ rotation includes Chad Bettis, Tyler Chatwood, Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, and German Marquez.