Phillies “highly unlikely” to re-sign free agent Jamie Moyer

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Jamie Moyer officially became a free agent yesterday and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the Phillies are “highly unlikely” to re-sign the 48-year-old left-hander.

Philadelphia hastened Moyer’s arrival on the open market by placing him on waivers in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster immediately and the 267-game winner is expected to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic in an effort to drum up some interest for 2011.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. indicated that the Phillies might be open to bringing Moyer back on a non-guaranteed minor league contract, but told Zolecki that’s likely where their interest would end:

I don’t know if Jamie would accept anything like that, but we haven’t had any discussions about it. I think more than anything else there are some questions about his health. Obviously his age is a factor. But we have to consider our starting pitching depth and see whether or not bringing Jamie back is the right thing for us.

Even without making any changes to the rotation the Phillies could enter 2011 with a starting five of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, and Kyle Kendrick, so they may not have room for Moyer even if he looks healthy this winter.

Acquired from the Mariners in mid-2006 and later re-signed to a pair of two-year contracts, Moyer went 56-40 with a 4.55 ERA in 721 innings spread over four-and-a-half seasons in Philadelphia, which is pretty remarkable given that he was already 43 years old when he joined the team.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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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.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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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.