From Ken Rosenthal’s latest column speculating on the Yankees’ plans this winter:
One rival GM actually believes the Yankees’ rather public obsession with Lee is a ruse, that they secretly want Tampa Bay Rays free-agent outfielder Carl Crawford, 29, instead.
There is zero evidence, mind you, to support such a contention. The Yankees love left fielder Brett Gardner and would be forced to scramble for starting pitching if they lost Lee to another club and Andy Pettitte to retirement.
I’d kill to know who this “rival GM” is that has so seriously misapprehended the Yankees offseason intentions. I mean, I’m not saying that there won’t be some random rumor matching the Yankees up with Crawford between now and next spring, but to think that the Yankees interest in Cliff Lee is a “ruse” is kinda crazy, no?
And maybe they lose him to someone else. But if the Yankees aren’t seriously interested in Cliff Lee, I’ll eat my hat.
Setting their rotation for the beginning of the ALDS versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers announced that right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start Game 1 and left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 2.
Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts this season, but averaged just 5.6 innings per start and hasn’t completed six or more innings in a start since mid-August. Clearly the Rangers will be hoping for five or six innings from him before turning it over to the bullpen.
Hamels, on the other hand, averaged seven innings in his 12 post-trade starts for the Rangers, including tossing a complete-game against the Angels in the regular season finale. He’s obviously the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but because Hamels was needed to clinch the division title in Game 162 he’s not available to start Game 1 of the playoffs.
In the seemingly never-ending trend of front office officials getting new titles, the Cleveland Indians just announced that General Manager Chris Antonetti has been promoted to President of Baseball Operations and Mike Chernoff is now the GM.
Antonetti has been the Tribe’s GM for the past five years and is moving up in the wake of team president Mark Shapiro moving on to Toronto. Shapiro, however, also held business side responsibilities which Antonetti will not assume. Meaning, as before, he will be the top guy on baseball ops decisions, albeit with a grander title.
Chernoff has been an assistant GM for five years and has been with the organization for the past 12 years. As many new GMs these days he will, functionally speaking, still be an assistant when it comes to baseball decisions.