Jon Heyman reports that, in addition to the Yankees and the Rockies, the Tampa Bay Rays are now talking to Andruw Jones.
Jones hit .230/.341/.486 with 19 home runs and 49 RBI for the White Sox last season, but is line against lefties — .256/.373./.558 — is pretty attractive for a lot of teams. He’d certainly have more opportunities to hit in Tampa Bay than he would in New York — where Jorge Posada is going to be the everyday DH — or Colorado, where Jones would have to play more defense in a big outfield that would kill a lot of his value.
By the way, the fact that I feel really weird talking about Andruw Jones as a defensive liability is perhaps the best evidence that, as time goes on, I find myself stuck in the 1990s more and more. Well, that and the fact that I watched a bunch of X-Files episodes last night. There was a time when Andruw Jones was the best outfielder in baseball. There was a time when cell phones were a foot long. There was a time when I considered quitting law school and leaving my wife so I could stalk Gillian Anderson full time.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East
Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams. The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.
Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.