Yankees stepping up pursuit of Andruw Jones

13 Comments

It would appear that super agent Scott Boras is close to finding a home for veteran client Andruw Jones.

The Yankees were first linked to Jones last week by SI.com’s Jon Heyman and now the Sports Illustrated reporter is saying that the Bombers have “stepped up” their pursuit of the 33-year-old.

Jones isn’t as great defensively as he once was and he is no longer the type of guy you want playing in 160-plus games, but he has his uses.

The Yankees could try him as their designated hitter from time to time against left-handed pitchers and could have him serve as a backup to both corner outfield spots.  His still steady power bat would shine in the smaller ballparks of the American League East, at least on a limited basis, and he wouldn’t have trouble covering ground defensively at Yankee Stadium.

The Rays are also thought to be interested and may be able to offer more playing time.

Watch: Shohei Ohtani strikes out his first spring training batter

Getty Images
1 Comment

Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.

On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.

It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.

While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.