UPDATE: As I suspected, the Yankees deny that they ever offered Chapman a thing. Olney quotes Brian Cashman: “We never made an offer… Never.”
6:16 AM: This tweet from SI’s Melissa Segura is interesting:
The FL lawsuit v. Hendricks/Fernandez says Yankees made “offer to Chapman valued at more than $54 million” Chap signed 6yr/$30.25 mil w Reds
The only lawsuit of which I was aware against the Hendricks Brothers regarding Aroldis Chapman was the one filed by Chapman’s original agent, Edwin Mejia and his agency Athletes Premier International alleging, basically, that the Hendricks stole Chapman as a client. That was filed in Massachusetts, however, and as far as I know had been settled.
It’s possible that this is an offshoot of that first suit. The actual nominal agent of Chapman was Rodney Fernandez, the Fernandez referenced in the Segura tweet. He was the Hendricks employee who was just charged with stealing money from Kendry Morales. He lives in Florida, so he could have been sued there in his individual capacity.
But regardless of the specific nature of the suit, I’m skeptical of that $54 million offer from the Yankees. It’s substantially higher than that which Chapman ultimately signed for and it makes little sense that he’d leave that kind of money on the table no matter who his agent was. At the same time, in any lawsuit against Hendricks/Fernandez involving representation of Chapman an incentive exists to make the money Chapman could have received,were it not for the Hendricks’ bad acts, seem as high as possible, because the plaintiff is looking for a chunk of the deal.
I suspect we’ll hear more of this soon. It would not surprise me at all if the next thing we hear is a denial from someone with knowledge of the Yankees’ operations that there ever was a real offer for Chapman as high as $54 million and that — shockingly — a plaintiff in a lawsuit is overstating the amount of his losses in his complaint.
Despite having hit at least 20 home runs in eight of his 11 seasons in the majors, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has never participated in a Home Run Derby. Currently, he’s tied for the National League lead in home runs with 20, and he hasn’t been invited to this year’s festivities at Marlins Park.
In the event he is invited, Votto said he thinks he can win it, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto likened himself to Ichiro Suzuki, a player known more for his contact abilities and mastery of the strike zone than power. “Just think of me as the Canadian Ichiro — Japan has theirs and Canada has theirs,” Votto said. “I could pull homers into the seats at will.”
Along with the 20 homers, Votto is currently hitting .306/.419/.601 with 53 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 313 plate appearances.
Teammate Scott Schebler also has 20 home runs at the moment and Adam Duvall, who made it to the semifinals of the Derby last year, has 16. Neither of them have been approached about participating in the Derby, either. Per Rosecrans, in the event each was invited, Duvall said he would consider participating if he wasn’t an All-Star and Schebler would participate regardless. Votto said he would only participate if he made the All-Star team.
The Phillies won their first game since last Thursday, beating the Cardinals 5-1 on Thursday afternoon. Starter Aaron Nola pitched into the eighth inning, but left with one out. Pat Neshek took the mound with a runner on first base and induced an inning-ending double play on a 3-1 count to Tommy Pham.
Given that Neshek only threw five pitches and the Phillies were staked to a four-run lead, it wouldn’t have seemed unreasonable if the sidewinding right-hander came back out to finish the ninth inning as well. But Luis Garcia had that honor, tossing a scoreless final frame to nail down the win in a non-save situation.
After the game, manager Pete Mackanin said he asked Neshek to go back out for the ninth, but Neshek didn’t want to, per Stephen Gross of the Morning Call. Neshek told the media that Mackanin never asked him. There was also a miscommunication on Wednesday. The combination of Joaquin Benoit, Hector Neris, and Edubray Ramos combined to allow four runs in 2 1/3 innings, helping the Phillies lose 7-6. Neshek never appeared. According to Mackanin, Neshek told him that he wasn’t available to pitch. Neshek said he was told he’d have the day off.
The disconnect between Mackanin and Neshek could speak to a larger divide between the manager and his failing team. The Phillies have underwhelmed across the board due to players like Odubel Herrera (whose head was down and did not see Juan Samuel’s stop sign last night in what became a base running blunder), Maikel Franco, Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, Aaron Nola (today’s start notwithstanding), and Hector Neris not living up to expectations. The Phillies signed Mackanin to a contract extension last month, but the team has completely fallen apart since then and the latest communications issues certainly don’t reflect well on him. Neither does last night’s travesty of a game.
As for Neshek, he said that going to the Phillies was “the best thing that happened to me in a few years” but also realized, given the state of the team, that it remains very likely he winds up in a new uniform by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. After Thursday’s performance, Neshek is carrying a 0.63 ERA with a 25/4 K/BB ratio in 28 2/3 innings. He very well could be the Phillies’ lone representative at the All-Star Game in Miami next month. That is, if he’s still wearing their uniform. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals have shown interest in Neshek.