I’m struggling to decide what to make of this bit of analysis of Lance Berkman’s season from Joel Sherman in today’s New York Post:
The Yankees lineup would look a lot more fierce with him as the DH while he has shown a renewed athleticism that he could have mixed in at first, left and right. And here is one other thing to at least consider: Berkman is one of Andy Pettitte’s best friends. If the Yankees had kept Berkman would that have convinced Pettitte to play for another year?
And if Berkman were a Yankee he wouldn’t be playing right field and thus maybe wouldn’t have forced himself into shape and would be hitting .232/.305/412. And if me auntie were a man she’d be my uncle. And if ifs and buts were candy and nuts we’d all have a happy Christmas.
More to the point, one paragraph before he offers the above passage, Sherman notes that keeping Berkman was never a possibility. And last fall, when his option was up, Sherman never once — nor did anyone else on the planet — think that the Yankees keeping Berkman made any kind of sense. Because it didn’t. Not at $15 million or at any other price.
So what’s the point? Just to throw meat at the people who will always seek to find some fault with whatever the Yankees are doing? To appeal to the “if we only had Andy Pettitte!” dead-enders?
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.