We’re slowly learning more details about Francisco Rodriguez’s 10-team no-trade list.
While Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the no-trade list was written into his original three-year contract and doesn’t change on an annual basis, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal reveals that the Yankees are not one of the teams on his list.
Here are some more interesting tidbits from Costa:
When K-Rod chose the teams, the person said, he did so based on which teams he wouldn’t want to play for, even if those teams would be unlikely to trade for him anyway. The list includes some small-market teams that would not be in the market for him, the person said, but it also includes a few that have expressed interest in trading for him recently.
This is actually a contrast with what we’ve seen with more recent no-trade lists, as players often include large-market teams for potential leverage. For example, Royals closer Joakim Soria has the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies on his six-team no-trade list.
Costa wrote earlier this afternoon that K-Rod’s new agent Scott Boras has “strongly indicated” that he will not accept a deal to a team on his no-trade list in order to be a set-up man, but there’s nothing contractual standing in the way of a potential match with the Yankees. A team that could need some help setting up Mariano Rivera, by the way. Joba Chamberlain underwent Tommy John surgery last month, Pedro Feliciano is currently shut down with a torn shoulder capsule and Rafael Soriano is rehabbing a sore right elbow.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on outfield prospect Luis Robert. The 19-year-old left his native Cuba last November and is expected to command interest from multiple MLB teams as he approaches free agency. Goold adds that the Cardinals sent scouts to evaluate Robert’s workouts in the Dominican Republic as recently as last week.
There’s still a good chance that the club won’t get a shot at signing him; as Craig mentioned last month, it seems likely that Major League Baseball won’t declare Robert a free agent until after June 15. By July 2, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s policies on international bonuses will go into effect, handcuffing teams with the maximum penalty for bonuses to a $300,000 signing figure for any available international prospect. It’s designed to effectively take away those teams’ abilities to sign additional international talent, and the Cardinals have already spent a reported $9.35 million in bonuses on Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia, Cuban outfielders Jonatan Machado and Randy Arozarena and Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo.
Until the cutoff in mid-June, the Cardinals are likely to continue actively scouting other international talent, including Robert. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez quotes an anonymous National League scouting director who describes Robert as the No. 2 talent behind Japanese wunderkind Shohei Otani. The 19-year-old hit .286/.319/.397 with a .716 OPS during a 16-game run in the Canadian-American League in 2016, following up an impressive three-year tenure with the Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series from 2013-2015.