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.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.