*Nov 24 - 00:05*

Cutter Dykstra: My dad did not steal my signing bonus

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It has been reported several times over the past year or so — most recently in that story I linked from yesterday’s New York Times — that Lenny Dykstra took his son Cutter Dykstra’s $700,000 signing bonus, “invested it” and subsequently lost it. We’ve passed along that allegation a few times ourselves, as it had never been refuted.

It has now, however, as Cutter Dykstra was a guest on the Dino Costa show on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio and he said there is nothing to the charge. A three minute clip of the interview can be heard on the Mad Dog Radio Facebook page, here.  Here was the relevant exchange between Dino and Dykstra:

Dino Costa: “What about the story of the signing bonus that you got with the Brewers, that he took that money from you, is that true?”

Cutter Dykstra: “No, I mean, that’s stupid.  That’s just nonsense.”

Cutter went on to be supportive of his father in the interview, saying, “My dad’s been great to me my whole life and he’s helped me through my career every day. He’s a grinder.  Everyone needs to remember that, that’s he’s a grinder.  He’s going to get through whatever he needs to get through.”

Look: we can say anything we want and think anything we want about Lenny Dykstra. But at some point a family matter is a family matter.  It’s one thing to discuss the allegations when they’re out there unrefuted, but now that the alleged victim of the alleged crime has spoken, it’s probably best to leave this one alone. Dykstra has enough problems.  If he and his son have made some sort of peace over all of this, that should be good enough for us.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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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.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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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.