Heyman: Yankees wanted Astros to eat $17 million on Wandy Rodriguez

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According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees offered to take on $21 million of the $38 million due to left-hander Wandy Rodriguez in trade talks with Houston.  The Astros would have had to swallow $17 million to get the deal done.

With that kind of cash changing hands, the Astros would have needed to get a top prospect in return, and it seems doubtful the Yankees were willing to include one from the group of Manny Banuelos, Jesus Montero and Dellin Betances.

Heyman also adds that while the Indians and Blue Jays were involved in the Rodriguez discussions, they were only expected to be included as a third team in a deal to send Rodriguez to New York.  They apparently had no interest in the 32-year-old for themselves.

Heyman doesn’t see the Yankees revisiting the Rodriguez talks once he clears waivers.  If the Astros put Rodriguez on waivers Monday, he’d again be eligible to be dealt Wednesday, assuming that he goes unclaimed.

Athletics and Mariners to begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners will begin the 2019 regular season in Japan, in the Tokyo Dome.

The series will mark the third time that the A’s will begin their season in Japan, first doing it in 2008 against the Red Sox and then again in 2012 against the Mariners.

This is just the latest of Major League Baseball’s moves to expand the the game internationally. In addition to those previous series in Japan, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their season in Australia in 2014 and the Dodgers and Padres will play a series in Mexico City this May. There has likewise been talk of the Mets playing a series in London, though those details have not yet been worked out. Obviously the World Baseball Classic represents the league’s effort to broaden the global scope of the once national pastime.

Get ready for early morning baseball, folks.