Yankees or not, Jorge Posada plans to play next season

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Jorge Posada is 39 years old and having the worst season of his career, getting benched as the Yankees’ designated hitter last week, but the five-time All-Star indicated yesterday that he plans to play in 2012.

And that seemingly means putting on a different uniform for the first time in 20 years, because it’s tough to imagine the Yankees bringing him back once his four-year, $52 contract runs out.

Posada was full of praise for Yankees fans after returning to the lineup Saturday with a grand slam and six RBIs, saying: “I play for them” and “the fans are a big reason why I love playing the game and especially here.”

However, he also told Mark Hale of the New York Post that he “could” consider playing elsewhere next season because “I don’t know what’s going to happen after this year … we’ll see.”

Of course, finding another team willing to give him a job could be problematic unless he finishes this season on a very strong note and that will be tough to do if manager Joe Girardi sticks with plans to keep Posada mostly on the bench. Hale notes that Posada nearly left the Yankees for the Mets as a free agent in 2008, but the deterioration of his catching skills may limit him to AL suitors at this point and teams aren’t exactly lining up to sign 40-year-old, .700 OPS designated hitters.

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.