We’ve spent a lot of time this spring and summer talking about realignment and the expansion of the playoffs, but at the owners’ meetings the other day, White Sox honcho Jerry Reinsdorf voiced skepticism that either of those things would happen:
“I’m not sure I’m in favor of the expanded playoffs. If it happens, I don’t think it will take place in 2012. I’m not even sure there will be realignment.”
Interesting words from a guy who, by all accounts, is Bud Selig’s staunchest ally among owners and who is thought to wield a lot of whip-power among the ownership ranks. Especially interesting in that, in the same USA Today article by Bob Nightengale, multiple other owners are cited as being so supportive of the expanded playoffs.
As for the realignment, the Astros sale being on hold has really bollocksed things up. If Jim Crane is on board with moving Houston to the AL as has been suggested, he can’t do it from the outside. And no one else seems to want to move.
Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.
They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.
The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.
He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.
This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.
Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.