After the Yankees finally got their first hit off Max Scherzer — a Robinson Cano flare to left in the sixth inning — Alex Rodriguez came up for the third time in Sunday’s Game 2 and popped out to shallow right. He’s now 0-for-7 with a walk in the series.
This isn’t about A-Rod choking. This is about the future Hall of Famer being banged up and ineffective. He hit .191/.345/.353 with three homers in 68 at-bats after coming off the disabled list in August. He finished the season 6-for-32 with one homer in nine games after returning from a thumb injury.
So, it’s past time for Joe Girardi to react. If Rodriguez starts hitting, he can always be moved back up to the cleanup spot. However, he has no business being there right now, and one can expect right-handers to start pitching around No. 3 hitter Robinson Cano if the Yankees leave him there. Mark Teixeira is the better option right now.
Rian Watt of Baseball Prospectus is hearing that a trade that would send Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs involves prospect Gleyber Torres and more going to the Yankees. He adds that the holdup in the trade talks is centered around a contract extension for Chapman, believed to be around four years in length and $60 million total. The deal may not be finalized if the Cubs don’t get him signed to an extension they like. In Watt’s words, “Package is set. Extension is not.”
We learned earlier on Sunday that the Yankees were working hard to trade Chapman, reportedly in contact with at least four teams. The Cubs were not believed to be the front runners but certainly upped the ante by offering Torres.
Torres, 19, is rated the Cubs’ #1 prospect and #24 overall in baseball by MLB Pipeline. The shortstop has spent the season with Single-A Myrtle Beach, batting .275/.359/.433 with nine home runs, 47 RBI, 62 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 409 plate appearances.
Torres is currently roadblocked at shortstop by Addison Russell, and 21-year-old Ian Happ is rated #3 in the Cubs’ system, so the club would be dealing from surplus.
Prior to Sunday afternoon’s game against the Mariners, the Blue Jays designated reliever Drew Storen for assignment and recalled reliever Ryan Tepera from Triple-A Buffalo.
Storen, 28, had a nightmare of a time with the Jays, leaving with a 6.21 ERA and a 32/10 K/BB ratio over 33 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him in January from the Nationals in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere and a player to be named later.
Storen is owed the remainder of his $8.375 million salary, which makes it likelier that the right-hander will pass through waivers unclaimed. He’ll be eligible for free agency after the season.