“Pitching, pitching, pitching.”
Those were the words of Yankees general manager Brian Cashman earlier this week, fresh off wrapping up a contract extension for ace left-hander CC Sabathia.
The Yankees haven’t been shy about their focus this offseason, so it comes as no surprise that Cashman told Dan Martin of the New York Post that he plans to talk to free agent left-hander C.J. Wilson.
“We haven’t talked to him yet, but we will,” Cashman said. “They have won a lot and he’s been a big part of that, so we’ll certainly talk to him.”
Of course, just because the Yankees will talk to Wilson doesn’t mean a deal will actually happen. The 30-year-old southpaw is considered the top target in a weak free agent class for starting pitching, so Cashman wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t talk to the guy. And hey, it never hurts a free agent to have the big-spending Yankees involved in the conversation.
Wilson has a 3.14 ERA since joining the starting rotation in 2010, but really struggled this postseason, going 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA and 26/19 K/BB ratio over 28 innings. Cashman isn’t ready to write him off as an option, though, telling Martin that Wilson “has shown he can perform in a hitters’ environment in Texas.”
A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.
Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:
After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.
Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:
Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.
Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.
David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.
In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.
Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”
And he’ll get to do it only three more times.