Alex Rodriguez expects to bounce back next season


The Bronx Bombers have been relatively quiet since baseball’s free agency period began. That is, unless you ask third baseman Alex Rodriguez:

“The Yankees made two big moves this offseason,” Rodriguez told the New York Post by phone. “Keeping CC (Sabathia), and I expect to be who I have been in the past.”

(Quote comes via the Post‘s Joel Sherman)

Rodriguez batted just .276/.362/.461 in 428 plate appearances this year, registering an OPS under .830 for the first time since 1995. He can blame most of that disappointment on a mid-season knee injury, however, and he’s confident that a healthy winter will help him bounce back in 2012.

A-Rod has already begun his offseason workout program in Miami, three weeks earlier than usual.

Giancarlo Stanton stared down Derek Jeter and Michael Hill to get to New York

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Everyone knows that Giancarlo Stanton is now a New York Yankee. Everyone knows the Marlins traded him to New York. Most people also know that, before that trade happened, the Cardinals and Giants had deals in place for Stanton that he rejected via his no-trade clause. Now, for the first time, we get some real flavor of how all of that went down from Stanton’s perspective, courtesy of this profile of Stanton’s eventful offseason from Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated.

The best part of it comes when Derek Jeter and Marlins president Michael Hill had a sit down with Stanton while the Giants and Cardinals offers were pending. In that meeting, Reiter reports, Stanton was told in no uncertain terms that he’d either accept one of those deals or else he’d be stuck in Miami while the roster was dismantled. Stanton responded thusly:

“This is not going to go how you guys think it will go,” Stanton said. “I’m not going to be forced somewhere, on a deadline, just because it’s convenient for you guys. I’ve put up with enough here. Derek, I know you don’t fully understand where I’m coming from. But Mike does. He’s been here. He can fill you in. This may not go exactly how I planned. But it’s definitely not going to go how you have planned.”

Even adjusting for the likelihood that it wasn’t put quite as smoothly as that in real time as it was in Stanton’s recollection of it to Reiter, it’s still pretty badass. Stanton had the power in that situation and he did not blink when the club threatened to call his bluff. In the end, he got what he wanted.

Beyond that, it’s a good profile of Stanton as he’s about to begin his Yankees career. Definitely worth your time.