John Harper of the New York Daily News reports that the Braves have asked the Yankees about the availability of Eduardo Nunez. That’s fine as far as it goes. The Braves need someone to play shortstop and there aren’t a ton of great candidates available.
Think of it as last call. You look around and find someone that might make you feel good for a little while. I won’t judge you, man. That is unless you actually think you love that person at the end of the bar:
“They need offense, they need a shortstop because they don’t want to bring (Alex) Gonzalez back, and they like Nunez a lot,” Harper’s source said. “They know the jury is out on him defensively, but they think his offense is strong enough that he could move to the outfield if he can’t be their long-term answer at short.”
Er, OK. Look, Nunez has his uses, but he also has an OBP of .318 and a grand total of 30 homers in 2700+ career minor league plate appearances. I know it’s not the 90s anymore, but if it’s offense which makes him attractive to you, Frank Wren, you may want to make sure you aren’t goggling.
Not to say that there isn’t a lot of room for the Braves and Yankees to make a trade here. The Braves have a lot of pitching lying around and will have to move Jair Jurrjens or Tommy Hanson — almost certainly Jurrjens — at some point soon. These two teams have hooked up in trades in the past and it would not be at all shocking if they did again.
But Braves: you had better ask for something more than Eduardo Nunez’s mighty bat if you’re going to make a deal, OK?
Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:
The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.
The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.
I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.
In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.
The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.
The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.
Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.