UPDATE: A few minutes ago Brian Cashman said that it wasn’t just A-Rod’s knee that got the German engineering treatment. It was his left shoulder too. Here’s a full report on it all.
So, to sum up: the guy who is still owed $143 million over six years to play third base for the Yankees is basically fallin’ apart. So that’s nice.
9:43 AM: The New York Post reports what the above headline says: Alex Rodriguez — on the recommendation of Kobe Bryant of all people — recently traveled to Germany for experimental therapy on his troublesome knee. The treatment, called Orthokine, proceeds thusly:
Orthokine involves taking blood from the patient’s arm and spinning it in a centrifuge, a machine used in laboratories to spin objects around a fixed axis. The serum is then injected into the affected area — in this case, Rodriguez’s knee.
No one knows if it works or anything, but that hasn’t stopped athletes before. The key takeaway here is that Rodriguez actually cleared this with Major League Baseball and the Yankees, thereby heading off the kind of criticism Bartolo Colon got for his blood-spinning therapy last year.
Of course, this is A-Rod we’re talking about, so someone is still going to criticize him. It’s just sort of how things roll with him. We should make a contest out of it: first writer or talk radio dude to imply that there must be something wrong or illegal about it all will be presented with a major award. Anyone who uses the fact that it took place in Germany to make some hamfisted “Boys From Brazil” reference will get extra credit for A-Rod rhetoric above and beyond the usual call of duty.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.