nakajima getty

Yankees, Hiroyuki Nakajima unlikely to agree to deal before Friday’s deadline


The Yankees and Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima have until Friday at 5 p.m. ET to agree on a contract, but Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger was told by “a person with knowledge of the situation” that a deal is unlikely.

The Bombers were given a 30-day exclusive negotiating window with Nakajima last month after submitting a $2 million bid through the posting process.

While the deadline is technically Friday, a deal would likely need to get done sooner because Nakajima would also have to pass a physical. Consistent with what we’ve heard all along, the Yankees view the 29-year-old strictly as a backup player and intend to compensate him as such. No word on the current terms being discussed, but Jack Curry of YES Network reported earlier today that a deal is unlikely to happen unless Nakajima is willing to accept a one-year contract.

Nakajima batted .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs, 100 RBI and 21 stolen bases last season with the Seibu Lions. He is a .302 career hitter in Nippon Professional Baseball. If the current reports are accurate, it looks like he’ll be playing there again in 2012.

Diamondbacks fire pitching coach Mike Harkey

Oliver Perez, Mike Harkey
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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.

That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.

Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.

Nats expected to consider Cal Ripken for the manager job

Cal Ripken Jr

FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Nationals are expected to consider Cal Ripken Jr. for their managerial vacancy. Ripken, of course, was recently reported to have been considered by the club the last time the job was open.

This could be a courtesy. And if you’re a Nats fan, you have to hope it is, right? Because the single biggest argument in favor of Matt Williams when he was hired was that he was a top player in his day, wasn’t too far removed from his playing career and could be a good clubhouse guy who understood what made major leaguers tick. His lack of experience was brushed off. All of which would be the same thing for Ripken, except he doesn’t even have the coaching experience Williams had and is even farther removed from his playing days.

I know he’s famous and everything, but if the Nationals’ 2015 season is evidence of anything, perhaps it should be evidence that sometimes it’s useful to have a manager who has actually, you know, made a pitching change once in his professional life.