The Yankees may be interested in Matt Garza

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The Yankees are probably going to seek some pitching help this trade season. And Jon Heyman reports that they’re most likely target is Matt Garza:

Yankees people like the fact Garza is battle-tested in the American League East after acquiring too many pitchers from the National League who haven’t been able to make a seamless transition to the A.L. The Yankees seem to have little interest in Brewers stars Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum or the other top Cubs starter Ryan Dempster, as they have concerns about Greinke in New York and Marcum and Dempster in the A.L. Even though Marcum pitched pretty well for the Blue Jays, the Yankees are concerned about his low radar readings in the A.L.

I guess the Yankees are allowed to be concerned about the radar gun but, as Heyman notes, his strikeout rates while pitching for the Blue Jays were solid and the division didn’t seem to phase him all that much.

I guess Zack Greinke is never going to be a Yankees target, with his anxiety issues — rightly or wrongly — being thought of as an impediment to success in New York. He’s easily the best pitcher mentioned here, though. Part of me would love to see him traded to New York as a rental, go 11-1 with a 1.01 ERA down the stretch and then walk away as a free agent saying “just not challenging enough for me, dudes.”

As for Garza: He’s from Selma, California. And I have it on pretty good authority that in Selma, California, “Garza” is slang for “Javier Vazquez.”  You can look it up.

Martin Maldonado and Willson Contreras say they’re willing to pay fines rather than follow new mound visit rule

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On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.

Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”

Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.