While I take issue with the reporting of the role that the flirting business is playing in A-Rod’s benching, I don’t take issue with the chorus of voices speculating that A-Rod is on his way out of town. I mean, if I’m the Yankees I try to give him a healthy spring to see what he has in the tank for 2013, but it would not shock me at all if he was shopped this offseason.
Others feel this way too. And in addition to talking about a Yankees future without Rodriguez, they’re doing a good job of scrubbing the past clean of him as well.
Take Mike Lupica, for instance, who is doing God’s work in correcting the record so that the Fail-Rod narrative can be applied without complication once he’s gone:
Alex Rodriguez is not Reggie Jackson no matter how many home runs he has hit, on or off steroids, and even though he was Mr. October 2009 once. You look back on it now, on that October, in light of what happened for him in the postseason before that and after, if he made some kind of “Damn Yankees” deal with the devil, even though he was playing for the Yankees at the time.
Now he has become the damned Yankee, and it is why he is gone when this season is over.
Got that? 2009 didn’t happen. It was Satan at work, and thus there is no need to think of Rodriguez as ever being a good player in pinstripes. Now, where is my airbrush so that I can take him out of all of the photos …
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.