The Yankees have been ousted from the postseason, but the saga of Alex Rodriguez continues.
Rodriguez told Peter Botte of the New York Daily News after today’s loss to the Tigers that he has no plans to waive his no-trade clause and intends to return to the Yankees next season.
“That’s correct. I will be back. I have a lot to prove.”
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported this morning that while Rodriguez wouldn’t request a trade, he also wouldn’t stand in the way of a deal to another large-market team. Meanwhile, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported this afternoon that the Marlins and Dodgers “thus far seem far less than anxious to acquire” Rodriguez. Of course, a lot can change over the course of the offseason and we’re just getting started.
After posting a career-low .783 OPS in 122 games during the regular season, Rodriguez went 3-for-25 (.120) with 12 strikeouts during the postseason and lost playing time and at-bats to the likes of Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez. The 37-year-old is still owed $114 million over the next five seasons, so the Yankees would likely have to cover a significant portion of his contract in order to make a deal feasible.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.