Robinson Cano’s U.S. citizenship is brand spankin’ new, but if he decides to play in the World Baseball Classic, it’ll be for the Dominican Republic. He spoke to Mark Feinsand of the Daily News:
“I still have to play for the Dominican, even if I didn’t want to,” the Yankee second baseman said while letting out a hearty laugh. “If I played for the U.S., I don’t think they would ever let me come home. You saw what happened with Alex (Rodriguez); a lot of people got upset in the Dominican when he played for the U.S.”
I think people would have given A-Rod crap no matter who he played for. He could have been born and raised in Myanmar, never have left and then one day showed up on the scene as a ballplayer and people’s sense about him would still be to criticize him. And even those of us who defend him would be like “well, damn, it’s A-Rod. He brings this on himself.”
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.