Bill Madden speaks:
This is apparently A-Rod’s new strategy: Deflect all these allegations away from him. Didn’t his crisis management people come out the other day saying all those documents obtained out of Bosch’s clinic by the Miami New Times were bogus? His crisis managers, but not A-Rod himself.
He is innocent, A-Rod says. But instead of personally telling us that, Rodriguez proclaims it through anonymous spokespeople and lawyers and expects us to believe him.
For what it’s worth, A-Rod issued an official statement denying the allegations in the Miami New Times report. Maybe it’s a total lie, but don’t accuse him of “a conspiracy of silence” as Madden does here when he has, in fact, issued as thorough a statement as any other public figure caught up in a scandal has issued.
That aside, this insistence on direct, personal on-the-record statements is pretty rich from a guy who based his “The Yankees are going to dump A-Rod” story last week on anonymous team sources. Tell us Bill: instead of publicly saying that, the Yankees proclaim they are done with Rodriguez through anonymous spokespeople and expects us to believe them?
This also from a guy who has shown that he’s totally cool with letting speculation and whisper campaigns dictate who makes his Hall of Fame ballot.
If you’re Bill Madden I guess official, in person, on-the-record sources are only important when the story doesn’t serve your interests. If it does, hell, let ‘er rip.
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.