We’ve noted in the past that whenever a Yankees’ columnist is hurting for material that the easiest move is to simply observe what’s happening with the Yankees, pretend that George Steinbrenner is still alive and then say “The Boss would hate this!” or “The Boss would love this!” or “Oh my gosh, what would The Boss think if he could see this?!”
The latest entry in this genre: Joel Sherman, who takes a look at yesterday’s “Brian Cashman would like to sign Chipper Jones” thing and grafts The Boss onto it. And he gets a double out of it: both “The Boss would love this” and “The Boss would hate this”
The Boss would have loved it all, the outside-the-box approach and the star chase. But he certainly would not have Jonesed for the reasons why.
Whatever. I’m just wondering how long Steinbrenner will have to be dead before people stop viewing all Yankees’ news through the filter of his memory. My current estimate: a gabillion years.
In other Chipper/Yankees news, Jones got 4,000 new Twitter followers yesterday simply because of some offhand comments by Brian Cashman. And he’s so thrilled with it that he’s publicly asking his friend David Ross to start up some Chipper-to-the-Red Sox rumors to keep the momentum going.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.