I’m not sure why they let Andy Martino write for the Daily News. He seems to actually enjoy baseball and is able to take a step back and realize that, for whatever else it means, baseball is entertainment. His colleagues are all comparing Alex Rodriguez to mass murders and are blaming him for ruining absolutely everything and here he is, actually putting things in something close to a reasonable perspective.
Today’s perspective: New York baseball has totally sucked this year outside of watching Matt Harvey pitch, so thanks, A-Rod, for at least giving Gothamites something to do:
That’s why we need A-Rod, his crossover fame, his ability to compel sports talk radio and TMZ, columnists and casual debaters. New York baseball has taken on an elevated feel for only two people this year, Harvey for his sneering dominance, and Rodriguez for the deep reserve of feelings that he arouses in the public, press, commissioners’ office, Yankees’ executive suites, and in clubhouses around major league baseball.
It’s baseball. Baseball is a game. He’s some celebrity. Just watch it. No one will get hurt. Honest.
All of that said: Andy, dude: make your next piece about how A-Rod threatens democracy. I know you don’t believe it, but you gotta get in line or else your editors are gonna fire you.
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.