We start the day with A-Rod silliness, we end the day with A-Rod silliness. I feel like it’s been this way for months and won’t stop anytime soon. The latest, from the New York Daily News: Brian Cashman’s ex-mistress — Louise Meanwell — is alleging that A-Rod’s lawyers have a conflict of interest because her lawyer is a partner of Joe Tacopina and, well, just here:
Court papers filed Monday in Manhattan Supreme Court claim that during Meanwell’s 10-month affair with Cashman, he told her he “knew of Yankee clubhouse steroid use by various Yankee players by name.” Cashman also allegedly shared he “was ambivalent to the use of performance enhancement drugs so long as nothing came back to the Yankee organization.”
The upshot: Meanwell could theoretically be called to the stand in A-Rod’s arbitration and since her lawyer is partners with A-Rod’s lawyer, A-Rod’s has to bow out of the case.
Not sure who would call her given that Meanwell has been accused of extorting Cashman and others, is facing criminal charges and appears to be a profoundly disturbed person. I mean, sure, Tony Bosch is probably a criminal too, but at least he knows something relevant to the case via first-hand information. Meanwell wouldn’t likely know that, and her compromised relationship with Cashman would probably render anything she says that he said hard to believe.
As for the conflict: Tacopina says that Meanwell’s lawyer worked or a different firm and there is no conflict. My guess is that this is something that was figured out or worked out some time ago and the conflict is not a significant or a fatal one for Tacopina. If anything, this is probably a matter of Meanwell trying to insert herself back into Yankees drama. Which is both unfortunate and sad.
Certainly hope not. He’s made this case loads more fun!
During the Pirates’ FanFest on Saturday, right-hander Gerrit Cole announced that he is back up to full health after being shut down with elbow inflammation in September. Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Cole said he’ll start a throwing program on Monday as he works on regaining his form for the 2017 season.
The 26-year-old pitched through 116 innings for the Pirates in 2016, delivering a 3.88 ERA and 2.5 WARP before landing on the disabled list in June with a triceps strain and again in August with elbow inflammation. It was a steep drop for the right-hander, who saw a considerable spike in his ERA and BB/9 rate and struggled to strike out batters at the 8.7 mark he managed in 2015.
The upside? Inflammation was the worst of Cole’s issues in 2016, and while the newfound health issues didn’t help his case for an extension, a more serious injury doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.
The Astros, Braves and Nationals came sniffing around White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana during the Winter Meetings, but each appeared to find the Sox’ asking price well beyond what they were willing to give up for the starter. On Saturday, Peter Gammons revealed that the White Sox had floated Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker and Joe Musgrove as a possible return for Quintana.
It’s a strategy that worked well for Chicago in the past, most recently when they dealt Chris Sale to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, among others, and flipped Adam Eaton to the Nationals for a trio of pitching prospects. Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow didn’t appear eager to sacrifice some of his core talent to net a high-end starter, however, and told the Houston Chronicle’s Jake Kaplan as much on Wednesday:
We’re prepared to trade players to improve our club right now. […] We’re just not prepared to trade away players that are core to our production in 2017, and those are sometimes the players that are required to get these deals done.
While Lunhow was speaking specifically to the inclusion of third baseman Alex Bregman in future deals, it’s not unrealistic to think that top prospects Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker would also be considered instrumental to the Astros’ plans for the next few seasons.
Martes, 21, currently sits atop the team’s top prospect list on MLB.com. The right-hander blazed through his first full season in Double-A Corpus Christi, posting a 3.30 ERA and career-best 9.4 K/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2016. Tucker, meanwhile, profiles as the Astros’ second-best prospect and made a successful jump to High-A Lancaster last season, slashing .339/.435/.661 in 69 PA. Rookie right-hander Joe Musgrove is the only player left off the top prospect list, but he got off to a decent start with the club in 2016 as well, going 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA and 3.44 K/BB rate in 62 innings during his first major league season.