River Avenue runs outside Yankee Stadium. Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post picks up the ball from some creative fans and launches a campaign to add an “a” at the end and change the name to “Rivera Ave.” as a means of honoring the retiring Yankees closer:
This is an idea too good to ignore, and so now we put the ball in the city’s hands, the way Joe Torre and Joe Girardi have placed baseballs in Rivera’s hands since 1996. It is worth noting Ferrara isn’t the only one who has been hit by the inspiration; a Yankees fan named Dan Salogub created a Twitter account (@161stRIVERAve) promoting the same idea: adding an A, renaming the street.
I’m opposed to this. Not because I have anything against Mariano Rivera as such, but because I feel like it’s been a year-long bacchanalia of honoring Rivera and isn’t enough enough? I mean, heck, we haven’t even gotten to the Yankees’ own sendoff of the guy and we’ve reached peak Rivera Reverence. What more can you do?
There’s also the part, as Vaccaro notes, that the city of New York won’t let you rename streets after living people. Which means we’d have to murder Rivera in order for this to go through. And while I don’t purport to be the most ethical or moral person on the planet, I have drawn a personal line just shy of killing the all-time saves leader in cold blood. That’s just how my mom brought me up.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.