While the focus has understandably been on Robinson Cano and his reported contract demands, the Yankees have another key impending free agent in Curtis Granderson.
Granderson is hitting the open market at a bad time, coming off an injury wrecked season at age 32, but his track record still puts him in line for a big contract and the outfielder talked to Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star Ledger about shopping around:
You get an opportunity to see if there’s other interest out there. You get a chance to finally make a decision for the first time in your professional career, where you might want to go play. You get to take your time and decide certain things.
As for his odds of re-signing with the Yankees …
I’m not the one writing the checks here, so I can’t answer that. Talk to those people up there that do that. It’s something I’m looking forward to. It’s my first time to be able to do it. So we’ll see how it all plays out. I’ve enjoyed my time here. In four seasons, it’s been great. The organization, from top to bottom, has been good to me. I’ve enjoyed the city, everything about it. At the same time, it’s definitely a business. And we’ll see how it all ends up shaking out.
To me that sounds like he doesn’t expect the Yankees to make a huge effort to keep him, but that’s admittedly reading between lines that may not actually exist. New York continuing to limit payroll (relatively speaking, of course) could make for some very tough decisions.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.