There is much about what’s coming from A-Rod and his legal team right now that reeks of grandstanding and carnival sideshow-ism. That said, buried in this New York Post story about their latest gambit (i.e. to have the arbitration hearing open to the public) is a darn good point:
Tacopina accused MLB of “selective leaks” about the A-Rod case, and he noted an Associated Press story in which Manfred disputed an accounting of his testimony last week. The AP reported Manfred testified he wasn’t concerned whether MLB’s star witness Anthony Bosch sold illegal performance-enhancing drugs to minors.
“Rob Manfred releases his version of the testimony,” Tacopina said. “Put out the full transcript.”
Why Rob Manfred can publicly confirm or deny his testimony in a way which bolsters MLB’s side of the case while the arbitrators issue injunctions against A-Rod and his legal team from talking about the case from their perspective is a really damn good question.
No, P.R. shouldn’t and won’t ultimately decide this case, but behavior like this sort of suggests that A-Rod’s complaint of MLB having it in for him and singling him out has some validity.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.
Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.
If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.