Yankees sign Matt Thornton

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Matt Thornton, whose $6 million option for 2014 was declined by the Red Sox, has signed a two-year, $7 million deal with the Yankees according to Jack Curry of YES Network.

After a five-year run as one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball Thornton showed some signs of slipping this year, particularly with his strikeout rate and velocity, but he still posted a 3.74 ERA in 43 innings.

However, the Red Sox didn’t think he was worth trusting in the playoffs and at age 37 a two-year commitment is risky for the Yankees. Of course, $3.5 million per season is below the going rate for southpaw relievers at this point and the guy Thornton is replacing in the Yankees’ bullpen, Boone Logan, got a three-year, $15 million deal from the Rockies.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Tony La Russa part ways

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The Arizona Diamondbacks just announced that they are parting ways with Tony La Russa at the end of the month.

La Russa served as the club’s “Chief Baseball Officer” from 2015-16. For the last year he was styled “Chief Baseball Analyst.” That’s a nice way to saying that he was pushed aside when the club fired his hand-picked general manager Dave Stewart and brought in Mike Hazen to run the club a year ago. La Russa was stripped of his powers, but was told he could hang around as an advisor. Most didn’t think he’d actually take the club up on that offer, but he did. By all accounts he was a pretty unobtrusive presence around the team this year, offering counsel and insight when asked but not making things awkward the way having the old boss around might do.

I suppose that can only last so long, however. The Dbacks had considerably more success without La Russa in charge in 2017 than they had with him in charge the previous couple of years. At some point you just part ways. That point is now.