OK, so maybe the Yankees will have some A-Rod-induced headaches in 2014 after all.
While Rodriguez was banned for the entirety of the 2014 season by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz today, his spokesperson Ron Berkowitz told Jon Morosi of FOX Sports that it is “100 percent certain” that the suspended slugger plans to participate in spring training with the Yankees. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal details why he could be allowed to do so:
We have seen similar situations with suspended players in the past, including Manny Ramirez with the Athletics in 2012. ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that MLB, the MLBPA, and the Yankees will sort through rules in the coming days to clarify Rodriguez’s status for spring training, but it looks like we could have a circus on our hands in Tampa, Florida.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.