The Yankees held a press conference today to introduce Masahiro Tanaka. It was the largest assemblage of media for a Yankees player introduction since Hideki Matsui came to town in 2003. But for all of the scribes and television cameras in attendance, no actual news was broken.
Indeed, Yankees pressers are pretty much a game of bingo these days. The Yankees consider nothing short of a championship to be a success [check]. The big stage of Yankees stadium is what it’s all about [check]. There is nothing as intense as Red Sox-Yankees series [check]. More talk of wanting and expecting to win championships [check]. It is interesting because, apparently, players who play for other teams do not attempt to win championships — that’s a uniquely Yankees thing. I’m not sure what they say.
He’s happy to be there. They’re happy to have him. The press doesn’t yet have an angle on him. At the moment, everyone’s happy.
UPDATE: Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Braves are expected to lose as many as 12 players as a result of the sanctions, plus they’ll suffer significant restrictions on international signings for the next two years.
2:46PM: Major League Baseball is expected to announce its sanctions against the Atlanta Braves for their international signing violations as early as this afternoon. Earlier today a handful of reports came out suggesting what at least part of those penalties will entail. Think multiple prospects signed in the last year or two.
Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that shortstop Kevin Maitan, catcher Abrahan Gutierrez, second baseman Yunior Severino and righthander Juan Contreras — the Braves top four international signees of 2016 — will all become restricted free agents, but it is not clear what the restrictions will be. Maitan, it should be noted, was the number one ranked international prospect in all of baseball last year. Severino was the eighth-ranked, Gutierrez the 15th-ranked and Conrearas the 41st-ranked.
In addition to losing prospects, there will likewise be financial penalties and, most likely, future signing restrictions. The severity of these penalties suggest that, whatever the specifics of the violations MLB has found to have been committed by the Braves, they are unprecedented in scope and severity.