Over the winter, Yankees president Randy Levine made a comment about Angels outfielder Mike Trout to explain why the Yankees didn’t offer second baseman Robinson Cano — now a Mariner — a ten-year deal. Levine said, “If Mike Trout was here, I would recommend a 10-year contract. But for people over 30, I don’t believe it makes sense. I don’t think Hal [Steinbrenner] thinks it makes sense. We were very clear about that.”
Trout, at the time, was still negotiating a contract extension with the Angels. He would agree to a six-year, $144.5 million extension with the Angels at the end of March. In the meantime, Major League Baseball investigated Levine for his comment, as it could be considered tampering. Club officials aren’t allowed to discuss players under contract for other teams as they could influence, positively or negatively, that player’s marketability.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that commissioner Bud Selig is considering fining Levine for his comment. The amount of the potential fine has not been disclosed.
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.