Alex Rodriguez AP

Daily News I-Team is all over A-Rod’s bad decisions from a year ago; mum on MLB’s.

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Take this Daily News story for what it’s worth: old news which has been mooted by months of more recent events. But if you’re into the sordid backstory of A-Rod’s fight with Major League Baseball, the award-winning Daily News I-Team would like you to know that A-Rod was going to quit last summer — retire from baseball and not fight MLB’s discipline — but he was convinced not to by Desiree Perez, a woman with a hefty criminal record that, somehow, has close ties to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports.

For what it’s worth, a source with knowledge of the Biogenesis investigation suggested to me last year that, at some point, Perez did have A-Rod’s ear and was somewhat troublingly influential in A-Rod’s decision making process, so there is probably not a ton of reason to doubt the veracity of this report. It goes along with a long line of stories over the years where Rodriguez responded positively to someone telling him he should act aggressively in some way, shape or form, be it legally or with business matters or what have you. He’s not exactly a mastermind. He’s easily influenced, it would appear. Not shocking.

That notwithstanding, the Daily News coming out with this today is rather hilarious given that (a) A-Rod’s decision making from last year has long been mooted given his decision to drop his legal case against MLB, accept his suspension and move on. Indeed, just this past week we heard that A-Rod is living a relatively quiet life of paying attention to his business and keeping in shape in an effort to come back next year. Even his ex-wife had wonderful things to say regarding the way in which A-Rod was going about his business as of late. We don’t hear much from the Daily News about that.

We also haven’t heard a peep from the Daily News about the story which emerged a week ago in which Major League Baseball was said by the Boca Raton police department to have knowingly purchased stolen documents during its investigation. I guess bad stuff that MLB did last year in an effort to get A-Rod is old, irrelevant news. Bad advice A-Rod took last year in an effort to fight MLB, however, deserves this sensationalist treatment.

Great job, I-Team! Way to stay on top of everything in a comprehensive and totally non-selective fashion!

Report: Teams reluctant to gamble on Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.

Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.

In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

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Elsa/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.

Video: 2016 will be a season to remember

Carlos+Correa+Houston+Astros+v+Arizona+Diamondbacks+Ctyu5RiU3SWl
Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.

It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.