In a column published on Wednesday, Newsday’s David Lennon wrote that Yankees GM Brian Cashman expects to make a trade in the next few weeks. The Yankees enter Friday night’s action at 38-33 in second place in a mediocre AL East. They rank 10th in the American League in team OPS, seventh in rotation ERA, and 10th in bullpen ERA.
Lennon writes that the rotation is the area most likely to be upgraded, and the Yankees might be willing to part with prospects to do it. Lennon suggests that the club could make J.R. Murphy, Gary Sanchez, and Rob Refsnyder available in their quest for a starter. Lennon adds that Cubs pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel might entice the Yankees.
Cashman told the media that CC Sabathia might not be ready to return until August. The Yankees’ rotation presently includes superstar Masahiro Tanaka who is having a ridiculous season (11-1 with a 1.99 ERA), but also features 39-year-old Hiroki Kuroda with a 4.32 ERA, Vidal Nuno (5.90), rookie Chase Whitley, and swingman David Phelps.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.
There is little if any controversy to be had about the caps this year’s inductees will wear on their Hall of Fame plaques, but in case there was any doubt at all, it was put to rest this afternoon at the Hall of Fame press conference: Tim Raines will wear a Montreal Expos cap and Ivan Rodriguez will wear a Rangers cap. Jeff Bagwell, of course, never played for a team other than the Houston Astros at the big league level.
Though Raines had some good seasons with the Chicago White Sox and though he helped provide a nice kick start to the Yankees dynasty in the mid-1990s, his best seasons, by far, took place while he was an Expo. It’s also the case that the bulk of his Hall of Fame push came from Expos fans. He was particularly boosted by Jonah Keri, who recently wrote a book detailing the history of the Expos. So, yeah, that’s easy.
Rodriguez played 13 of his 21 years with the Texas Rangers, including his MVP 1999 season. He did have some notable years elsewhere, particularly in Detroit where he remains a fan favorite, but it was always going to be the Rangers for him, one would think. Maybe a slight, slight chance that he’d do the blank cap thing, Greg Maddux-style, but smart money was on the Rangers.
With Bagwell, the only question is which Astros cap he’ll wear. There are a couple of applicable ones: the brick red star, which he wore to the World Series in 2005. There’s also the shooting star cap he wore during his best seasons and which Craig Biggio’s plaque displays. He was around for the classic “H” over the star look, but he was just a kid then, so I doubt he’d wear it.
Anyway, sorry to the Marlins fans who wished that Raines and Pudge would wear the fishy-F.