UPDATE: Brian McCann has been placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list. The Yankees have recalled Austin Romine from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take his place on the active roster.
The Yankees have also announced the unconditional release of second baseman Brian Roberts, who was recently designated for assignment.
9:31 a.m. ET: Yankees catcher Brian McCann suffered what’s being termed as a “mild concussion” after he was hit in the mask by a foul tip in the third inning last night against the Indians.
McCann stayed in the game initially, but he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. According to Bryan Hoch and Jamal Collier of MLB.com, Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn’t like what he heard during a conversation with McCann and didn’t want to take any chances.
“He said it was his jaw,” Girardi said. “He felt like his jaw got jammed. And then in talking to him later when he came in, in the sixth, he said he felt a little foggy. He was having a hard time putting words to it, so I helped him. I said, ‘You’re out.’ He didn’t want to come out, but I said, ‘You’re out.'”
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that McCann will be examined by a neurologist this morning before the Yankees decide the next step, with a trip to the 7-day concussion disabled list a possibility. Francisco Cervelli would take over as the starting catcher if he needs to miss some time while Austin Romine would likely be called up from Triple-A.
McCann, who signed a five-year, $85 million deal contact with the Yankees over the winter, is batting .238/.294/.384 with 13 home runs and 49 RBI over 103 games this season.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.