Author: Craig Calcaterra

Andrew Cashner

Ruben Amaro “covets” Andrew Cashner


Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro “covets” Padres starter Andrew Cashner. Handy, of course, given that the Padres are one of the teams said to be interested in trading for Cole Hamels.

It would take more than Cashner, though. He’s pretty spiffy when he’s pitching, but he has struggled to stay healthy. Still, the 28-year-old right-hander has a 2.96 ERA in 51 starts while holding opponents to a .234 batting average since becoming a full-time stater.

The Yankees claim they’re worried about A-Rod breaking up with his girlfriend

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez reacts as he sits courtside with supermodel Cindy Crawford and retired wrestler Torrie Wilson during the NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets in Los Angeles

I don’t much care who A-Rod takes out for dinner, but apparently some anonymous person with the Yankees thinks it’s really bad that Rodriguez and his girlfriend, Torrie Wilson, have broken up. From the august Page Six:

Rodriguez and superfit Wilson, both 39, began dating in late 2011 and were often seen working out together. Wilson is popular in the Yankee organization, as she was seen as a “good, calming influence” over Rodriguez. A Yankee source said, “Torrie is a lovely girl. The last thing Alex needs now is to be single, dating and distracted by women.”

What, exactly, about Alex Rodriguez over the past couple of years has suggested that she has had a good, calming influence over him? At least from the Yankees perspective? These same anonymous Yankees sources have painted A-Rod as a raving, out-of-control sociopath who has done everything this side of literally pouring gasoline on the floor and lighting it while cackling, but now they’re concerned that his “good, calming influence” is gone.

Oh well. Ladies: line forms on the left.

Manfred suggests Canada and Mexico are more likely as MLB cities than places in the United States

Rob Manfred

Bill Shaikin had a sit-down with new commissioner Rob Manfred, and all manner of topics were covered. Labor peace (Manfred is optimistic it will continue). TV ratings (He says don’t sweat the national numbers, baseball is a daily, regional sport). A domestic violence policy (Manfred says one should be in place before spring training starts). Home field advantage in the World Series (yes, it will remain tied to the All-Star Game, stupidly enough).

Not a lot that was surprising. One thing that was interesting, though, was his answer about possible expansion or relocation of major league franchises. Forget Vegas, Charlotte, Portland or the usual suspects. Manfred is talking up our neighbors to the north and south:

Montreal is working hard to get an MLB team back. Are there any thoughts of expansion?

There has not been a lot of talk about expansion. In terms of internationalizing the game, North America, in terms of sustained international activity, is someplace we need to focus. Canada, Mexico, if we were going to think about it, those would be the kinds of places that I would be interested in.

With the markets you would look at it in North America, would it seem as if your best available markets are not United States markets?

I think that is probably right.

Not that I think expansion is coming any time soon. At the moment, you have Tampa Bay and Oakland in need of new ballparks and/or cities. It will be far too useful for Major League Baseball to have cities vying for those teams and to use them either as legitimate potential landing spots or bargaining chips against their current cities in negotiations to get new stadiums built. Once that happens, however, and we have a window in which no team is jockeying for a new home, it wouldn’t shock me at all if people started at least discussing expansion.